BuShips:CO Manual/Activities/Recruiting

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The best way to grow your chapter’s numbers is by recruiting. If you are a CO of a Destroyer and want to upgrade, you are going to want to recruit members to fill those gaps. Even if you don’t want to upgrade, it’s a good idea to recruit so that you can get some backups to the command staff you do have. There is a possibility that members may move on to other chapters of their own, and starting on an established chapter is a great way to learn the ropes. Whatever your reason, BuPlan has all the tools available to you for recruiting. You can contact them at buplan@trmn.org or via the Facebook group with any questions, and there are resources available for download from the BuPlan forum in the Marketing and Recruiting subforum. Don’t hesitate to reach out to them, they want to help you!

There are many ways you can recruit for your chapter. Use what works best for you and your crew. When recruiting, try to find people who have common interests that you and your crew have.


Recruiting can be done anywhere, at any time; it’s not something you have to limit to conventions. These don’t have to be events you host, even just attending an event can get inquiries. It’s easy to drum up lots of interest by showing up to events in con minimum. If you own a uniform, you might get even more attention, and more interest as a result. A group in con minimum shows there is something going on and people will want to know what you’re about. Reach out to BuPlan for photographs showing members recruiting or how they have convention tables set up. Here are a few places you may want to consider when recruiting for your chapter and the organization:

  • Book clubs
  • Book releases
  • Conventions
  • Festivals
  • Fundraisers
  • Game nights
  • Races
  • Social dinner
  • Volunteering
  • Word of mouth

You may also contact the COs of the holding chapters if you are looking for members. Be sure to see if any of them are in your chapters local area for ease of contact, and to make sure they have the opportunity to attend your chapter events.

If you want more ideas and suggestions, email BuPlan@trmn.org.


The best way to get people to join is to be yourself and engage the potential recruit in conversation. Learn what interests they may have: do they know David Weber’s works? Are they more of a gamer than a reader? Perhaps cosplay is what drives them. Use the information you learn to entice them to join: we have an extensive uniform manual with lots of branches for variation if they love to dress up; there are weekly or monthly gaming nights for the gamer; your crew hosts a monthly book club for the reader; you work a soup kitchen weekly for the volunteer enthusiast. If the person you’re talking to shows an interest in something your chapter doesn’t do, say that you have been interested in adding it to your activities but didn’t know where to start and you’d love their help setting it up.

If you are having trouble bringing people to you to even talk, try having some printed marketing materials on hand. BuPlan supplies the digital files you can send to a professional printer for a wide variety of take-aways. You can get floor banners printed which are great for con tables; postcards, bookmarks, business cards to hand out if you’re working an event; brochures and flyers as leave-behinds for community boards and tables at libraries, coffee shops, etc. Please be sure to ask permission before leaving information behind, we want to represent the organization and David Weber’s world positively.

Many people will say they’re too busy or don’t have the money. Reassure them there is no pressure and it’s all for fun, as well as free to join with no dues. Invite them to participate in your activities without joining the org; show the fun you have, and they’ll eventually want to join and make it all “official.”

Talk to your mentor, other COs, or reach out to your fleet’s BuPlan liaison for suggestions on what has worked for them to gain new recruits. Vary your approach, be willing to be flexible since the same canned spiel won’t work on everyone. For practice, you could try role-playing with your crew - it’s a great way to get mutually trained on recruiting because the more comfortable you are, the easier it will be.