Dress for recruiting

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by Baz44, May 18, 2006.

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  1. Hi Guys

    Just a quick message to get a straw poll of opinion.
    Our command team was discussing the above recently and if it was a good or a bad idea to have soldiers on the streets recruiting dressed in desert kit. The opinions was fairly split. On one side Desert DPM is the new Temperate at least for the next 10 years- but should we be so obvious, on the other hand Iraq and Afghan is a ploitical hot popatoe and un popular camapign with the masses right now so shoudl we highlight the issue so publically?

    What we all agreed on is that soldiers on the streets in Trade dress sells the diversity of life in the armed forces but the questionm is how far you go.

    Would be interested in thought from the floor.

  2. We tried this a while back. Unfortunatly, it didn't have had any major benefit to the recruiting numbers.
  3. Recent trend at county shows and the like is for RRTs to be present in as many orders of dress as possible - purely to demonstrate the range of employments/roles and to prompt questions from Joe Public (such as don't you have enough CS 95 to equip a whole RRT...). The advntage there is that you're on, sort of, secure ground. Press gangs patrolling the streets in dessies can be a trifle fraught: there are more opportunities to bump into the less than totally enthused about our current foray into Mesopotamia.
  4. When we have sent soldiers onto the street its usually with the Regimental caravan which leaves little scope for kit or window dressing.
    I have tended to have soldiers in CS95, Des Dpm, Tropicals etc to show diversity. I would agree having all dressed in Des kit is OTT.
    With a caravan too options in a town centre can be limited so we tend to vary the dress of the soldiers to enhance the stand and also as mentioned before by other posters to act as a hook to leading questions from the public which promote conversation. The rest then is down to the personality of the soldiers on the stand (all vetted for the right attitude and desired end result)
    The real issue really is the des kit and whether its just too in your face or honest - lets face it most who join todays armed forces will end up in Iraq or Afghan in the next 10 years. But should we be pushing this obviuos in house fact at such an early point? The jury seems split accordingly

  5. We have found that by dressing in deserts has helped slightly with our recruiting, mainly through the fact that they are curious to see wether we have been to Iraq and Afghanistan (which we have). But dont you all tell them that there is a very good chance they will be deployed on Ops anyway? We are instructed to tell them at the opening brief on our recruit selection weekends.
  6. Unit recruiting tops always look the biz and gets away from the "oh the army recruiting stands there again" and i'ds one your TA and your respective capbadge might sound stupid but the average joe doesn't know the difference all they see is a soldier. its also a more corporate image which seems to work for the regs.

    As for dessies i think they should be worn, however a bit of planning to make sure the local student and anti war scumbags aren't around in vast numbers.
  7. well, we'd probably get a lot more young ladies joining if we didnt, but overall I think it's proably a good idea to. :D
  8. Have seen the Lancers and WFR round our way recently both groups wearing regimental sweatshirts with C95 trousers and the only people to approach them were old fellas wanting to talk about their time in.
    To be honest I think the Desert warry look will go down a treat because lets be honest what does the average young lad want to do, go fight look rambo like.
    All I was doing was going to the shop to buy a loaf when in my path was some guys lookin the buisness so ended up joining up.
  9. The wearing of desert combats for recruiting is likely to provoke a response from members of the public who are not potential recruits. To this end all recruiters taking part in a display with personnel in desert combats should be briefed and rehearsed in how to deal with potential negative reactions.

    On the other hand true potential recruits are likely to be attracted by dessies and interested in hearing of the experiences of those who have worn them on ops. Don't wear them if you haven't been anywhere sandy - smacks of waltism.

    Before deploying on recruiting in desert combats confirm that there is no local instruction prohibiting it. Check with your unit security officer if you feel there may be an issue. Try it out, if the results are worthwhile continue with it. If the problems outweigh the benefits, stop it. But be prepared to walk away from any unpleasant situation; while it may be galling that some people do not wish to see our own military on our streets, it is impossible to recruit in such situations. This of course applies whether in dessies, temperates or any other form of dress.
  10. hey guys when i first read this thread i thought it was someone who are going to a recruitment office, so i would like to flip the question over for a sec and ask does it matter what you wear when you first walk into the recruitment office or going to see your local TA unit ?
  11. No, anything from lounge suit to chav wear is acceptable; its the person we want to recruit, not their dress sense. But avoid wearing any uniform unless you have just walked round from the ACF hut or you will be suspected of waltism.

