JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. – The U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command will host its next Leader Professional Development webinar on Feb. 15 at 11 a.m. EST. The panel, hosted by Lt. Gen. Maria R. Gervais, deputy commanding general, TRADOC, will feature Maj. Gen. Johnny K. Davis, commanding general, U.S. Army Recruiting Command, and Raechel Melling, intelligence analyst, TRADOC G-2 Intelligence Directorate.
The webinar is part of a quarterly LPD series featuring influential leaders, both military and civilian, to help inform the Army on various topics related to the Army Profession and encourage an open discussion between the speakers and their audience.
According to Army senior leaders, the Army is facing one of the most challenging recruiting environments of the all-volunteer force, including a rise in childhood obesity and a general lack of propensity to serve. With a new generation to recruit, the Army has been adapting with new initiatives and programs.
“In the Army, everyone is a recruiter,” Gervais stated. “The Soldier Referral Program adds the ability to provide a referral from those who understand the value of what we do each day and give them a chance to share their Army story.”
With this new program, junior enlisted Soldiers who participate will be eligible for a single rank advancement if their qualified referral enlists and ships to Basic Combat Training.
The Future Soldier Prep Course, established in July 2022, was created to combat the low percentage rate of individuals qualified to join the U.S. Army and invest in the next generation of Soldiers.
Gervais explained that the Army has previously screened out many people, who had a genuine desire to serve their country, but with this new program they are given a second chance to join.
“The fact that we have the FSPC and are devoting our efforts to building these recruits from an academic and fitness standpoint allows them to fulfill their lifelong dream to serve their country,” she stated.
Both programs have seen success thus far as the Army continues to broaden its approach to modernize and build the all-volunteer force through a people-focused lens.
“In the end, it’s all about the people,” Davis stated. “We must invest in their training, assignments, family, and many other things that may not have been previously at the forefront of recruiting. When we invest in our people, quality will recruit quality.”
The LPD will also discuss TRADOC’s long-term accessions goals and how the recruiting environment has changed with the new generation.
Melling will provide an inside look at how TRADOC G-2 has been working to support the accessions mission through analyzing the current operational environment.
Melling, along with a team of other TRADOC G-2 intelligence analysts, conducted research on the new generation of recruits to better understand the accessions operational environment and potential future challenges.
“We identified three headwinds that will make accessions increasingly difficult in the future - demographic changes, technological advancements, and economic fluctuations,” Melling explained.
She also explained that the Army of 2030 consists of Generation Alpha, the oldest of which are in the 6th or 7th grade and who are now entering a segmented information environment that will mold their perceptions of the Army early on.
“There will also be tough competition for talent with industry because younger generations are not fully aware military benefits vastly outweigh that of industry’s overtime,” she stated.