The Pentagon’s budget request to Congress includes $40 million to advertise to young people as the services struggle to meet recruitment goals.
“We need to do a better job of telling our story, the benefits of military service and what it can provide,” said Gilbert Cisneros, the undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, told lawmakers Wednesday, as Stars and Stripes reported.
DOD officials said they plan to reach out to teachers, parents, grandparents and other adults who can help young people see military service as an option.
“The additional funding request … is focused on building the brand and making sure that when the time for a decision comes, they’re at least aware that military service, or public service even, is an option to them,” said Thomas Constable, the acting assistant secretary of defense for manpower and reserve affairs.
Lawmakers also questioned whether potential recruits should be disqualified for having sought mental health services, as Military Times reported.
Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Stephane Belcher