Hello, my name is SGT Connor Brave with the Illinois Army National Guard. I currently recruit out of Southern Illinois with November Company in Franklin County, White County, and the North Section of Saline County. Out of those three counties, I have control of ten high schools and one community college. The overall purpose of this paper is to explain the demographics of my area and schools, schools programs, a recruiting and sustainment plan, and to explain my efforts to utilize the Recruiter Zone and School Zone to maximize my individual mission.
With controlling three separate counties the population, education, and economy differ. Franklin County is my biggest county as far as population goes, and according to our state marketing, the population is 39,782. My second biggest county is Saline County although I have one school located in this county, the population of the towns and surrounding towns of Eldorado is 15,459. White County is by far my smallest county, with a population of 14,385. The population is important to my overall recruiting plan because it gives me pool of possible applicants. Since the majority of my population is located in rural areas, I believe it gives me an extreme advantage to the rest of the recruiting areas in my state, because I’m capable of connecting with my applicants on a personal basis.
Education is very important to those who look to achieve high-paying jobs and certain job fields in my area. Out of my three counties, White County has the highest post-secondary enrollment rate, followed by Saline County, and then Franklin County. Enrollment rates in my area have climbed in the past five years. The numbers continue to increase each year due to the competition in most career fields. The majority of my population, throughout my counties, has a high school diploma or some type of equivalent accreditation. This is huge because with post-secondary enrollment rates continuing to increase, it allows me to sell the National Guard and the educational benefits it has to offer.
The economy plays a very big part in my overall recruiting plan. Throughout the schools in my recruiting area, the average household income remains around $41,764. I personally believe is a good income for the area considering most jobs are factory positions, mining, and farming. Most high-paying jobs in my area require some sort of associate’s or bachelor’s degree. The mining jobs in my area require a mine certification, which is obtained from Rend Lake Community College. This gives me the opportunity to sell the National Guard’s educational benefits to those students. Although my area produces a lot of jobs a majority of them require secondary employment in order to make a livable wage. The National Guard’s part-time service meets the interest to the majority of people who want to keep their current jobs. The unemployment rate in my area varies from year to year. According to the market share from my state marketing department, the unemployment rate is 5.4%. This give me the advantage to help out those who are seeking to find positions to help out their families financially.
Although I have ten high schools but the ones that stand out to me and continue to produce year after year is Eldorado High School, West Frankfort High School, and Christopher High School. The population of juniors and seniors combined according to the Illinois Board of Education website is 525 students. Each of these schools meet the accordance of AR 601-210 as High School diploma-producing tier-one schools. All these schools have multiple different schools programs including the National Honor Society, college and career classes, technical classes, and more. These programs are important to establishing a reason of how the National Guard will benefit them. Throughout these schools, they all take the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test). The school’s combined average of students that meet or exceeded standards is roughly 35%, according to Illinois Report Card. According to the Illinois Board of Education, the graduation rate for my school is 82%. All these factors are important because it gives me a target demographic to recruit for the Illinois Army National Guard. Obviously, the students that meet or exceed standards are capable of passing the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery).
Eldorado High School is located in Saline County, Illinois which is one of the three schools in this county. The current enrollment of juniors and seniors at Eldorado High School is 102 seniors and 83 juniors. The graduation rate of EHS is 87% and the post-secondary enrollment rate is 76%. The schools excel the state standard year after year for SAT testing. Eldorado High School has multiple different clubs and programs such as the National Honor Society, Future Farmers of America, SkillsUSA, Math team, and more. The school staff is very military-friendly and always has an open-door policy. Over the past couple of months, I have built a good rapport with a majority of sport teams and academic teams, along with the teachers and staff.
Although I have a great presence in Eldorado High School, I plan to work on getting a lot more involved with the staff and the students. In October during the first teacher and staff institute, I will be giving a class on why the Illinois Army National Guard is the best option for all students. I will be providing food and drinks for the staff, along with any parents that would like to come. I plan to use this event to my advantage to gain more of a positive rapport within Eldorado High School.
During football season I have planned a military appreciation night to allow all local veterans to be recognized. During the football game, the Illinois Army National Guard will be displaying the colors for the National Anthem. The Eldorado football team will also be where National Guard-branded jerseys. Some more big events I will be a part of is homecoming after the dance, prom after party, and the graduation party throughout the year. All these events are a great way to establish a presence and gain lead generation at the same time. I will be able to also plan more events during the year to establish the leads from the students that don’t attend big events. Eldorado High School produces at least five or six enlistments a year, and that is why Eldorado High School will be a high priority for me.
Recruiting and Sustainment Plan
A recruiting and sustainment plan is extremely important when it comes to being a successful recruiter. Each quarter throughout the year I will be hitting different types of applicants such as high school seniors, high school juniors, high school graduates, college students, and prior service. Throughout the next year, each quarter will have a primary market, secondary market, and tertiary market in accordance with the NGR 601-1.
