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Army National Guard Issues Advertising Contract While Cutting Force

The Army National Guard (ARNG) Bureau awarded a contract to CACI to provide advertising aid and services to the various state organizations. The contract is worth up to $84 million if all options are exercised. The initial contract is for one year with four option years.

This is an expansion of work previously done for the ARNG by CACI. The contract will allow the different state ARNG to use State Media Services Program (SMSP) to support retention and recruiting by providing resources that allows state personnel to focus on other areas. The contract centralizes advertising and marketing capabilities and will provide focus and control on the messages that the ARNG wants to get across.

Of course at the same time the ARNG is meeting or exceeding all of its recruiting goals. They are actually planning a reduction in the forces as it currently exceeds its authorized size. One could question why the organization is spending a great deal of money to continue marketing to drive recruiting and retention when they have met their current size requirements.

Part of it is that it is a good investment in the future force. Enlisted members sign up for a specific time and many do not reenlist after that first tour is finished. There is also the reason that during the last eight years as the ARNG especially was called up to serve in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as being told by Congress to increase their size recruiting and retention rates were not that good. This meant the Army had to allow people to join who in the past would not have been allowed. The focus on recruiting new members may be to replace these people with ones who would meet the more stringent requirements in the past.

Much of the recent growth has been driven by the nation's economic situation as well as the enhanced bonuses that the states and the national Bureau have been providing in an attempt to stimulate recruitment. With the lack of jobs and the fact that the Guard is a good way to go to college there may have been more joining for those reasons. As the economy shakes off the current recession in the next few years it may be that the number wanting to join drops off. Ultimately the buying of these services is an investment in the future force.

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