By Col. James Iacocca, USAREC deputy commanding officerJanuary 6, 2014
FORT KNOX, Ky. (Jan. 6, 2014) -- Communicating and sharing information with potential recruits is the primary function supporting all recruiting efforts. In our modern, high-tech world, recruiters have long awaited the opportunity to engage the public in familiar mediums using current high-tech communication tools.
To meet that challenge, Army Recruiting Command (USAREC) is in the process of equipping our field force with a pocket-size tool that can locate and identify potential recruits and disseminate information to them as quickly as possible.
The weapon of choice is the new Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone equipped with specialized recruiting apps, Military Occupational Specialty videos and a GPS. Recruiters and leaders are also receiving a protective case with a built in battery life extender called a "juice pack" and a 64GB micro secure digital (SD) card, providing additional memory for the storage of photos and videos.
Today's modern smartphones pack more computing power than most computers did just a few short years ago. Not only can the phones handle basic person-to-person and conference calls, they can also interact with websites, publish blog posts, aggregate Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds, send text and multimedia messages, record and transmit video and audio, send email from multiple accounts, take and send pictures, send and receive faxes, edit office documents, and interact with social networks such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.
With assistance from the Army Chief Information Officer (CIO), G6, the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and TRADOC, USAREC is empowering recruiters by building a recruiting strategy that leverages the smartphone as the hub of recruiting activity.
Aggressively using smart phones requires forward thinking. Recruiters from the field say, "The new smartphone is seen as the single most important step in technology placing them on the map with immediate access to current and relevant methods of communication."
USAREC will also soon test new Mobile Device Management software -- known as MDM, that supports mobile enterprise email, GPS and other data via a secure enterprise "cloud" network. Another key feature under consideration as part of the MDM would give recruiters access to mission applications made available by USAREC.
The smartphones are intended to provide recruiters with additional mobility and social media capabilities. We are working to add features like Enterprise Email and recruiter applications. Recruiters are authorized to download apps like Facebook, Twitter, Hootsuite, Flicker, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Google Plus, and other apps as long as they are free of charge and for the purpose of recruiting and outreach.
The smart phone's camera and GPS capability are active and available. The GPS allows recruiters to use Google Maps to locate addresses and get turn-by-turn directions. Applications like SkyDrive and Dropbox will help recruiters easily organize and access photos and documents.
However, recruiters must be smart about the apps they download and should not download apps that are in violation of USAREC, U.S. Army, or DoD policies. Recruiters will not collect Personally Identifiable Information (PII) on their smartphones. We are investigating capabilities that will allow recruiters to collect lead data, but such action is currently unauthorized. Furthermore, gambling apps, such as Bet 365; dating apps, like Charm; and any apps that contain pornography are strictly forbidden. Apps that are permissible to download should focus on allowing a recruiter to perform his or her job more effectively. Recruiters should seek guidance from their leadership if they are uncertain whether a specific app is permissible to download.
Know that at headquarters, we are working diligently to provide more capability to recruiters as quickly as we can get it approved by DA.
If you have questions or suggestions on how we can leverage this new capability to best support your recruiting efforts, please share your innovative ideas and best practices by going to the USAREC G6 on Facebook or on Twitter @USAREC G6.
You can also find additional free Army Digital Apps by visiting the TRADOC Apps for IMT Soldiers.