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73 Percent of Gen Z Says They Know the Army; New National Survey Says They Don't

A cross-generational survey reveals the significant knowledge gap between today's youth and the U.S. Army that lies at the center of the "Know Your Army" campaign

A cross-generational survey from the U.S. Army points to a widening knowledge gap between Gen Z (individuals ages 18-25) and America's largest military branch that is contributing to significant misperceptions of service. This reality is the inspiration behind the Army's latest "Know Your Army" campaign, which aims to educate today's youth about the wealth of Army benefits that can help them achieve their personal and professional goals, now and in the future.

The "Know Your Army" National Consumer Survey, fielded March 7-15, 2022, across a representative sample of 3,000 U.S. adults aged 18-76, found that 73 percent of Gen Z claims to be familiar with the Army – the highest of any generation – but the data breakdown tells a different story about their limited understanding of the Army and its ability to deliver on their needs.

The survey data shows:

Gen Z Misperceptions of Army Service:

  • 30 percent believe most Army jobs are combat roles.

  • Only 51 percent think the Army allows time for recreation and hobbies, and they are the generation least likely to think Soldiers have work-life balance.

  • Few Gen Z respondents demonstrate awareness of the breadth of Army benefits available to Soldiers, including:

    • educational benefits, including tuition assistance (53 percent cite awareness) or the ability to earn up to full college tuition (53 percent) or advanced training certificates (36 percent);

    • home-buying benefits (34 percent);

    • early retirement (31 percent);

    • free health care for those who qualify (44 percent) and complete health care coverage (42 percent); and

    • paid parental leave (21 percent) and affordable childcare (23 percent).

Alignment Between Gen Z Career and Lifestyle Goals and Army Opportunities:

  • They're unsure what they want in a career (52 percent) or the best steps to reach their goals (45 percent) and compared to other generations they are the least satisfied with their current career path.

  • Their most coveted employer benefits include desired wage/salary (85 percent), health insurance (82 percent), and paid time off (80 percent).

  • They are most interested in careers in arts/design/entertainment (20 percent), medicine (17 percent), and tech (15 percent).

  • 90 percent wants to work for a company or organization that has a positive impact on society.

  • 66 percent agrees that if a company or organization didn't have a diverse workforce, they wouldn't want to work there.

"Know Your Army" is the Army's latest response to these and other common misperceptions of service with a direct look at how the Army supports life beyond job and duty. The campaign introduces the lesser-known tangible and intangible benefits of Army service which include thirty (30) days paid annual vacation, home-buying benefits through the VA loan, pension plans after only 20 years of service, paid parental leave, and a diverse mix of Soldiers from every state in the U.S. and beyond.

"The Army has what Gen Z is looking for in an employer – they just don't know it yet," said Maj. Gen. Alex Fink, Chief of Army Enterprise Marketing. "'Know Your Army' plays an important role in shifting this narrative by educating young people about the incredible range of benefits making it possible for today's one million Soldiers to thrive at work and at home. Whether you're looking to continue your education, start a family, or travel the world, the Army is committed to helping you build the future you're looking for."

Five, 15-second videos headline "Know Your Army" and draw a connection between what youth want and unmatched Army benefits for Soldier lifestyles and wellbeing, positioning service as a smart choice and investment in their futures. The campaign's promotional assets provoke consideration of service using a relatable and fact-based tone as well as a hint of humor and optimism to drive engagement and inspire confidence.

"Know Your Army" is reaching nationwide audiences through a phased approach on television, online, and podcast channels, as well as meeting Gen Z where they are across social and community platforms including Reddit, Google Discovery, YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. The campaign is also being promoted across GoArmy social channels and

The campaign follows the announcement of the Army's largest, most attractive incentives package ever, including up to $50,000 in bonuses, preferred duty station selection, access to student loan repayment relief, and shorter enlistment periods.

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