Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Five-Star Recruitment

Up until 2011....the German Army didn't have to worry much about recruitment.  They drafted young guys, and always had the right number of folks.

After 2011....the draft ended, and they had to develop a recruitment deal to entice young men and women over to the German Army.

While at the Mainz Messe yesterday, I came across the Bundeswehr recruitment booth in the middle of the Messe.

It was a five-star deal....at least in my book.  They had a 15 foot by 40 foot area......a tank....lots of posters with happy young people in action poses....a TV or two running action video....and maybe a dozen folks there to talk a career in the German military.  They gave away t-shirts, soccer balls, etc.

The attraction for German youths?  Well....if you were a seventeen year old kid and feeling kinda locked in second-gear.....limited movement....marginal success....no avenues to see a future, then the German Army angle is attractive.

The difference between the German model and the US model?  In the US system.....you could walk into a recruitment office and in less than a month....as long as you provided all the paperwork and appeared ready to pass the physical.....you'd get into the system.

The Germans want you to take the physical ahead of time, take a standard PT test (to include the running), and pass the weight to height margin they have established.  There's a test to ensure your mental side, and they want some positive comment by the previous school teachers.  In simple words, when you sign up and get accepted.....the odds of you flipping out or failing in boot-camp are extremely low.  This also means there's a fair amount of time (three to six months) where you express interest and actually get to the point where boot-camp is approved.

I stood there watching the young crowd getting the pep-talk by the recruitment guy.  He was a good salesman.  There were probably forty young folks in the area and hearing the talk.  On the outer fringes....a dozen of us older folks....simply viewing the salesmanship routine.  The talk I got in November of 1976 to talk me into the Air Force?  It was one-star stuff compared to this effort.  Action-packed video.....job potential discussions....plenty of training.....all stuff that kids of today would ask questions about and feel as requirements.

Yeah, if I was 19 years old and young again.....I'd probably sign up with these guys.

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