FORT KNOX, Ky. -- U.S. Army senior leaders recently launched the new Army People Strategy, and they made it clear this week that recruiters play a vital role in ensuring the Army has the right people in place to maintain an agile, talented force in the future.

Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy, Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. James McConville and Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael Grinston emphasized their commitment to supporting recruiters during the U.S. Army Recruiting Command's Annual Leaders Training Conference here Oct. 23.

"People, people, people - that's why recruiting is so important," McCarthy said to a roomful of leaders from every brigade and battalion across USAREC. "Recruiting is so necessary because it's the lifeblood of our business."

McConville stressed the importance of winning in the competitive talent marketplace.

"When you bring someone in, to me what winning looks like ... for recruiters is you recruit a Soldier that finishes their first term," he said. "Then what I look at, if they get their 4-, 5-, 6-year term done, then it's our job to recruit for their talents. We give them purpose to keep them longer."

Winning for Army Recruiting this year has meant a paradigm shift in how its recruiters approach and communicate with potential applicants. McCarthy and McConville both emphasized the move to the information age and congratulated USAREC on the speed with which the command progressed this year.

"We're taking new ways to go after the young men and women who, quite frankly, are motivated very differently than we may have been in the past," McConville said. "We cannot be an industrial age Army in the information age. I commend you all for going after that and changing and reacting to the people that are in place, and don't let us slow you down."

In the last year, USAREC formalized virtual recruiting stations at each of its 44 battalions, established the Army eSports Team, opened the aperture on use of social media by all recruiters, and focused marketing and outreach efforts on key markets to ensure recruiters were able to effectively reach the eligible population.

"It's a new day," McCarthy said. "It's a relentless pace, but we're on top right now, because you have the right mindset, the right strategy and great leaders."

The efforts put into overhauling the Army accessions enterprise contributed to the success of the fiscal year 2019 regular Army mission, as USAREC exceeded its goal of 68,000 new Soldiers.

"We're all in to help you," Grinston told the group of USAREC leaders. "Everybody's a recruiter. I want to thank you for meeting the mission (in FY19), and I know you're going to do it (again) this year because winning matters, and people are our number one priority."

The sergeant major of the Army also reiterated the importance of recruiting to the operational Army and the reason the recruiting mission cannot fail.

"If you don't do your job, then guess what, I can't do my job and nobody can do their job," Grinston said. "I can't keep the Army going, and the FORSCOM sergeant major can't build readiness, can't deploy, can't do anything because we don't have any people."

All three Army senior leaders emphasized that USAREC is not alone in the quest for talented young men and women to serve the nation.

"The recruiting mission is not a Recruiting Command mission, it's an Army mission," McConville said. "It's all of our mission and whatever help you need, we're going to get you."

As the world changes and technology advances, the demand for sharp, resilient, tough people to come into the enterprise will continue to increase, McCarthy said.

"Just remember two things - people first and winning matters," McConville said. "We win through our people. I think (recruiters) have an absolutely critical job in getting us the right people to start off with - that's our Soldiers that come into the Army. I think that's what makes us the world's greatest Army, our people."