This is Detachment 225's recruiting plan for the University of Notre Dame (UND), Bethel College (BC), Holy Cross College (HCC), Indiana University South Bend (IUSB), Saint Mary’s College (SMC), Trine University (TU) and Valparaiso University (VALPO). Approximately half of our cadet corps are UND students who are nationally recruited. Valparaiso University, Trine University, and St. Mary’s College make up the bulk of the remaining cadets, with smaller numbers from Indiana University in South Bend, Bethel College, and Holy Cross College.
In accordance with the National Recruiting Strategy, Det 225 follows the “critical path” method by first identifying who out most qualified leads will be, and recruiting them using a full spectrum of tools, starting from web-based interactions such as email, followed by face-to-face meetings, recruiting booths, and large audience presentations. Our market section analyzes our 3 and 4 year approaches for college and highschool prospects.
Due to the national nature of Notre Dame’s applicants, we spend extra time on our cyberspace assets such as our website and our RFI response processes to provide global reach and access to interested applicants worldwide. We also work closely with the University Admissions Office, as well as with the other cross-town affiliate admissions staff, to obtain a list of accepted and confirmed students. These students are then sent an email that directs them to appropriate websites and explains the benefits of AFROTC. Additionally, to focus our recruiting efforts, we work with specific departments such as Notre Dame’s College of Engineering to execute presentations for HS students interested in STEM studies. Finally, we work with the crosstown advisors to schedule recruiting events during new student orientation sessions and HS student visitation programs to maximize efficiency and efficacy.
Retention activities focus on morale and esprit de corps. Summer programs such as Project GO, PDTs and base visits are strong retention activities that also develop cadets into more well-rounded future officers. At least 25% of our LLABs are dedicated to morale and esprit de corps. We host guest speakers and distinguished visitors to share perspectives in leadership and the military profession. We also host the Annual Flying Irish Basketball tournament, a national event that invites approximately 50 ROTC teams from around the country to participate in the largest student-run activity in the nation.
Detachment 225 coordinates recruiting efforts with RDAs, ALOs, local recruiters, and other RFCs/services to maximize success.
- We work jointly with Army and Navy ROTC recruiters to combine efforts for recruiting events.
- Local recruiters pass along members interested in ROTC to our unit. We also work with them to provide services such as TBAS and AFOQT testing.
- We work with the ALO’s to help cover HSSP interviews, referring students interested in USAFA as well as receiving leads from our ALO partners for applicants .
- We work with local AFJROTC programs to execute recruiting and MWR events, such as the 100 year JROTC Anniversary Run.
Det 225 is responsible for Zip Codes 463XX-468XX.
Host and Crosstown Relations
We want to promote Air Force ROTC as an “Air Force” program, not a “Notre Dame” program. We continue to build relations with our schools. The commander meets monthly with the Provost Office at Notre Dame, and the Commander and RFC visit crosstown advisors at least annually to discuss recruiting and updates to the program.
Web-based Recruiting Plan
After rebuilding our website to focus on continuity and processes, we have integrated our recruiting plan into our website to create a broadly accessible and transparent source of continuity, processes, and important events for cadre, cadets and students. This will also allow our crosstown advisors access to our processes and the most current and updated recruiting goals. We have also provided information for active duty members that wish to partake in any of our volunteer recruiting programs.
Crosstown Recruiting and Retention
We are always aiming to increase crosstown recruiting and retention. We have at least one event scheduled for all 7 host and crosstown universities every term, with most schools having multiple events. We have also supported crosstown commissioning ceremonies and have made an effort to hold more LLABs and MWR events at crosstown campuses. Finally, to maximize recruiting efforts, we have scheduled our first AS 100 lesson to be taught on-campus for our two farthest crosstown schools, which are both a 1.5 hour drive from Notre Dame.
We leverage the presence of Navy and Army ROTC programs through a joint effort for recruiting events, MWR events, and sporting competitions. The Commander's Cup (CC Cup) is an annual tri-military event with three sporting seasons: the Navy hosts a football tournament in the fall, the Air Force hosts a basketball tournament in the winter, and the Army hosts a soccer tournament in the spring. The Air Force has won the CC Cup for the last two years! We also hold several joint University Events such as the President's Run, a Pass-In-Review, and the Joint Commissioning Ceremony. Finally, we have leveraged the joint community to enrich our education and training program through guest lectures/speakers, joint PT sessions, and cross-service lessons.
Crosstown Recruiting and Retention
We want to promote Air Force ROTC as an “Air Force” program, not a “Notre Dame” program. Due to the large number of crosstown schools and the distance of two of our most productive schools, which are both about 1.5 hours away, recruiting and retention of quality crosstown cadets has been a continuing challenge. We will address crosstown recruiting through an increased presence on campus, not only through routine recruiting events, but also through creative solutions that will increase the visibility and accessibility of ROTC – for example, we have scheduled the first AS 100 classes to be held at our farthest crosstown campuses. Additionally, we will address crosstown retention by promoting LLABs and MWR events to be held at various crosstown campuses.
Rising Costs and Admission Standards
The increased admission standards and cost of attendance at Notre Dame make it difficult to recruit for the host school through the local market. Instead, we have focused our local market recruiting efforts toward those that feed our crosstown institutions. Additionally, the difficulty of admissions into Notre Dame must be factored into our Commander's Leadership Scholarship (CLS) process. Therefore, we only offer the CLS to incoming freshmen who have already been accepted into Notre Dame via Early Admissions to avoid giving the scholarship to a prospect that will not gain acceptance into Notre Dame. Finally, most of our schools require Type 1 or 2 scholarships - only 1 of our 7 schools (IUSB) is a state school for which we can recruit with a Type 7 scholarship. Due to the high cost of attendance coupled with the difficulty of obtaining Type 1 and Type 2 scholarships, we lose some prospective cadets to our sister services that offer more lucrative scholarship benefits.
While we have had measured success with recruiting technical and foreign language degrees, minority recruiting has historically been a challenge since our local and in-college market is not rich in minorities. We have focused some recruiting efforts towards in-college minority events where applicable. Along with the RFC, the cadet recruiting officer will solicit assistance from University sponsored minority organizations and clubs (Hispanic Club, Asian Club, etc) to distribute flyers at their meetings. We also plan to further develop a solid relationship with the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs and will attend functions that they sponsor. One of the major events is the “Minority Accepted Students Day On Campus” at Notre Dame. This will be an opportunity for us to talk directly to minority students who had been admitted to the university and answer questions concerning scholarships and the ROTC program. As a final complement to our minority-recruiting plan, we regularly advertised all of our events on the Multicultural Student Affairs Home Page, which offered a scrolling calendar of events.