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Nominee Suggests Army Aim at Younger Market for Recruits

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U.S. Army
Thursday, August 23, 2018

The retired Army colonel nominated to become assistant secretary of the Army for manpower and reserve affairs could bring experience in military talent management, marketing and recruiting to the post.

Casey Wardynski, a former economics professor and Office of Economic and Manpower Analysis director at the U.S. Military Academy, also worked as superintendent of city schools in Huntsville, Ala., and has three children serving in the military. One is in the Coast Guard, one is at Fort Campbell, Ky., and the third is headed to Fort Bragg, N.C.

“I will bring to my duties a heart for soldiers, their families and our Army civilians, tempered by my experiences, and the inspiration and encouragement of loved ones and friends,” he told the Senate Armed Services Committee at an Aug. 21 confirmation hearing.

Wardynski said he sees great hope from getting the right people into the right assignments, both soldiers and civilians, adding the Army can meet recruiting needs by refocusing efforts. He also supports more flexible assignment systems, especially for dual-service couples.

With more high school students entering college, the Army needs to tailor its marketing message. It needs to get students focused on the idea of military service before the age of 17, he said. “To do that, I think we have to use new technologies, new approaches,” said Wardynski, whose most recent job has been as CEO of FISH Technologies, an entertainment technology company.

The Army also needs more focus on students who start but don’t finish college, he said, estimating 400,000 people leave community colleges each year without finishing and another 400,000 leave four-year colleges without a degree. “That is a market the Army could approach,” he said.

Wardynski’s nomination is one of several Pentagon executive appointments pending before the Senate.