Mission Support Battalion Soldiers
by U.S. Army Victoria McAdoo
September 12, 2023
There are various misconceptions about Army service. A bevy of myths paint the picture of a Soldier with a broad brush that does not accurately reflect the true value, advantages, and opportunities available as a Soldier in today’s Army.
Tucked away at Fort Knox, Kentucky, the U.S. Army Mission Support Battalion (USAMSB) seeks opportunities across the nation to change that perspective. With professional fishermen, rock stars, and world class strongmen and women, “Be All You Can Be!”, may be an old slogan, but these Soldiers are anything but traditional.
The battalion is comprised of three companies, the Recruiting Outreach Company, (The ROC) the National Conventions Division and the Mobile Exhibit Company.
April, 23, 2023 - USAMSB's National Convention Division prepares to engage with spectators at the DECA conference in Orlando, Florida. (Image created by USA Patriotism! from U.S. Army photo by SFC Charles Johnson.)
The ROC is home to some of the Army’s most unique recruiting assets. The Warrior Fitness Team, the Esports team, the ‘As You Were’ rock band, and the Outdoors team. Created and designed as soft touch assets, these companies use shared passions to connect with future Soldiers and show there is more to being a Soldier than what is portrayed on television.
The CrossFit athletes and Strongman/Strongwoman athletes are part of the Warrior Fitness Team. With a fully equipped facility on post, these athletes train at an elite level up to four times a day to compete across the nation in well-known competitions like Wodapalooza, and the Arnolds. Like all the competitors in the ROC, these athletes have a specific Military Operation Specialty (MOS).
Captain Syndey Moskovitz is a Field Artillery officer and Warrior Fitness Team CrossFit athlete. “I think it is really cool that the Army supports Soldiers pursuing hobbies outside of military service;” stated Moskovitz. A sentiment shared by Master Sergeant, Josh Watkins, a Military Police Officer, and member of the U.S. Army Outdoors team. “Not only does the Army support these programs, but they have found a unique way to incorporate them into the recruiting process. It makes a difference when you are talking to young people, and they see you as a person. It makes the conversation easier and more natural;” Watkins said.
In addition to competitions, the Soldiers, conduct high school visits, attend college fairs, and share their Army story about why they chose to serve and the benefits that have come from that choice. “It’s awesome!” said Staff Sergeant Lance Young, a Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic and U.S. Army Esports competitor. “I love the look people give me when I tell them I am a Soldier, and my current assignment is to engage with people using a shared passion for online competition. It’s not what you first think of when you think of an Army soldier and that is what resonates with people and gets them engaged to talk to a recruiter.”
The ‘As You Were’ rock band writes and performs their own music and has shared stages with well-known artist like Foo Fighters, Bruno Mars, Brandi Carlisle, and Metallica. They have performed at some of the nation’s biggest festivals like South by Southwest, Louder than Life and Bourbon and Beyond.
August 24, 2023 - Members of the USAMSB's, "As You Were" band take a break from rehearsals to speak to interviews about an upcoming performance. (Image created by USA Patriotism! from U.S U.S. Army photo by Victoria McAdoo.)
The National Convention Division and the Mobile Exhibit Company travel the nation, bringing the Army experience to life. The exhibitors for these companies are all recruiters familiar with the questions, concerns, and stories about Army service. They set up at festivals, fairs, malls, and schools giving visitors a first-hand 3D experience of how the Army is using Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM), to be leaders in today’s competitive job market. The Mobile Exhibit Company consist of a fleet of 22 interactive mobile exhibits including Extreme trucks, portable band stages, and immersive Army air rescue with oculus simulation.
The National Conventions Division (NCD), connects with professionals around the nation, highlighting the Army as an alternative way to pay for the high cost of schooling for in demand professions. With some exhibits spanning the size of a large classroom, NCD has become a recognizable staple, with interactive displays requested at annual conventions across the nation.
The return on investment for these unique assets is high. At some events, over 300 interested prospects have engaged with Soldiers from the battalion, and foot traffic into local recruiting stations has increased. “Once people realize they have options within Army service, you see the prospects body language change from uncertainty to excitement;” stated First Sergeant Mario Harris, a Recruiter, and the First Sergeant of the Mobile Exhibit Company.
All the Soldiers in the Mission Support Battalion are active-duty Soldiers and Soldiers first. They are held to the same physical fitness standards of all Army Soldiers, encouraged to pursue higher education, and given leadership opportunities to continue professional upward mobility in their designated MOS. These Soldiers have health care, housing, a paycheck, and head start in the career of their choice. The use of these unique assets is truly beneficial to the recruitment campaign. With over 150 career opportunities, this battalion aims to show how the army is evolving with the changing times, and new recruitment efforts that are more authentic and offer a broader range of options.
“The Soldier-athletes and exhibitors are proof that the Army supports the whole Soldier, and their interests and has found a way to incorporate that into the recruiting and accessions mission.” Captain Chris Phillips, an Armor Officer, and the commander of the ROC said. “The Soldiers do not get to stay here forever; they have to move on. But while they are here, they get to do what they love for a living, share that with the public and use their passion and talents to deconstruct some common misconceptions about the Army, and hopefully inspire the next generation of Soldiers.”
Our Valiant Troops | I Am The One | Veterans | Citizens Like Us
U.S. Army Gifts | U.S. Army | Army National Guard | U.S. Department of Defense