A few nights ago, a Navy Esports Twitch mod (a phrase unthinkable in 2018) confirmed some inevitable news: the Marine Corps and Air Force are working on their esports teams.
With the publicity being directed at the Army’s flirtation with First Amendment violations, the rest of the US Armed Forces have been building up their latest additions to their recruitment strategies. After AOC’s recent failure to halt the DOD-to-Twitch cashmoney pipeline, it will likely be a few months or years before we see serious serious challenges to the resources that allow these teams to flourish, though that will never stop the deluge of “what’s your favorite w4r cr1me” comments from gamers and posters.
The Air Force has toyed with video games as recently as 2018, when they released the web game Airman Challenge, which begged players to shoot more insurgents to gain more points. The Marines have been dropping in to esports tournaments over the past few months to play Call of Duty with a bunch of teens, just a few months after saying esports was for dumb babies who don’t appreciate marching bands. And just so this doesn’t get lost in the next few months when Marine Twitch mods (seriously, this is a stupid thing to have to say) deny that they are recruiters, here is official Marine Corps text:
Sgt. Warren Kelly, a recruiter with Recruiting Station Denver, was one of the recruiters who volunteered to compete in the tournament. His prior experience with gaming, led him to be immediately drawn to the tournament and its ability to connect players across a digital platform.
“Honestly, out of all the recruiting stories that I have heard and with me being a new recruiter myself, I’ve never heard of anyone doing this before,” said Kelly. “It was definitely a new concept and a new way to reach out to people. For instance, I met a lot of the people I know from playing video games.”
Sgt. Brian Kunst, a recruiter from Recruiting Station Salt Lake City, was another Marine who volunteered to participate in the tournament. Kunst ultimately helped lead his team to a first-place victory.
“I have been playing video games for a long time since I was about 10 years old and I haven’t stopped since then,” said Kunst. “Because of that, any event where I get to jump into a video game and play with anybody around the world I will absolutely do that.”
Both recruiters understand how this new way of engagement has the potential to benefit Marine recruiting in this new age where digital interaction is a vital means for communication.“Marines Drop In To eSports Tournament“
Now, you may be asking yourself, but wait, that’s nearly all the branches of the armed forces! Is there an esports team for the Coast Guard? No, but they game. The Army National Guard is building one too. The Space Force will have to wait until people stop forgetting they are a real branch now.