MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. --
As fiscal year 2011 came to a close, the Marine Corps Recruiting Command continued to do what it does best -- make mission and replenish the ranks of the Corps with a new generation of highly qualified men and women. With an eye on the future, the command also established the groundwork for making mission in FY12 and beyond, amid a climate of increasing challenges.
MCRC wrapped up FY11 by exceeding its total force enlisted mission of 35,480 by accessing 35,503 new Marines. In addition, officer selection officers exceeded the mission of 1,650 by accessing 1,663 new officers. The officers were the most diverse group accessed in a decade -- 85 were African-American, 122 Hispanic and 99 of other ethnic background.
In addition to the continued success of achieving mission, MCRC continues to exceed the Department of Defense quality requirements. During FY11, 99.8 percent of new joins to the Marine Corps were high school graduates. The DOD standard requires 90 percent of all accessions to be high school graduates.
"Once again we're seeing that by investing in high quality people into the recruiting force, we're able to generate incredible quality and quantity of folks coming into the Marine Corps," said Brig. Gen. Joseph Osterman, commanding general, Marine Corps Recruiting Command. "I had a great opportunity to judge that by taking a look at the folks in Afghanistan and seeing the amazing things they were able to accomplish. So you kind of see the result of our recruiters on the front end and the back end, just a fantastic accomplishment on the part of those really great leaders of the recruiting force."
As the command steps off into FY12, the recruiting force is faced with new challenges in addition to the already difficult task of recruiting an all-volunteer force of qualified men and women. The Commandant of the Marine Corps directed MCRC in his planning guidance to improve diversity accession effectiveness and the recruiting command is responding to new and potentially increasing financial constraints in FY12 and beyond. The command remains focused on continuing its record of success and has created several new initiatives in support of its recruiting force.
JWT, the advertising agency that represents MCRC, was commissioned with conducting a study on what resonates with today’s generation of young men and women. The in-depth study has pointed the advertising efforts of MCRC and JWT in a new direction and has resulted in a new commercial theme that is set to begin filming later this year.
“JWT conducted extensive market research throughout the year, after which we came together and analyzed the data before developing long term strategies for communication with our target market in 2012,” said Dan Weidensaul, deputy assistant chief of staff for advertising, MCRC. “We have also entered into a major redesign of www.Marines.com to align with this updated strategy that will go live later this year. All of our current efforts are focused on supporting the Marines in recruiting the face of the nation.”
In an effort to meet the Commandant of the Marine Corps’ call for a more diverse Marine Corps, the diversity section of MCRC has continued to form new partnerships and move forward with an All Community Approach. The All Community Approach was designed to improve connectedness with our Nation’s diverse populace at the tactical level so recruiting station commanding officers and OSOs can establish and maintain purposeful relationships with community influencers and leaders. This is accomplished by using a major event, such as the annual CIAA basketball tournament in Charlotte, N.C., as a launching point for the much broader goal of engaging important influencers in a surrounding community before, during and after the event.
“The All Community Approach is designed to build, strengthen and maintain positive partnerships in the community,” said Capt. Joseph Wydeven, diversity officer, MCRC. “Through these efforts, we believe that we'll begin to build strong relationships with minority communities in general, increase minority accessions, and continue our standing as a strong pillar of honor, courage, and commitment with our nation's populace.”
In addition to its initial deployment at the CIAA tournament, MCRC has used the All Community Approach during Marine Week St. Louis and plans are being coordinated to initiate efforts at the Bayou Classic football game in New Orleans and the inaugural Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl in Phoenix.
“MCRC participation with the CIAA conference and the Bayou Classic builds and strengthens relationships with member institutions, administrators, students and communities at large,” said Maj. Frank Moore, diversity personnel, MCRC. “It further exhibits to the schools and communities involved that the Marine Corps not only supports their schools, but is genuinely concerned about the academic and professional success of its students.”
The Bayou Classic is an annual football game between Grambling State and Southern Universities. Held each year in New Orleans, the game is considered the best known rivalry among historically black colleges and universities. The event provides the Marine Corps an opportunity to share its message of opportunity with community leaders, influencers and college students.
Another unique initiative the command established during FY11 is its partnership with Junior Rank. Junior Rank is a youth football program designed to develop the next generation of student athletes through education, evaluation and instruction. The recruiting command participated in 37 football camps around the nation and will be completely engaged at the inaugural Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl, Jan. 3, 2012 in Phoenix.
“In terms of Junior Rank, we have found a football camp for high school students that stresses the importance of character. Through our sponsorship, we’ve been able to meet students and their parents and reinforce our message of leadership and moral fiber,” said Wydeven. “Our attendance at every Junior Rank camp has allowed us the ability to become a constant presence. We also invited and hosted the Junior Rank CEO at the our Key Leaders' Workshop where we were able to strengthen our partnership through his ‘behind the scenes’ look at building Marine Corps Officers.”
With the recruiting mission for FY11 in the bag and new initiatives underway, MCRC heads into FY12 ready to adapt and overcome as they recruit the newest generation of America’s finest fighting force.