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US Army fails to meet its recruiting goal; Other services manage to pass



WASHINGTON: Officials confirmed on Friday that, despite a frantic effort to make up the widely anticipated gap in a year when all military services struggled to find young people willing and able to enlist, the Army fell about 15,000 soldiers short of its recruitment goal, or 25%.

The Army was the only service that did not meet its goal; the other services, on the other hand, had to go deep into their pools of applicants who had delayed entry, which will leave them behind when the next recruiting year starts on Saturday.
The issue is getting worse, which has raised questions about whether the United States’ armed forces should be reorganized or reduced in size if the services are unable to attract enough new recruits. It also has the potential to put additional pressure on the National Guard and Reserve to assist in meeting the requirements of the mission.
Officials say that the Marine Corps only has slightly more than 30% of its recruiting goal, compared to the Marine Corps, which typically has up to 50% of its goal secured before the beginning of each fiscal year.As the new fiscal year begins, the Air Force and Navy will only have approximately 10% of their goals.Typically, the Air Force has about 25%.Officials spoke on condition of anonymity to provide information regarding the unpublished recruiting totals.
“We will only achieve 75% of our fiscal year 22 recruiting goal in the Army’s most challenging recruiting year since the start of the all-volunteer force,” Army Secretary Christine Wormuth stated in a statement to The Associated Press.The Army will continue to be prepared and fulfill all of our requirements for national security.We may need to reduce our force structure and rely on the Guard and Reserve to supplement active-duty forces if recruiting difficulties persist.
During the fiscal year that ended on Friday, approximately 45,000 soldiers were added to the Army, according to officials.60,000 was the target.
In contrast, the Air Force was successful in obtaining sufficient recruits from its delayed entry pool to meet its annual recruitment goal of 26,151.
Maj. “I would say we’re doing a dead stick landing as we come into the end of fiscal ’22, and we’re going to need to turn around on the first of October and do an afterburner takeoff.””At a conference last week, the head of the Air Force Recruiting Service said.”We will begin 2023 in a more difficult position than we did in 2022.
This year, military leaders tried to increase their numbers by increasing enlistment bonuses and other programs, but they say the tight labor market is making it harder to compete with private industry.And as they look to the future, they worry that the Pentagon may have to reevaluate its force requirements and find ways to make the military a more appealing profession to the decreasing number of young Americans who can meet the mental and physical requirements for service if the trend of declining enlistment continues.
Military leaders were already anticipating a difficult recruiting season early this year.For instance, the Army announced a few months ago that the anticipated size of its total force for this year would need to be reduced from approximately 476,000 to 466,000.The Army was able to surpass its retention goal of keeping 104% of the targeted number of troops in the service, which partially offset the significant recruiting shortfall.
There are numerous and diverse reasons for recruiting difficulties.
After the pandemic lasted for two years, recruiters lost access to schools, public events, fairs, and other youth organizations, where they frequently meet potential candidates.As in-person meetings ceased, the transition to online recruiting was only marginally successful.Additionally, the reopening of some in-person access has been sluggish.
At the same time, McDonald’s and other companies are now wooing employees with tuition benefits and other enhanced perks that made the military profession attractive for years.According to military leaders, restaurants, airlines, shops, and other businesses are struggling to find workers due to the same labor shortage.
The fact that only 23% of young people can meet the military’s fitness, educational, and moral requirements, with many disqualified for medical issues, criminal records, and tattoos, only serves to exacerbate the issue.
Gen. James McConville, the Army’s chief of staff, stated, “We remain committed to maintaining our standards, investing in America’s youth, and emphasizing quality over quantity.”
It is unclear how much of an impact the COVID-19 vaccine debate is having on recruiting difficulties.For refusing to receive the required vaccination, the Army has discharged slightly more than 1,700 soldiers thus far.That is only a sizable portion of the total force.
At the same time, the rush to join the military following the September 11 attacks has diminished.Some people may look around and find that there are no more wars or terrorists to fight, so they move on.Others, on the other hand, are aware of private industry’s lucrative hiring campaigns, are aware that their salaries will be higher than those of the military, and that they will be less likely to be injured or killed in those jobs.
The services are juggling a number of new programs and other changes to boost recruitment, but there are still concerns about how to best convince young people that serving in the military is a good choice.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., challenged the services to “think outside the box, creating new career paths, offering innovative pay and incentive structures, and realigning some capabilities from military to civilian workforces should all be on the table” during a recent hearing on recruiting difficulties held by the Senate Armed Services Committee.

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