By Fonda R. Bock, USARECOctober 25, 2011
FORT KNOX, Ky., Oct. 25, 2011 -- As its mission rises, so does its rate of success. When USAREC's Medical Recruiting Brigade was established in 2008, it achieved 43 of 72 medical specialty missions, called areas of concentration. In fiscal year 2011, the brigade closed 70 of 107 AOCs.
It's not just the number of Military Occupational Specialties, or MOSs, that makes the mission challenging, it's the type. Not since its inception has the Medical Recruiting Brigade, or MRB, been able to make its mission recruiting entomologists -- until now. In fiscal year 2011, Army medical recruiters not only made mission in that area of concentration, they doubled it.
Other hard-to-recruit MOSs closed in fiscal year 2011 include dieticians, OB-GYNs, family nurse practitioners, diagnostic radiologists, and preventive medicine doctors in both the active Army and Army Reserve.
Brigade commander Col. R. Scott Dingle said they did it through "precision mission recruiting."
Implemented last year, the process focuses on specific needs rather than just an overall number.
"In previous years, volume success was the focus -- over-recruiting in some areas," said Dingle. "Then the Surgeon General said we needed to meet the Army's personnel requirements by filling precise shortages. Our teams had to establish recruiting operations plans targeting specific specialties. Whereas before, they may have just cast a wide net to get whatever they could get, now they had to be more precise using the right incentive for the right specialty to achieve those precision results."
The result was much more of the mission accomplished. Until last year, Army medical recruiters consistently saw a small but steady increase in missions accomplished. But in fiscal year 2011, it took a giant leap, closing out an additional 24 areas of concentration, or AOCs, from the previous year.
Even though this marks a historical success for Army medical recruiting, Dingle said, "We're still shooting for 107 out of 107, and I'm expecting ever greater results this year. We've already changed the recruiting mindset. We're starting the year with the entire command on the same page, knowing that precision mission is it, so our recruiters are coming out of the blocks quicker, with specific and targeted precision mission recruiting operations plans for those missioned AOCs."
The recruiting battalions for special operations, chaplains and warrant officers -- which also fall under MRB -- set recruiting records as well.
The Special Operations Recruiting Battalion closed 16 of 23 precision mission categories, nearly doubling all mission categories of the Special Operations Aviation Regiment. The Warrant Officers Battalion closed 31 of 40 precision MOSs, and the chaplain team finished fiscal year 2011 with 100 percent in both the sacramental and non-sacramental chaplain missions.
"Our recruiters made it happen," said Dingle. "Even though they cover large footprints and had to deal with a shortage of resources, cutbacks, and mission increases, they were tenacious and resilient and produced results."