SEATTLE WA, - This year, the army is focusing its recruiting in Seattle, an area where it has struggled in the past, with new methods they hope will appeal to a different demographic.
Seattle is one of several cities across the country, the army has struggled to recruit in.
Last year, Seattle army recruiters, like many across the country, did not meet their goals, army officials say.
“Sometimes you have to shine a spotlight where you haven’t performed as well,” said Lieutenant Colonel Mark Davis.
Davis is the Battalion Commander for Seattle Recruiting, a region that includes all of Washington, and Alaska and parts of Oregon and Idaho.
Davis says recruiting in Seattle is difficult because of an abundance of high paying jobs, and a lack of military families in the area.
He says the army is changing its approach on how they recruit.
What we’re really trying to do is meet the students and the youth where they are at,” he said. “Spending more time in virtual recruiting; spending more time at event where they are going to be at. Try to make an entrance into comic-con this year, looking to go to PAX West,” Davis added.
The goal for the Seattle Army Recruitment center is to get 2000 active duty members, and 500 reserve members.
“It’s tough; it’s the toughest job I’ve ever had,” said Sergeant First Class Jeremiah Vargas.
Vargas says his path to the military was not as direct as others. His father died when he was 17, so Vargas moved to the United States he said.
However, when he got here, he said he felt lost.
“I had a bachelor’s degree, but I couldn’t use it, I worked at Walmart; I worked at Pizza Hut,” he said.
Vargas says he joined the army at of necessity, and only planned to stay in for about four years. This year will be Vargas’s 12 year in the Army, and he says he wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
“It changed my life, I didn’t know where I would be if I didn’t,” he said.
Vargas says recruiting maybe the hardest job he’s ever had, but he says that is what makes the successes that much better.