DOD bringing recruitment into the digital age

DOD bringing recruitment into the digital age

A refresh of the Pentagon’s recruiting process is the latest example of Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter’s efforts to push his department into the 21st century.

As part of an address announcing the next iteration of his Force of the Future initiative, Carter said he wants to convert the paper-based enlistment process -- which requires processing 70 to 80 million pieces of paper annually -- to an all-digital system over the next five years.  Besides saving time and money for the Pentagon, a digital system would keep new recruits from having to fill out the same forms several times, a practice that Carter said runs contrary to being “the most technologically advanced military in the world.”

Noting that 40 percent of those who join the military come from six states, Carter said DOD cannot “keep fishing in the same old ponds” for talent.  He announced plans to leverage advancements in data science and microtargeting to develop a precision recruiting database that would give DOD access to the entirety of the nation’s population to help identify those who might be desirable service members.

About the Author

Mark Pomerleau is a former editorial fellow with GCN and Defense Systems.

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