ND Army National Guard ranked 1st in nation for recruitment

The Army National Guard is gearing up for the start of the school year; a busy time for recruiters across the state.

Photo courtesy: North Dakota National Guard

Recruitment in North Dakota has been getting increasingly successful, so much in fact, that it's ranked number one in the country based on population percentage.

North Dakota's Army National Guard has gained an average of 257 new people for the last five years, and this year they will break 300.

Out of all branches of military, they own 54 percent of the state's recruitment market.

There is risk involved, but recruiters say staying close to home, getting health benefits and paid college tuition make the Army National Guard appealing to a lot of high-school students.

Another part of their success comes from hiring more recruiters.

There are now 30 recruiters spread throughout the state, allowing them to go to more cities that they were not previously able to go to, and spend more time within communities.

"We can get in there and be personal about it. We can be there all the time, or any time. I think that's definitely our biggest advantage," said Morgan Axelson, Williston Area Recruiting & Retention NCO. "Just building that relationship is huge, and it's harder to do if you have to drive five hours to do it, you know?"

In 2018, nationally, the Army National Guard recruited 78 percent of its goal, and North Dakota recruited 92 percent of its goal.