NNOMY News July 13 2020: Militarized eSports and Military Recruitment


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NNOMYnews 1048: July 13 2020: Militarized eSports and Military Recruitment

In this moment of the Coronavirus, the Pentagon's recruiting efforts at national public high schools have stopped as schools are closed in the traditional peak time for recruiters as school ends for the summer. Looking to expand the military recruitment efforts online, the military has turned to engaging in online gaming, much of it military themed, and increasing their outreach on other platforms where youth are to be found like social media.




U.S. Army Turns to Esports for Recruitment

Cheddar - The coronavirus has changed many things, and one of those surprising changes is the way the u-s army does its recruiting. The army has launched Army Esports, and has a team of soldiers that compete in esports tournaments as a way to engage young people and hopefully recruit them to consider careers with the U.S. Army. Sergeant First Class Christopher Jones, General Manager of U.S. Army Esports, joined Cheddar to discuss.

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 Visitors play video games inside a semitrailer belonging to the U.S. Army Recruiting Command's esports team during the Association of the U.S. Army's Annual Meeting and Exposition in Washington, D.C, Oct. 14, 2019. The command plans to create a cyber esports team and roll out autonomous recruiting operations, which will increase the mobility of recruiters with a larger social media presence. (Sean Kimmons)


Army recruiters pushing more into digital world

Sean Kimmons, Army News Service - The command sees the esports arena, where millions play video games or watch other gamers, as an emerging method to reach out to youth compared to traditional ways.

In its first nine months after being stood up last fiscal year, the esports team generated about 4,000 leads as its Soldiers competed online or during live events. In the first quarter of this fiscal year, the team doubled that number with 8,000 leads.

The team expects to see 24,000 leads by Sept. 30 2020.

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 A U.S. Marine recruiter with Recruiting Station Dallas converses with an attendee during Ultimatum II, a Smash Ultimate Tournament hosted by Esports Stadium Arlington, in Arlington, Texas, December 27, 2019. (U.S. Marine Corps/Cpl. Desmond Andrews).


As Military Recruiters Embrace Esports, Marine Corps Says it Won't Turn War into a Game

Hope Hodge Seck / Military.com - When the Army kicked off its esports team in late 2018, it had 7,000 applicants for just 16 spots. Team members now stream their gameplay around the clock on Twitch, Discord, Rivals, Mixer and Facebook, generating leads and having conversations with members of the "Gen Z" target recruitable population long after the recruiting offices are closed for the day.

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Opt Out and Student lists

"Opt Out" refers to the process defined in the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), later reformed by the Obama administration into the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), in which a student’s parent or legal guardian can choose to withhold the student’s contact information (name, address, and telephone number) from being released by their school district or school to military recruiters.

Students who are age 18 or older are eligible to opt themselves out. 1 Once an opt-out request is submitted to the school by letter or form, the law states that the school cannot release the student’s contact information to recruiters unless written permission is given by a parent, legal guardian, or the student who is 18 or older.2 A different opt-out request can be sent to the Joint Advertising and Marketing Research Studies headquarters (JAMRS), where information is constantly being collected from other sources by the Department of Defense and given to military recruiters. If a student is 18 or older, they can submit the JAMRS opt-out request. If they are younger than 18, it must be done by their parent or legal guardian.

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New Publication: Counter-Recruitment Campaigns Internationally

Countering the Militarisation of Youth / War Resisters' International -  WRI's new booklet, Countering Military Recruitment: Learning the lessons of counter-recruitment campaigns internationally, is out now. The booklet includes examples of campaigning against youth militarisation across different countries with the contribution of grassroot activists.

Download the PDF




Once Again, the US Military Wants Your Kids

Jonah Walters / Jacobin Magazine - Military recruiters understand that widespread joblessness is good for enlistment. They celebrate the arrival of “Sergeant Hard Times,” recognizing that misery is the best motivator.

The corona virus crisis has been a double-edged sword for military recruitment in the United States. On the one hand, the tightening of the labor market contributed to higher rates of retention than the Army brass expected, meaning that many soldiers decided to reenlist this spring rather than pursue civilian employment when their terms of service expired. On the other hand, recruiting stations across the country have had to shut down to comply with social distancing guidelines, limiting recruiters’ access to young people and inhibiting the “kneecap-to-kneecap” conversations recruiters widely acknowledge to be essential to their work.

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