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The Navy's latest weapon in talent recruiting is virtual reality

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BY KELSEY THOMAS, KSNV

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (CIRCA via KSNV) -- 16-year-old Jenna Demaio is on a covert Navy mission.

She is piloting a high-speed boat down a secluded river.

“They're going in to rescue a SEAL team that is stuck,” explained Jenna Demaio.

“You can see the blasts coming out of the gunner's guns,” she continued.

But what she’s watching isn’t real.

It’s virtual reality.

The Navy is trying to recruit Demaio and her classmates using a 360-degree experience.

The traveling mobile display rolled into Las Vegas this week to give teenagers a glimpse of what it’s like to be in the Navy.

On Tuesday, recruiters made a stop at Advanced Technologies Academy.

Demaio stepped inside a trailer and put on headsets, immersing herself into the 360-degree experience.

“It was fascinating,” said Demaio.

The goal is to generate potential recruits.

Navy Petty First Class Officer Carl Johnson said the goal is to generate potential recruits.

Students have the chance to ask questions.

“They ask a lot more questions. Is the Navy really like this? Are there other things to expect? And I can give them all those answers,” said Carl Johnson.

Advanced Technologies Academy is a magnet school that prepares students for college and careers.

Sherry Moore is the school’s college and careers specialist.

“There needs to be more of an awareness of those careers offered through the armed services because most students, their thoughts about the armed services is limited,” said Sherry Moore.

For Demaio, it’s a top-secret look into how the Navy operates.

“It gives you a really good simulation of what it would be like if you were in that situation,” said Demaio.

It’s a virtual reality mission that’s helping recruit the next generation to join the Navy.

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