March 10, 2023

Bad Idea: Relying on the Same Old Solutions to Meet the Military Recruitment Challenge

The U.S. military is facing the worst recruiting crisis since the creation of the All-Volunteer Force (AVF) nearly fifty years ago in July 1973. In FY 2022, the Army missed its recruiting goals by nearly 20 thousand soldiers—nearly 25 percent of the service’s recruiting goal. While the other services were able to meet their FY 2022 recruiting targets, they did so by drawing on delayed entry recruits—those recruits with signed contracts who were not expected to enter service until FY 2023—indicating that the challenges experienced in FY 2022 may only increase in the coming year. Early indications are that FY 2023 is as bad or worse.

Military service provides the sense of mission, purpose, and stability that members of Gen Z seek that few other options offer.

All the signs were there, but the warnings seemingly went unheeded. In 2018, the Army missed its recruiting goal and in subsequent years increasingly relied on increased retention numbers to meet their total end strength requirements. Other services encountered increasing challenges too in meeting their missions.

Read the full article in Defense360 from CSIS.

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