The U.S. Army is falling short of its recruitment goals. She has a plan for that
For years, the U.S. Army has not been able to meet its annual recruitment goal. The Secretary of the Army, Christine Wormuth, is rolling out a plan to address that.
What is it? Well, a little bit of something old, and a little bit of something new.
- The Army is bringing back its iconic ad with the slogan, "Be all you can be," which was everywhere in the '80s, hoping to inspire new recruits and perhaps touch on that nostalgia nerve too.
- But more broadly, the Pentagon is seeking to widen the net for recruits; focusing less on traditional pools and seeking to expand to new groups.
What's the big deal? Well, for nearly a decade, the Army has been falling short of its recruitment goals, and the shortage doesn't seem to be getting better.
- In 2022, for example, the U.S. Army missed its recruiting goal by about 15,000 soldiers — or 25%.
- For young people, especially Gen Z, increasingdistrust in institutions is also likely playing a part; and some younger Americans that NPR spoke to about joining the Army said they were afraid of getting hurt or killed if they were to serve.
- Other concerns voiced by students include reports ofracial bias and sexual assaultwithin the armed forces.
What are people saying? The Secretary of the Army, Christine Wormuth, spoke to All Things Considered about the specifics with this recruiting strategy, and how they hope to adapt.
On bringing in college students and immigrants:
On why recruiting has become such a struggle:
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On declining American trust in the military:
So, what now?
- The Army isn't the only branch of the military struggling to attract new members: The Navy and the Air Force also fell short of their goals last year.
- Wormuth says that despite these difficulties, she's always open to difficult questions from possible recruits: "I absolutely welcome critics. I mean, I believe in the product, if you will."
- Who's in the Army now? A pitch switch aims to get more military recruits
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