Military leaders addressing low recruitment crisis across branches
FORT LEE, Va. (WWBT) -As we take time to honor our soldiers, our military branches across our nation are not fighting on the battlefield but are also fighting to get more Americans to join our armed forces.
It’s a crisis plaguing our nation’s best line of defense.
“Pre-pandemic, the coast guard experienced a downturn in recruiting. We were expecting to get around 3500. We ended up getting 2900 people,” said Captain Richter Tipton.
The United States military is struggling to get enough people to fill our armed forces.
“The nation requires our army to fight and win its wars, said Major General Mark Simerly. “And for that, we have to have a high quality, diverse, inclusive workforce in the army. It really is important to get it right. It really is important that we are able to bring in young Americans to serve and show them the pathway to service.”
This year the fight to meet the recruitment goal across all military branches was lost. Some branches missed the mark by nearly 15 percent.
“I need to get to 4200. I came into this year at 2800,” said Capt. Tipton. “I’m short 1400 people this year. And I need to fix that.”
The US Army is one of the branches suffering the most from low recruitment.
“For each year, there is a specific target, and in this past year which ended in the fiscal year on 1 October, we failed to meet that mission for the first time in several years, and it was a pretty substantial portion that we didn’t meet,” said Maj. Gen. Simerly.
According to various reports, the United States army, our nation’s largest military service, is falling short of between 10 and 15 thousand recruits this year. And the optimism for a solution in 2023 is relatively low.
“You know what? I’ve heard our army leaders say they think this is a long-term challenge for us,” said Maj. Gen. Simerly.
The growing recruitment problem falls on a variety of factors.
“Shifting demographics, COVID, policy changes, all of those things all at once,” said Capt. Tipton. “All of those things make this much more complicated.”
Through all of these challenges, and without lowering any standards, branches across our military are strategically coming up with solutions to get those recruitment numbers up to ensure the success of our military in the future.
“When our soldiers come in on a conditional basis, and we teach them how to tests basic arithmetic also reading and comprehension, and we work on the physical fitness, and I think that’s going to be successful in the future too,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Marco Torres.
They also share bonuses of up to 50 thousand dollars and the opportunity to choose where to serve as additional incentives.
“We are really leaning forward to making it a much more conducive work environment,” said Capt. Tipton.
But with all those strategies in place, they say the most significant way to combat the low numbers is by hitting the ground and sharing what it truly means to serve in the united states military.
“We have an obligation for those of us who are serving to get out into the public and share that story,” said Maj. Gen. Simerly.
The fiscal year for the military’s recruitment goal has ended, so they are putting most of their efforts into their recruiting goals for 2023.
Military leaders say it is necessary to meet these goals, so it doesn’t negatively impact our frontline workers in the future.
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