Date of Conferral



Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)


Business Administration


Kenneth Gossett


The U.S. Department of Defense spent $11 billion in enlistment and retention bonuses from 2006 to 2010, which had only a marginally positive effect on the enlistment rate for the Army. The case study addressed this business problem of recruiting by exploring marketing strategies successful recruiting professionals used to motivate individuals to join the military. The purpose of this study was to determine effective recruiting strategies. Therefore, it incorporated the conceptual framework of emergent strategy theory, which postulated the best strategies are neither completely planned nor completely random, but are rather an adaptation to changing dynamics and circumstances. The population consisted of 2 former recruiters, 1 from the Army and another from the Marine Corps, as well as 38 college students located in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Data for the study morphed from face-to-face interviews and 3 focus groups comprised of 10 to 15 students each, for the purpose of addressing the research question. Data analysis occurred through a process of coding and theming. The 9 themes identified included tell the story, advertising strategies, and fit for duty. A lesson learned from these themes was that the key for successful recruiting strategies lies in aligning with the wants and needs of individuals in the target demographic. If senior leaders in the Department of Defense followed the recommendations provided, each of the branches of the military service could potentially achieve higher recruiting rates at a lower cost. The study could result in social change whereby eligible recruits could view the Army and Marine Corps as professions of arms in which individuals can live out their ideals of patriotism but also have a good quality of life due to the benefits of military service.