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Marines Meet Recruiting Goals with Challenge Pitch

These are dark days for military recruiting.

The Army, Navy, and Air Force have tried almost everything in their power to bring in new people. They’ve relaxed enlistment standards, set up remedial schools for recruits who can’t pass entry tests, and offered signing bonuses worth up to $75,000. Still, in 2023 the three services together fell short by more than 25,000 recruits.

Military leaders say there are so few Americans who are willing and able to serve, and so many civilian employers competing for them, that getting enough people into uniform is nearly impossible.

Tell that to the Marines. The Marine Corps ended the recruiting year on September 30th having met 100 percent of its goal, with hundreds of contracts already signed for the next year. The corps did it while keeping enlistment standards tight and offering next to no perks.

When asked earlier this year about whether the Marines would offer extra money to attract recruits, the commandant of the Marine Corps replied: “Your bonus is that you get to call yourself a Marine. That’s your bonus.”

In a nutshell, that is the Marine Corps’ marketing strategy: Dismiss financial incentives as chump change compared with the honor of joining the Corps. Brush off the idea of military service as a steppingstone to civilian career opportunities. Instead, dangle the promise of the chance to be part of something intangible, timeless, and elite.

Possible Preaching Angle:

Christians aren’t called to elitism, but we are called to a life of adventure and challenge.

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