    What is a walt?
  12. Auld-Yin

    Auld-Yin LE Reviewer Book Reviewer Reviews Editor

    IMHO having members of the RRT in various forms of dress is good and does show up the diversity. But whatever dress the team are in, make sure that one person is in No2 or better still No 1 dress complete with medals (pick the guy with the most). A row of shiny tin on someone's chest is a huge draw at recruitment stands.

    Make sure the bemedalled one is genuine and not dressed for the part 'cos he/she will be found out very quickly!
  13. I'll let you all into a little secret. If you are recruiting for the TA, you are trying to recruit people whi have already made the decision at 16/17/18 etc not to join the army, but who have instead decided to get a 'proper job', a mortgage, a family etc.

    So if you go out looking like the regular army, that's what they think you are, and they won't bother even looking at you.

    If you are basically in uniform and have the usual black box press gang wagon, watch how hard people will try to avoid you. I have watched from a distance at a county show, the crowd moving down the 'street' of stalls, and nearly all (with the exception of ex-army dads with 5yr old boys) actively move away from the recruiting stand.

    So if you really want to recruit, think about this - the first thing you need to tell joe public is that you are the same as him - you have a proper job, a house with a mortgage, and you work 9-5 as a brain surgeon, bouncer, builder, brickie, burglar, barrister - and this is what you do for fun.

    How the hell do you do that? A number of answers, but first you have to understand how important the point is. read the last paragraph until you are bored, then you will start to get the point. Next, understand that joe public has no idea what the TA is. Ask your mates at work what you do in the TA - they all know you disappear at weekends, but what else - they will probably stop thinking about it at that point. How many of them have any idea what the TA is (and these are people who know you, let alone JP himself) and how many of them know that they could have joined the TA - I bet none of them ever thought they could - as they thought it was basically a crap bit of the regular army - like if you go for a shelf stacker job at tescos and they only give you a part time job - that's what they think the TA is compared to the reg army.

    So your recruiting message has to be really clever.

    We use as many different coloured rugby shirts as people can get their hands on and on the back in big letters, we have our jobs - ie SOLICITOR - and sure enough, a solicitor will say - the army doesn't have solicitors - whats all this aboutr. Answer - I'm not in the army! Yes you are, you are in green kit (waist down)... No, I'm a solicitor, and at the weekends, i do a bit of army.

    In other words, I am the same as you.

    Now - the clever bit - AND YOU CAN BE THE SAME AS ME - they have worked out for themselves that something they had cast off as an idea years ago is actually very much within their reach while still doing their normal civvy job.....and now you start recruiting.

    Ditch the recruiting trailer. Get a smart blow-up tent from your RFCA - cost £3k ish - and fill it with really good dvds or playstation games to attract the youngsters, and for their adults, have mug shots of all your TA guys'n'gals in their civvy kit at their civvy jobs, with only a tiny bit at the bottom saying 'chef, loamshire rifles'.

    So get the message:

    - joe public doesnt want to join the army (and he doesn't know what the TA is).
    - you have to be the same as him, not the same as the army, to attract him.
    - when you have convinced him that you are the same, now you can recruit him.

    and finally, girls - no essex facelift hairstyles - it doesn't attract the girls or the guys - so hair shoulder length - wair it loose, longer than that, just a pony tail, and have a card from your CO in your pocket for the moment when a regular bore accosts you about standards, pull out the card and say 'ring this number and ask my CO to explain his policy...sir'.

    Trust me - this stuff works - and you already know that looking like the regular army doesn't work.

  14. Septimus, you are absolutely bang on.

    Other posters get confused about being as 'Army' as they can and its a mistake that we are all pushed down by the regular army recruiting element but as you said, they miss the point of who the TA is trying to recruit.

    Oh, and I like the idea about the card with COs number on for Col idiot to ring as he complains that we aren't presenting a 'One Army Recruiting' concept when we're out and about.
  15. Septimus

    Difficult to tell from your thought provoking post above whether or not you sit with the OAR camp or outside it. I am guessing, but it would seem that OAR is not for you as evidently you believe that if you mix the Regular and TA message you will fail to attract the right material into the TA.

    Or am I wrong? Before commenting further I would be interested in your thoughts on the OAR Project.