(Disclaimer: The satirical story has been created purely for humor and entertainment purposes.)

Unless you live under a rock, you’re probably aware the U.S. military is mired in a bit of a recruiting crisis. With all branches, except the Marine Corps, expected to fail to hit target numbers this year, it’s becoming clear that new strategies are needed.

Pulling from high schools and cornering unsuspecting mall workers isn’t cutting it. Instead, here are some thoughts about locations that just might yield better numbers.

1. Golden Corral

Set up shop outside the all-you-can-eat fried fiesta that is Golden Corral. Diners there have iron stomachs, which is a boon for the military — considering mess hall food requires as much.

If a recruit can handle the Golden Corral Bourbon Street Chicken, they can handle boot camp.

2. West Virginia

John Denver may have wanted country roads to take him home to West Virginia, but not everyone feels that way. In fact, a 2022 poll from Wallethub listed the Mountain State as the saddest in the entire country.

Perhaps recruits would be elated to trade in the state’s rolling hills for seeing the world and all its exotic locales ... like Twentynine Palms, California, and Minot, North Dakota.

3. Used Car Dealerships

Enlistees are infamous for blowing their first paycheck on muscle cars that come with exorbitant interest rates.

Rather than sending newly minted E-1s out into the world to find predatory auto shops, recruiters could simply be there to offer jobs to those who already blew cash on that cherry red Mustang with no Carfax report. It’s called getting ahead.

4. Partner with a Girl Scout Cookie Booth

Sweeten the deal for recruits — literally. If you sign your life away to Uncle Sam, you get a free box of Samoas.

Plus, no one works harder than an 8-year-old in pigtails trying to sell enough boxes of Do-Si-Dos to win a trip to the Mall of America, and military recruiters could learn a thing or two from that kind of hustle.

5. Crossfit Gyms

There is no place more like the military than a Crossfit gym. Not only are the members physically fit enough to pass PT tests, they’ve also got a religious level devotion to the craft.

And anyone who commits to a community like that is prime for the military. No man — or monster truck tire — left behind.

Observation Post is the Military Times one-stop shop for all things off-duty. Stories may reflect author observations.

Sarah Sicard is a Senior Editor with Military Times. She previously served as the Digitial Editor of Military Times and the Army Times Editor. Other work can be found at National Defense Magazine, Task & Purpose, and Defense News.

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