CMO Q&A: Bruce Jasurda, CMO, US Army Accessions Command

Bruce Jasurda, CMO for US Army Accessions Command, talks to Alexandra Bruell about recruitment challenges and use of social media

What are your responsibilities as CMO?

I work in the US Army Accessions Command. Its goal is to market, recruit, and actually bring in young men and women as officers and enlisted personnel.

What is your greatest current challenge in terms of recruitment during war?

One core challenge that never goes away is making sure we recruit people who live the Army values. Only three in ten 17- to 24-year-olds who are interested in military service specifically in the Army are qualified to serve either due to issues of conduct, poor past decisions, the obesity issue, or educational issues. That pool of eligibles who really want to come to the Army is starting to dwindle.

You're doing a lot in the social media space. Tell me about some of your latest efforts, such as 'Army Strong,' and how they reflect overall positioning.

We have a very robust and viable research organization within the Army and it's no secret to us or to others that for the target age group we are after - young men and women, 18 to 24 - the consumption of messages is in the online space.

With our Army Strong Stories program, those interested in a career or pieces of information about the Army can go online and talk live to a soldier uncensored. Obviously, we monitor for things such as profanity or security, but by no means are they actively monitored or censored as the process goes on. Having soldiers living the Army life and values is really our recruiting tool.

How, if at all, has the budget for PR and social media shifted?

If you looked at our budget allocation today in terms of media or discipline mix, it's moved more heavily into the digital world, but also more and more into PR.

We don't have an awareness problem. We continually have the goal of influencing the perception of what the Army is as an institution and what the Army has to offer as a post-secondary opportunity for people.

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