In Fiscal Year (FY) 2017, Marine Corps Recruiting Command (MCRC) met or exceeded all accession requirements by component and category for officer and enlisted accessions. Specifically, MCRC accessed 37,362 total force non-prior service enlisted, 1,751 commissioned officers, 277 warrant officers, and 3,780 prior service Marine accessions. The successful mission accomplishment by the recruiting force was instrumental to achieving the Marine Corps’ overall FY17 manpower requirement. For FY18, MCRC retains a well-resourced recruiting force. These factors are deliberately designed to ensure MCRC is poised to meet future accession requirements and the challenges of recruiting an all volunteer force.
The recruiting force remains the lifeblood of the Corps’ accession effort. Marines selected for recruiting duty undergo extensive screening to ensure they are qualified for this demanding duty. The Marines who are selected to serve as canvassing recruiters truly represent the best Marines in the Corps. Given the importance of their duty, recruiters receive comprehensive initial training at Recruiters School, a practice that ensures each recruiter is thoroughly prepared to face the multi-faceted challenges associated with recruiting duty. To ensure a recruiter grows in his or her communication skills, a recruiter receives sustained training throughout the tour of duty.
Complementary to our recruiting effort, a comprehensive marketing and advertising program strategically raises awareness of the Marine Corps in the targeted youth market. Long before a prospective applicant first encounters a recruiter, it is likely they have already been exposed to the Marine Corps brand; the Core Values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment; and the mission to make Marines, win the nation’s battles, and develop quality citizens. MCRC strives to balance marketing and advertising with a bias towards lead generation to position the command for enduring success through programmatic research and refined program measurement.
Individual recruiters embody the elite warrior persona; this is reinforced through positive imaging from collateral materials. These materials are critical to maintaining the message, generating quality leads for recruiters, and developing recruiter support in the recruiting process. Awareness of career opportunities is created and maintained by high quality advertising efforts, which are properly focused on expanding the brand story to prospective recruits and their influencers.
MCRC’s continued connectedness with America through a concerted marketing and advertising effort is integral to reaching diverse, high quality officer and enlisted target markets, and their influencers. MCRC will continue to enhance its strengths, minimize weaknesses, exploit opportunities, and mitigate threats in an uncertain and ambiguous recruiting environment. MCRC continues to rely on adequate funding to maintain and enhance its competitive advantage by: conducting market research, continuing to enhance digital properties,developing innovative and creative campaigns, weaving diversity into all marketing and advertising efforts, establishing partnerships, working closely with essential stakeholders – both internal (e.g. service-level leads for communication and engagement programs, manpower, budgetary and information technology), and external (e.g. congress, youth educators, and advocates). The FY18marketing and advertising effort will continue to focus on attracting highly qualified individuals to serve in the Marine Corps in a manner that continues to ensure MCRC achieves it assigned Total Force accession mission requirement.
MCRC achieved success in FY17 by achieving100 percent of its enlisted shipping objectives and exceeding DoD and Marine Corps quality standards. For example, 99.8 percent of those shipped to recruit training were Tier 1 high school graduates, above DoD and service standards of 90 and 95percent, respectively. Likewise, 72.32 percent were in the I-IIIA upper mental group, well above DoD and Marine Corps standards of 60 and 63 percent,respectively. Moreover, MCRC achieved 100 percent of its recruiting goals for the Marine Corps Reserve by accessing 5,302 non-prior service Marines into the Selected Marine Corps Reserve (SMCR). Of these, 99.8 percent were Tier I high school graduates and 76.8 percent were in the I-IIIA mental groups. Finally, MCRC returned 3,780 prior service Marines into the Marine Corps Reserves, achieving 100percent of the objective and ensuring an 85 percent billet identification code match rate across the Reserve Force.
The Marine Corps achieved 100 percent in all officer accessions categories: air, ground, and law, coupled with the contributions of the U.S. Naval Academy(USNA) and the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) programs.
Our Officer Selection Teams (OSTs) find the highest caliber officer candidates for commissioning through the Platoon Leaders Class (PLC) and the Officer Candidates Class (OCC) programs. The result continues to be a quality officer corps. Diversity representation throughout the enlisted and officer ranks remains a high priority. In FY17, over 33percent of all officer accessions came from diverse populations. The All Community Approach (ACA)remains the foremost engagement strategy to ensure the Corps’ connectedness to the American people they serve. MCRC remains committed to seizing every opportunity to increase awareness of officer and enlisted leadership opportunities. With this determined approach, the country’s future leaders will see the Marine Corps as a viable option for service to this great nation and her communities.
Since the decision to rescind the 1994 Direct Ground Combat Definition and Assignment Rule, the Marine Corps began accessing all qualified applicants into previously closed specialties. In 2017 our recruiters were successful in accessing 96 women into enlisted combat arms positions including infantry, field artillery fire direction control, field artillery radar operator, and low altitude anti-air defense gunner. In total the command accessed 3,201 enlisted females or 11.1 percent of enlisted accessions, and accessed 166 female officers, or 9.48 percent of officer accessions.
The results achieved during FY17 have upheld MCRC’s standing tradition of success. MCRC’s intensity, dedication, and commitment to mission have been and forever will be its legacy.