Friday, June 21, 2024

Locals champion bold initiative to increase U.S. Army recruits — and it’s working

“I Want You for the U.S. Army,” says Uncle Sam on a vintage poster. That message is seared into the minds of every American over a certain age, but many members of Generation Z have yet to receive it. The list of reasons for the growing recruiting gap in the U.S. Army is as long as the list of proposed fixes, and both are complex.

Meanwhile, back at the Dallas Recruiting Battalion, the 5th Recruiting Brigade’s enlistments have shot up by 108 percent, thanks to a group of enterprising North Texans experimenting with a singular solution: sales training.

Dr. Patti McCoy, AUSA North Texas Chapter president

“If you’ve ever had a job you struggled in due to lack of training, then you’ve walked in the shoes of the unprepared soldier assigned to the role of U.S. Army recruiter,” said Highland Village resident Dr. Patti McCoy, president of the North Texas – Audie Murphy Chapter of the Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA).

“We’re on a mission to equip servicemen and servicewomen with the training they need to succeed, and the results of our test program reveal the vast potential of this strategy to improve the quality and quantity of recruits to the U.S. Army,” said McCoy.

Under McCoy’s leadership, the AUSA North Texas Chapter received the 2023 Association of the United States Army’s Best Chapter Award for demonstrating innovation, dedication, and outstanding education and leadership programs. Reflective of this is its coordination of the Warrior Sales Program, provided as an in-kind donation by Fort-Worth based Forrest Performance Group, which customized its renowned 90-day sales training program to equip participants from one of the Army’s priority battalions with top-shelf skills in recruiting.

The collaboration began last year when McCoy and a cohort of fellow AUSA North Texas leaders began to seek innovative ways to solve the national recruiting problem closer to home. In October 2022, a personal connection led them to the Forrest Performance Group. CEO Jason Forrest’s passion for the U.S. Military goes back to his ROTC years at Texas Christian University when he seriously considered joining the U.S. Air Force.

Forrest led the Warrior Sales Program with his wife, Mary. Both are master practitioners in Neuro-Linguistic Programming, the psychology of how top achievers think, speak and act.

“Potential recruits are not necessarily ready to join the Army, so we helped recruiters see their first goal as securing an affirmative response to the real question at hand: ‘Do I want to serve my country?’” said Forrest.

“To prepare new recruiters to communicate the benefits of the U.S. Army better, we created an entirely new process, rewrote their script, and taught them to believe in the importance of their role,” he said.

Normally it takes the Army 13 months to create an effective recruiter, i.e., one who recruits at least one new soldier per month. The Forrest Performance Group was able to do that in 13 weeks with this batch of new recruits. They conducted the Warrior Sales Program in two phases — “Sales Process” and “Engage” — each with two days of in-person training followed by 12 hours of virtual training over 90 days. The results of the 38 U.S. Army recruiters (RNCOs) who participated showed dramatic increases in positivity, confidence and motivation.

The data reflects that from September through November of 2022, program participants enlisted 40 more new applicants for the Dallas Recruiting Battalion in the first three months than they did during the prior three-month period. Each RNCO who attended the training enlisted an average of six more soldiers over the 13-week period compared to a non-Warrior Selling recruit. Moreover, participants accomplished this with 279 fewer appointments overall. The increase in both performance and efficiency can be attributed to participants’ newfound abilities to appeal to higher caliber prospects with a stronger message about the significance of serving in the United States Armed Forces. From there, RNCOs could more effectively sell specific benefits of joining the U.S. Army as a branch.

Phase II (Engage), which focuses on how top achievers think, speak and act to remove their “leashes” holding them back, continued to improve the mentality of the RNCOs and reduce their overall stress, lessening the likelihood of RNCOs experiencing behavioral challenges.

“The program’s success highlights the potential of private-sector sales training to improve job satisfaction among U.S. Army recruiters while maximizing taxpayer ROI,” said McCoy. “It’s a common-sense solution that, if applied nationally, holds vast potential to improve the quality of our armed forces and bolster national security.”

“Attracting more high-caliber recruits who are intrinsically motivated to serve would be a net positive for all Americans,” observed Forrest. “By identifying recruits with a sincere interest in serving their country, the program can also reduce the amount of taxpayer dollars spent on recruiting incentives.”

“Many of these well-intentioned young soldiers joined the Army to fight for their country. The Warrior Sales Program, donated by Forrest Performance Group at no charge, helped them see recruiting as another worthy way to serve,” said James P. Hogan, a retired U.S. Army Colonel and Executive Director of AUSA IV Region, and past president of AUSA North Texas – Audie Murphy Chapter.

“Jason Forrest is a true patriot,” said Hogan. And so is our neighbor in Highland Village, Patti McCoy.

(Sponsored content)

CTG Staff
CTG Staff
The Cross Timbers Gazette News Department

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