The U.S. Army has failed to meet its yearly recruitment goals, falling by around 15,000 or 25% short of its quotas this year, the military confirmed Friday. The struggle to garner new recruits comes amid a service-wide push to embrace the Biden administration’s policies of “diversity, equity, and inclusion.”
According to Fox News, the Army was not the only branch of the military to fail to meet its recruitment goals, with other branches also falling far short of their numbers.
The Marine Corps, which enters every fiscal year with as much as 50% of its numbers locked in, only has around 30% this time around. The Air Force and Navy will only have met 10% of their goals with the start of the new fiscal year. The Air Force typically has around 25% of its recruits locked in, per a military source.
"In the Army’s most challenging recruiting year since the start of the all-volunteer force, we will only achieve 75% of our fiscal year 22 recruiting goal," said Army Secretary Christine Wormuth said in a statement to the AP. "The Army will maintain its readiness and meet all our national security requirements. If recruiting challenges persist, we will draw on the Guard and Reserve to augment active-duty forces, and may need to trim our force structure."
The Army on Friday said it managed to recruit 45,000 soldiers during the fiscal year that ended on Friday, falling short of its 60,000 target.
The Air Force brought in 26,151 recruits by pulling from its delayed entry pool to meet its target, but has put itself in a difficult position for recruitment next year.
Fox News reported:
Military leaders used increased enlistment bonuses and other programs to try and build their numbers this year, but they say it's getting more and more difficult to compete with private industry in the tight labor market. And as they look to the future, they worry that if the declining enlistment trends continue, the Pentagon may have to reassess its force requirements and find ways to make the military a more attractive profession to the eroding number of young Americans who can meet mental and physical requirements for service.
Early this year, military leaders were already braced for a bad recruiting season. The Army, for example, announced several months ago that it would have to adjust the expected size of its total force this year from 476,000 to about 466,000. The large recruiting shortfall was offset a bit by the Army's ability to exceed its retention goal — keeping 104% of the targeted number of troops in the service.
In March, an explosive report detailed a new mandatory training program for the U.S. Army’s enlisted soldiers on gender pronouns, which included coaching officers on how to offer servicemembers gender reassignment surgery.
Details of the presentation were leaked to the Washington Free Beacon by a whistleblower who was forced to partake in the training as a high-ranking officer in the Army Special Forces, also known as the Green Berets.
Details of the leaked report were confirmed to the publication by a U.S. Army Spokesman, who said that it came from an official program “used to train Army personnel on the recent changes to the DoD and Army transgender service policy.”