With the military on the brink of possibly opening more jobs to women, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus recently announced a Navy Department-wide mandate to boost the number of female enlisted recruits to one-in-four starting in 2016.
At the same time, Pentagon officials are in the midst of examining huge changes to the military personnel system that would drastically change the way Marines look for future enlisted Marines and officers.
Lt. Gen. Mark Brilakis, second from left and shown here as a two-star, meets with recruiters in Maryland. Brilakis serves as head of Marine Corps Recruiting Command and Manpower and Reserve Affairs.
Photo Credit: Sgt. Amber Williams/Marine Corps
All of that could pose new challenges for Marine recruiters, said Lt. Gen. Mark Brilakis, the head of Marine Corps Recruiting Command. Here's a look at what's ahead for Marines in his charge.
Meanwhile, the service will continue to push its high-profile marketing campaigns aimed at young viewers of sporting events and drive forward with its standard mission of shipping enough bodies to bootcamp and Officer Candidates School to fill the service's future operational needs, said Lt. Gen. Mark Brilakis the commander of MCRC.
More female recruits
"They are going to be told what the floor is, and they are going to be recruiting females," Brilakis said.
"We are going to increase, over the next three years, that overall number and ... we will be over 10 percent of our end-strength as female."
"Where that ends depends on what the market will bear and quite frankly we suffer probably the lowest number in what you call propensity -- those that are thinking of military service -- amongst women," he said. "I think we can turn that around, but I think all the services have concerns about getting to that particular percentage overall."
'Force of the future' Direct commissions and enlisting
"The one that always comes to mind in that discussion is cyber," Brilakis said, as leaders are determined to do more on the cyber-warfare front.
Discussion of the topic was jump started by Future of the Force Initiative, a massive Defense Department personnel overhaul that seeks to revamp military careers to improve retention and stock the services with capable personnel as they compete with private industry for talent.
The trick, he added, is identifying an urgent need and then deciding how to test recruits and officer candidates to ensure they meet basic criteria.
New recruiting campaigns
In the year ahead the Marine Corps will continue to push its new two-part marketing campaign released last year which includes two video spots, The Wall and The Land We Love.
"Both have resonated well," Brilakis said. "I never enough money to put them on as often as I would like. But, you are going to see those things more often where our market is. We are looking for young men and women between the ages of 17 and 27 and we find them primarily in sporting events."