My first quarter will consist on a primary market of high school seniors, a secondary market of high school graduates, and a tertiary market of prior service members. During the first quarter in order to hit my primary market, I will set up Guard 101 briefs in all my schools. I will conduct these briefs to establish the benefit of the National Guard after high school. With having high school graduates and college students as my secondary market. I will conduct educational benefits briefs at my local community college to remind students of the perks of the National Guard. The inactive ready reserve (IRR) will be my tertiary market to talk to those prior service members who have been out for at least a year. This gives them the opportunity to re-enlist with a hefty bonus.
For the second quarter, my primary market will be high school juniors. Which means I will be eligible to sell the idea of the split training option (STO). The STO allows the juniors to attend basic between their junior and senior year and advanced individual training during after their senior year. This is an advantage above my all other branches because the Army National Guard is the only branch that offers this option. I will plan to reach out to an all-junior class to explain the advantages the National Guard and the STO option. My secondary market is going to be college students. So I will do weekly walk-troughs on my local community college campus and talk to students and staff to establish more of a presence. During the second quarter, my tertiary market is prior service. I will continue to find prior service soldiers in my area and talk about retirement benefits, bonuses, and job security. I will also reach out to unit members for lead generation.
During the third quarter, my primary market will be high school seniors. Since I already established the education benefit to the seniors during the first quarter, I will conduct fun training. Fun training will be anything from meals ready to eat classes, combat dodgeball, physical training classes, and more. It is also important to briefly go over the benefits of the National Guard as a refresher. My secondary market is high school juniors and I will continue to explain the benefits of STO. I will also remind the juniors that this will be the last time for the STO because the training seats will be closing extremely soon. This is a good concept to push these juniors in the direction of the Illinois Army National Guard. In the third market, I will continue to use the IRR to my advantage to recruit qualified prior service leads. I will also reach out to unit members that might have friends that used be in their unit. This will hopefully help generate a good lead base for my tertiary market.
Finally, throughout the fourth quarter, I will primarily reach out to prior service applicants. These prior service leads will be gathered from unit members, IRR, or any possible way to find prior service leads. I will emphasize the bonuses, the capabilities of remaining close to home, job security, and retirement benefits. The secondary market will be high school seniors which were previously high school juniors. It’s important to reconnect to the upcoming seniors that were interested in the Army National Guard but didn’t like the STO. I will sell the idea on enlisting sooner than later for promotion, time in service, and more training opportunities. My tertiary market will be focusing on students who just recently graduated. This is key because a lot of them will begin to struggle while at college or have gone into the workforce. Explain the educational benefits and the benefits that the military as a whole can do.
Throughout the next year recruiter zone and school zone will be a program that I will use on a day-to-day basis. Recruiting zone is essential for recruiters because it allows recruiters to input key data on leads. As a recruiter, you can also input appointments for leads that you schedule. In the recruiter zone you can obtain hot leads, which are interested individuals that reach out and input data into nationalguard.com. This is important to check on a daily basis because it allows to you to reach out to people who are interested in the organization. The recruiter zone is used by my NCOIC on a daily basis, as he tracks to see if we are properly doing our job. With that being said recruiter zone will keep me on top of my game.
In the Recruiter Zone, you also have a school zone. School Zone will beneficial to me because as I plan events with my schools, I can utilize school zone to keep track of those events. With SZ I can input data about the school that might be key to building a rapport with my schools. As a recruiter, I think it is extremely important to keep track of school staff which can be beneficial. With SZ it allows me to input the staff and any interest they might have. SZ allows me to also keep track of valuable school events such as the ASVAB, sport events, dances, graduation, and more. SZ will be essential for me as an upcoming recruiter because it allows me to stay productive throughout my schools.
In the next year a rookie recruiter, I plan to utilize this plan to my advantage. This plan is key because it includes the demographics of my area and schools, school programs I plan to do, thorough recruiting and sustainment plans, and how I plan to use the recruiter zone and school zone. All these sections will be important to my next year of recruiting to generate the most leads as possible. The purpose of this plan is not only important to the mission but also important to my goal which is being the Illinois Army National Guard rookie recruiter of the year.
- Brave, C. A. (2019) Illinois Army National Guard Target Market Analysis
- Bates, A. M. (2019). Frankfort Community High School: School Snapshot. Retrieved from https://www.illinoisreportcard.com/School.aspx?schoolid=210281680260001
- Anderson, R. P. (2019). Eldorado High School: School Snapshot. Retrieved from https://www.illinoisreportcard.com/School.aspx?schoolId=200830040260001
- Newell, J. R. (2019). Carmi-White County High School: School Snapshot. Retrieved from https://www.illlinoisreportcard.com/School.aspx?schoolId=200910050260001
- National Guard Bureau (1 January 2019). NGR PAM 601-1. Department of Defense, Arlington, VA.