To Recruiting Challenge: Yahoo!
by Jim Mathews
05/19/00 09:01:07 AM U.S. EDT
Facing record recruiting shortages and a youth culture unfamiliar with the military, the Pentagon is joining forces with Yahoo! Careers to stage a fantasy job contest, whose winners will get to spend a week training to be a fighter pilot, jumping out of airplanes or sailing on an aircraft carrier.
Top brass have reasoned that with people willing to spend thousands of dollars to pretend they’re everything from baseball stars to race car drivers, why not expose hundreds of thousands of contest hopefuls to some of the adventures the military has to offer – and maybe snag a few of those fantasy contestants who decide to make the dream reality.
“This is a way for ordinary people from ‘Main Street USA’ to connect with extraordinary people doing exciting, thrilling and challenging jobs,” says Navy Commander Yvette C. Brown-Wahler, a top recruiting official. “So if you’ve ever dreamed of parachuting with the Army’s Golden Knights, steering a 90,000-ton aircraft carrier or co-navigating the skies as an F-15 fighter pilot, this is your chance,” adds Yahoo!’s Tanya Singer.
To enter, contestants go to the Yahoo! Careers site to fill out a resume questionnaire and answer an essay question about why they should win. Each of the service branches – Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard – will pick a winner, and each winner will spend a week training in that service’s specialty. The Army winner, for example, will take AH-64 attack helicopter training as well as paratrooper training; the Coast Guard winner will learn how to become a rescue swimmer. The Marines will send you through a week of basic officers’ school.
“There are increasingly fewer Americans who have direct experience with today’s military,” Brown-Wahler notes. “With fewer military connections to society and fewer adult influencers to discuss career options, generations of youth receive less exposure to military opportunities, benefits, careers, and even its adventures.”
The contest began today, and runs through July 4 th .