A military recruiter works to find people who would be worthwhile or appreciated members of a military force and to get those people to join the military. These types of recruitment can often be voluntary, and in these situations a recruiter usually works to make military service or careers more appealing to as many people as possible. In some situations, military recruitment is not voluntary. This is referred to as conscription and in these cases the work of a military recruiter is less like an advertiser and more involved in finding those people who meet the requirements for conscription.
Nearly every country that maintains a standing military force utilizes the services of military recruiters in one way or another. These recruiters may be primarily focused on helping people who come looking for information or more aggressive in finding those who are qualified to serve in the military and actively appealing to them to do so. In certain countries and situations, the work of a military recruiter can also be finding people who fit the requirements for service and conscripting them into the military.
In countries that do not utilize conscription, the role of a military recruiter is typically to find people who may be interested in military service, suggest service to those who are qualified but may not be interested, and generally spread word of the advantages and opportunities found in military service. These campaigns are often targeted toward young men, typically those just finishing general education and considering a path for future growth and development. Commonly offered by recruiters as an alternative to higher education, or a way of funding such education, military service is usually shown in as positive a light as possible.
Military recruiters in the United States, for example, often use features such as the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, commonly known as the GI Bill, to help recruit potential candidates into military service. They may look for people who do not have the financial backing to otherwise attend a college or university and give those people an opportunity to have the government fund their education. For those uninterested in higher education, a military recruiter will often suggest the military as an alternate path for advancement and gaining skills that can be used for future employment.
Similarly, patriotism is often used as a source of inspiration by recruiters, who appeal to a person’s sense of duty to suggest that he or she defend his or her country. This has been done in a number of different countries and is commonly seen during times of war when a country’s populace may already be feeling a sense of patriotism or defensive xenophobia. At these times, the imagery often used in recruitment advertisements focuses on the common man or woman rising up in service to his or her country.