The army have launched a recruitment campaign as numbers of university graduates applying to the armed forces has fallen.
Beginning at the University of Nottingham and touring 20 universities in the space of 6 to 7 weeks the scheme is aimed at raising awareness of the benefits of working for the army whilst dispelling certain misperceptions.
Impact visited the truck situated outside Portland on Friday and spoke to some of the officers. Roddy Shaw-Brown, Senior Careers Adviser, explained the purpose of the project.
The scheme was designed with the purpose of showing students that the army is: “about so much more than guns and uniforms”. 81% of roles were filled in 2014/2015 compared with 95% the previous year.
“The campaign is called ‘With Heart and Mind’ because being an officer takes heart. You work to make a difference to people in the world such as the work the army has done in Sierra Leone providing essential resources to help tackle the Ebola crisis,” he explained, “And it is ‘with Mind’ because there is so much more to the army than people think, being an army officer provides intellectual challenges.”
He went on to stress the projects that the army are involved in beyond warfare and combat such as intervening in the London Olympics when the security team were unable to cope and helping to address the problems with poaching in Mozambique.
He emphasised that the purpose of the project is to show undergraduates the opportunities and career paths the army offers beyond traditional combat.
The truck included a station in which visitors could attempt the ‘Bleep Test’ as a way of illustrating the level of fitness an officer would require and a virtual reality experience called ‘Oculus Rift’ in which the participate would experience the assault course at Sandhurst.
There was also an interactive station called ‘Winter Aid’ testing participates leadership skills and ability to make decisions under pressure alongside a ‘Role Finder’ station showing students the list of possible careers within the armed forces.
Each participate will have their scores recorded using dog tags and at the end of the tour the one with the highest score could win a real life parachute jump with the Red Devils.
Image: Hannah Eves