Image credit: U.S. Army

March 10, 2023

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

By Katherine L. Kuzminski and Tom Spoehr

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.

  • Commentary
    • May 10, 2023
    Sharper: Military Recruitment

    With the 50th anniversary of the United States’ All-Volunteer Force this summer, and the current recruiting crisis potentially impacting force readiness, military personnel po...

    By Anna Pederson, Ayla McBreen & Charles Horn

  • Podcast
    • May 1, 2023
    One Kansas City Veteran Said 20 Years Later She Still Doesn't Understand the War in Iraq

    Kyleanne Hunter, Ph.D., a former major in the United States Marine Corps, served from 2000-2013 and deployed to Iraq five times, joins Up to Date to discuss the legacy of the ...

    By Dr. Kyleanne Hunter

  • Video
    • April 25, 2023
    America and the Taliban: Part Three

    Part Three of “America and the Taliban” investigates how negotiations between the Trump administration and the Taliban unfolded, how the Taliban seized territory in Afghanista...

    By Dr. Jason Dempsey

  • Podcast
    • April 6, 2023
    Uncle Sam Really Wants You

    The US military faces its worst recruiting crisis since the draft ended in 1973. Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth and Kate Kuzminski join to discuss. Listen to the ful...

    By Katherine L. Kuzminski

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia