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Recruiting with video games

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RALEIGH, NC – If you’ve ever been recruited into the U.S. Army, it was likely through a conventional face-to-face meeting or perhaps a phone call.

What you need to know

The local U.S. Army recruiter says playing video games is his primary recruiting method

Army Recruiter Staff Sgt. Laquon Morris spends four to five hours each day playing video games and recruiting people

Morris is part of the Army’s World of Warcraft esports team

But for a US Army recruiter from the Triangle, these methods are not as effective as the ones he uses for hours almost every day.

“Hello, have you ever considered joining the Army?” Sgt. Laquon Morris asks a stranger at a busy Raleigh mall. “Have you been arrested before or something?”

Morris asks these questions for a living.

“I like to speak to people in my age group who look below the weight limit from a distance. I work out a lot in the gym, “said Morris.

Last year when the pandemic broke out, Morris only recruited two people into the Army through face-to-face interactions.

He recruited another 13 through social media and video games.

“It blew me away. There was no way this guy said he wanted to join the army because he saw me play video games,” said Morris.

It all started when Morris was just 6 years old.

“Started with a little Nintendo game color,” said Morris.

His love for gaming never faded and in 2019 he joined the World of Warcraft Army esports team.

“A lot of people don’t know we have a game program, a lot of them say, ‘No way, no, you don’t,'” said Morris.

But they do, and it’s Morris’s job to let them know.

A few weeks ago, Morris recruited two more people at GalaxyCon in Raleigh.

The U.S. Army has set up a play area, and Morris says she spoke to nearly 400 people about joining the Army.

“I think they can relate to me better, it builds a bit of confidence,” said Morris.

He spends most of his working day cold calling, emailing, and talking to people about joining the army.

But after work, he spends four to five hours playing and streaming.

He says it’s the best way to get people to join the army.

“It’s not just about going to war, you can be anything you want in the army. I’ve always wanted to be a professional player, now I’m on a team, “said Morris.

While these recruiting numbers may sound small, Morris says that each recruiter is likely to only recruit one or two people per month.

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