U.S. Army misses recruitment goal for first time in over a decade
With the economy reaching record levels and maintaining a strong stock market numbers, enrollment in the United States Army has decreased, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley said Monday at a conference in Washington D.C. Milley said the army missed its recruiting goal for year for the first time in over a decade.
Army recruiters enlisted just about 70,000 recruits. That is some 6,500 recruits short of their target, the first time such a shortfall took place since 2005. Other branches of the military did meet their recruiting goals.
“It is certainly a warning light… but it is not by any means a catastrophe,” Milley said. Low unemployment might be a cause for the lack of enrollment, and the general acknowledged that “there are a lot of opportunities out there,” referring to the private sector of employment.
To tackle this issue, hundreds of army recruiters will be sent to cities across the country to encourage Americans to enlist.
But the U.S. Army must do more. Due to exponential increases in the military’s budget, there needs to be a greater incentive for young Americans to enlist. Without an increase in benefits, tech-savy recruits would rather work in private companies and make more money as opposed to living a life of public service. It’s something the Army must consider.
But retired Gen. Carter Ham, president of the Association of the U.S. Army put it bluntly in his interview Monday with ArmyTimes.com as a pitch for why new recruits are necessary: “You can have all the money in the world. You can have all the right equipment in the world. If you do not have the right people, then it is not going to work.”