Grinston Urges Soldiers to ‘Tell your Army Story’

Grinston Urges Soldiers to ‘Tell your Army Story’

Sergeant Major of the Army Michael Grinston speaks at the Leader Solarium at AUSA 2022 Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022. (Rod Lamkey for AUSA)
Photo by: Rod Lamkey for AUSA

The Army is launching several initiatives to combat shortfalls in recruiting, but one simple technique can be utilized by every single soldier—telling their Army story in their hometowns.

“We need to tell our stories in our hometowns,” Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael Grinston told a group of young leaders during the Association of the U.S. Army’s Annual Meeting and Exposition.

Grinston spoke Oct. 11 at the Leader Solarium, organized by the association’s Center for Leadership. Following three days of talks from Army leaders and civilian subject-matter experts and small-group discussions, the group of mid-grade NCOs and officers will brief Grinston and Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville on opportunities and challenges facing the Army.

Asking members of the audience where they were from and if they had been back since joining the Army, Grinston encouraged them to “talk to somebody [from home]” who may not have a good understanding of military service.

“I need you all just to go home. They like you, they are proud of you, they want to hear from you. We have to reconnect with our people,” he said.

Grinston also pointed to junior ROTC programs at high schools around the country as a source of potential recruits. Students in JROTC “are more likely to join the military, and are more likely to graduate high school,” he said.

The young leaders at the Solarium are the future of the Army, Grinston said, adding that he is proud of the efforts they are making to improve the force.

— Luc Dunn