Army says it wants a 500,000 active roster by 2020, recent reports shows it will probably fall short
The U.S. Army is struggling to meet recruiting goals but claims it is on track to make the mark by the end of 2019.
Hoping for a 500,000-strong active duty military by the end of the decade, the current force is struggling with a healthy economy and unhealthy, ineligible civilians, respectively.
“It’s a difficult market because it’s a very healthy job market,” said Acting Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy. “This environment is as challenging as we’ve faced- 3.6 percent unemployment. We have no benchmark historically for the all-volunteer force.”
Despite being on pace for this year, McCarthy told the Army Times that he has no illusions about how difficult it will be to make numbers.
“We are on target, but it’s close,” McCarthy said. “We, statistically, can make it, but we’re going to have to run through the finish line- undoubtedly a full sprint.”
One issue is the Army’s unwillingness to hand out excessive enlistment waivers, such as during the Surge era of the Iraq War.
“We are not going near quality,” he said.
Army recruiters also struggle with reaching out to today’s youth, who are more apt to communicate via text than face-to-face, a real problem when looking for confident future soldiers.
“You got to engage kids,” McCarthy said. “It’s the mentality that a recruiter needs to have to get someone to understand their story-why an opportunity to serve in the U.S. Army would be a great thing.”
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