Teenage Gamers Are Being Recruited By the Air Force

The U.S. Air Force is currently working on a strategy that they feel will help in recruiting teenagers.  The idea is to use the internet that would assist in making a transition from flying a plane in a game to doing so in reality; in other words, teenage gamers are actively being recruited to join the Air Force.

Every generation differs from the previous one, which means recruiting tactics that were successful previously may not work for today’s generation.  Keeping this in mind, the Air Force has decided to use a strategy that relies on utilizing a medium that teenagers are very familiar with; the social platform known as the internet. 

Source: military.com

The Air Force is Using the Internet to Recruit Teenage Gamers

Writer Oriana Pawlyk from Military.com posted recently on how the U.S. Air Force is trying a unique way in recruiting future members in which the focus is on teenage gamers.  Lt. General Steven Kwast, head of Air Education and Training Command, said that taking advantage of something that’s already been invented. It’s called the Internet, and it’s called big data. 

According to Kwast, the service is collecting information to create a game that will be featured online for high school students.  He went on to say that the data will be collected by the service without any violation of one’s privacy; players would be anonymously and would be only identified by their IP address.

Last Thursday in Washington, D.C. during a breakfast with reporters, Kwast said that “if they’re interested in flying and they see this game the Air Force has … if I find a 15-year-old kid that’s just brilliant, I’ll probably send a message to that IP address saying, ‘Go tell your mom and dad that you are special and that I will offer you a $100,000 signing bonus and I will send you to Harvard for four years for free.'”

Source: threye.com

Being Judged by How You Play the Game

Kwast feels that the game, which the first iteration of it should be available to play around the summer, will help to give insight about each player.  Using a few scenarios for the players to work through, the Air Force can measure collaborative thinking, critical, contextual, creative, constructive and conceptual skills of the individual. 

He said that I can tell if you’re empathetic. I can tell if you cheat. I can tell if you cut corners [or] if you’re morally courageous under pressure or if you save your own skin.  The game gives me insight into their insight, their skill, their knowledge, their attributes and their characteristics.  And I don’t need to know their name, but I know that ‘IP address so-and-so’ has really got unique skills to be a helicopter pilot, or an F-35 pilot or whatever it may be, and then I can start recruiting that person … marrying up their propensity, their passion and their talents with my requirement.

The information used in creating the game comes from the service’s pilot training next initiative, which looks at how pilots can train and learn faster by using existing and emerging technologies that can decrease the time and cost of training; yet, utilizing the same depth of understanding to create quality pilots.

Source: airforce-technology.com

The training also includes the use of artificial intelligence and virtual reality for getting airman in an aircraft at a quicker pace and the potential of expansion of streamlined training.  One other thing to note is the game will not necessarily be limited to pilots, according to Kwast.  I can have maintainers now that can be just a general mechanic.  For every person doing a job in the Air Force, this [training] applies.