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    A Gen Z Marine Explores Solutions to the Military’s Recruiting Crisis in ‘We Don’t Want You, Uncle Sam’

    A Gen Z Marine Explores Solutions to the Military's Recruiting Crisis in ‘We Don't Want You, Uncle Sam'

    In August 2021, the U.S. released its latest attempt to reach potential recruits from the generational cohort known as ‘Generation Z.' Called​​ “First Steps,” it's a series of brief “documentaries” that attempts to capture the spirit and emotions associated with life as a young recruit. A drill sergeant is never seen, but we can hear marching cadence in one of the videos, a siren song that quickly morphs into a sick beat.

    Will these spots resonate with Gen Z, the generation of Americans born after 1997? The Army certainly hopes so: In 2018, it invested $4 billion in marketing over the next 10 years to reach them. But so far, that effort has come up short, with the Army expecting to fall 15,000 recruits short of its goal in 2023 — the largest shortfall of all branches of the U.S. . The Navy expects to be 10,000 recruits short while the Air will miss its goal by 3,000; only the Marine Corps believes it will meet its own needs.

    Gen Z interest in military service is low and only dropping lower. The Wall Street Journal reports that only 9% of American youth ages 16-21 said they would consider enlisting in 2022, which is down from the 13% recorded during the -19 pandemic. It appears no one wants to join the military, and the military can't seem to figure out what to do about it.

    Also Read: The Army Could Not Effectively Address Gen-Z's Misconceptions About Army Life

    There is one Gen Z officer who…

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