AFC and USAREC forge ahead with groundbreaking training technologies

By Nate Snook, Synthetic Training Environment Cross-Functional TeamMarch 22, 2024

The Synthetic Training Environment CFT works with the U.S. Army Recruiting Command to modernize training and recruitment activities.
The Synthetic Training Environment Cross-Functional Team is working with the United States Army Recruiting Command to modernize training and recruitment activities. This illustration depicts potential future recruiting efforts that use virtual tools to engage potential recruits. AI generated U.S. Army illustration by Lt. Col. Edwin Vasquez. OpenAI. (2015-2024). DALL-E (Version 3) [Image Generator]. DALL·E 3 ( (Photo Credit: Lt. Col. Edwin Vasquez) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT KNOX, Ky. — As part of ongoing Army transformation activities, the Synthetic Training Environment Cross-Functional Team (STE CFT), part of Army Futures Command (AFC), paid a recent visit to United States Army Recruiting Command (USAREC) headquarters at Fort Knox. The purpose of the visit was to lay the groundwork for integrating advanced technologies into Army recruiting efforts.

Lt. Col. Edwin Vasquez, director of the STE Technology Integration Facility, and Walter Tagalicud, senior advisor to the STE CFT director, were members of the visiting group and led efforts to highlight innovative STE solutions to enhance the Army's recruiting and retention force.

Tagalicud shared that when he was serving as a noncommissioned officer and Army recruiter years ago, “limited technology and programs were used to train, recruit and process applicants.”

“The old ways of training, recruiting and processing are costly and slow to contract applicants,” he said.

“It is necessary for today’s Army recruiters to use the latest technologies.”

These technologies, which offer numerous advantages, include digital platforms, virtual training, data analytics, mobile apps and augmented/virtual reality interfaces that provide immersive experiences.

The visit underscored a collaborative spirit between USAREC and AFC that is focused on harnessing existing and emerging technologies to meet the challenges of modern recruiting.

"Our goal is to bring human-machine integration to recruiter training, applicant experience and operational processes," said Vasquez.

"Technology is the differential in evolving Army recruiting from today’s standards to tomorrow’s needs."

Over two days, the STE CFT team engaged in comprehensive briefings and discussions, spanning institutional to organizational training domains. The USAREC Strategic Management Directorate provided an overview of current technologies, future requirements and the gaps that exist within the recruiting enterprise. A focal point of the visit was the potential for synthetic training capabilities to transform the recruiting and retention landscape.

"The Army is moving toward the Army of 2040, and USAREC is at the heart of this transformation," said David Jessop of the USAREC Strategic Management Directorate.

"Integrating cutting-edge technologies into our operations will supercharge our efforts to recruit tomorrow’s Army today."

Simultaneously, the Recruiting and Retention College (RRC) shared insights into doctrinal recruiting processes and training methodologies, highlighting areas ripe for technological innovation.

Moving forward, the STE CFT will conduct a gap analysis, ensuring a comprehensive approach to meeting USAREC's training needs. The findings will guide the development of strategic initiatives and pilot projects, aiming to radically transform recruiting processes and enhance the applicant experience.

The collaboration marks a significant milestone in the Army's ongoing efforts to modernize its forces. By leveraging synthetic training environments and other innovative technologies, the Army aims not only to enhance its recruiting capabilities but also to ensure it remains a global leader in military preparedness and operational effectiveness.