Today’s military recruiters face several challenges, including a shrinking pool of youth who are both eligible and ready to serve. The US Space Force has developed a recruiting plan to acquire the best and brightest as the new military service. According to Major general Ed Thomas, who works as the commander in charge of the Air Force Recruiting Service, the results so far are promising. Thomas defined the Space Force as a “small and elite force” that requires a new approach to recruiting.
Both the Space Force and the Air Force are supported by the Air Force Recruiting Service at the Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph situated in Texas. Last year, it met its objective of enlisting approximately 400 guardians, as the Space Force is known. The goal has been boosted to 500 for the coming year. “The Space Force has a lot of distinction,” Thomas added.
One distinguishing trait is its diminutive size in comparison to the other military branches. The Space Force is expected to comprise 16,000 uniformed plus civilian guardians, contrasted to the US Air Force’s over 680,000. Because the Space Force gets most of its overhead and administrative support from the Air Force, it only hires people for specialized specialties in satellite operations, intelligence, and cyber security.
The Air Force has around 1,200 recruiters deployed to 24 units. One recruiter for the Space Force is assigned to each unit. Despite negative demographics, the Space Force benefits from a surge in interest in space that hasn’t been witnessed in the United States since the Apollo period, according to Thomas.
Recruiters for the Space Force tout the typical advantages of military careers, but they’re also selling a bigger picture, according to Thomas. This is reflected in recent commercials emphasizing the importance of space as the next horizon for national security and the use of space technology in daily life. General John Raymond, the chief of space operations, is featured in the most recent recruiting ad, titled “Protect.” “We are here to safeguard the freedom to function in space, to serve as the guardians of our way of life,” he says in one of his lines.
According to marketing research, certain members of Generation Z, the Space Force’s intended demographic who are in their early to the mid-20s, resonate with that concept. “We’ve conducted several focus groups to see how we might connect with and excite Generation Z,” he stated. “The idea of the Space Force defending space for everyone appeals to them.”
Candidates who volunteer to enroll are examined by regional recruiting centers, and each area of the country is required to satisfy particular quotas for various job categories under the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps model.