Army Draws Recruits with Mission-Based Simulation
The U.S. Army needed to enlighten 18- to 24-year-old males that very few jobs involve a shovel in today’s Army. To that end, in September they opened a yearlong experience center in the Philadelphia Franklin Hills Mall. So far, the recruitment rate at the center is five times higher than a traditional office and foot traffic has increased from 300 to 650 people per week.
Attendees register, get a photo ID card and head to the Global Base Locator, an image of Earth spinning in space, where guests can use the touch screen to find Army bases, zoom in and learn about base culture. A nearby gaming arena is complete with top-end systems for play. In the Tactical Operations Center, an Army representative gives a presentation, and then sends the prospective recruits off to the simulator area where they get a mission and specific assignments to fulfill in full-scale Humvee, Black Hawk and Apache shells pimped out with hydraulics and virtual environments. The Career Navigator area provides touch-screen information on Army jobs. As attendees leave, ambassadors conduct exit interviews and drive traffic to the website by instructing attendees to check out the career section regularly for updates.