The US Army uses eSports to attract more soldiers

Posted on: Nov 16, 2018 By smartlaunch in Uncategorized,

In an attempt to better connect with America’s youth, the US Army is standing up an esports team. The effort comes during a period in which the Army is having difficulty meeting its recruitment targets.

The Army esports team is currently accepting applications from active duty personnel, reservists and veterans, as first reported by Stars And Stripes, an independent news organization which operates from within the Department of Defense. An online form indicates that there is interest in fielding teams for Fortnite, Call of Duty, Tekken, League of Legends, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Overwatch, FIFA, the Madden series and the NBA 2Kfranchise.

This is not the first time that the military has used video games to appeal to potential recruits. It previously staged a Street Fighter 5 esports tournament at eight garrisons. One recent high-profile effort saw the Army design and build its own first-person shooter, called America’s Army. You can still access a version of “the official game of the U.S. Army,” which is now free-to-play, on Steam. It was recently updated in October.

As the Army’s lengthy campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq fatigued the force and thinned its ranks, the Army began drawing down its numbers throughout the first half of the decade. In the summer of 2017, however, a new mandate was given. The goal is now to increase the total size of the Army beyond 1 million soldiers, with roughly half of those on active duty. As of September, that process has stalled. According to Army Times, it missed its goal of 483,500 active duty soldiers by about 7,500.

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