The U.S. Army fell 15,000 soldiers short of its recruiting goal. The failure represents a 25% shortfall in its goal this year, despite massive pushes to fill the gap in this tight job market. It is not the only branch that did not meet its recruiting target.
Military Times reports:
The worsening problem stirs debate about whether America’s fighting force should be restructured or reduced in size if the services can’t recruit enough, and could also put added pressure on the National Guard and Reserve to help meet mission requirements.
According to officials, the Marine Corps, which usually goes into each fiscal year with as much as 50% of its recruiting goal already locked in, has only a bit more than 30%. And the Air Force and the Navy will only have about 10% of their goals as they start the new fiscal year. The Air Force usually has about 25%. Officials spoke on condition of anonymity to provide details on the recruiting totals that have not yet been released.
“In the Army’s most challenging recruiting year since the start of the all-volunteer force, we will only achieve 75% of our fiscal year 22 recruiting goal,” Army Secretary Christine Wormuth said in a statement to The Associated Press. “The Army will maintain its readiness and meet all our national security requirements. If recruiting challenges persist, we will draw on the Guard and Reserve to augment active-duty forces, and may need to trim our force structure.”
Officials said the Army brought in about 45,000 soldiers during the fiscal year that ended Friday. The goal was 60,000.
“Using Air Force lexicon, 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,” Maj. Gen. Edward Thomas, head of the Air Force Recruiting Service, said at a conference last week. “We’re going to be starting 2023 in a tougher position than we started 2022.”