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Army plans ‘sweeping changes’ to recruiting after struggling to meet end-strength goal
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Army plans ‘sweeping changes’ to recruiting after struggling to meet end-strength goal

The United States Army announced Tuesday that it would make “sweeping changes” to its recruiting enterprise after struggling to meet its end-strength goal of 452,000 active-duty soldiers.

A recent Pentagon news conference revealed that the Army plans to roll out several key recruiting reforms to attract more annual contracts. The recruiting recommendations resulted from a “detailed study of Army recruiting over the past 25 years.”

The branch’s strategy includes “expanding its focus to a larger share of the youth labor market and creating a specialized talent acquisition workforce to initiate an experimentation and learning capability.”

The Army will also test different recruiting platforms and designate two new workforce positions, including an enlisted talent acquisition specialist and a warrant officer. Additionally, the Army’s recruiting enterprise will be “consolidated and re-aligned as a proposed three-star command.”

Chief of Staff of the Army Randy George stated that the Army needs to “empower our leaders.”

“Recruiting is one of the most important missions in the Army, and these changes reflect that importance,” George said.

Most other U.S. military branches, including the Army, have been struggling to meet end-strength goals amid an ongoing recruiting crisis. The Army only met its goal of 452,000 active-duty soldiers by pulling from its Delayed Entry Program, it reported.

The Army’s Delayed Entry Program is a pool of recruits, typically in high school, who agreed to join the military and ship out at a later date.

According to the Military Times, the Army currently has the smallest full-time force it has had since 1940.

“The competition for talented Americans is fierce, and it is fundamentally different than it was 50 or even 20 years ago,” Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth stated. “Understanding that reality is key to designing new practices that will make us a more attractive and compelling career choice for young Americans.”

The Army plans to change the way it prospects for recruits by expanding beyond high school graduates. By 2028, it aims to have a third of its new soldiers have more than a high school degree.

“While today’s high school seniors comprise more than 50 percent of our annual contracts, they represent only 15-20 percent of the larger prospect pool from which we could recruit,” Wormuth explained. “This means that in addition to the high school market, we need to attract and hire Americans in the college market or those already out in the job market.”

Wormuth and George noted that, while the Army struggles to meet end-strength goals, it has exceeded its retention targets.

“That means that people who are in the Army by-and-large love their jobs. And that’s a message we want all young Americans to hear – that the United States Army is truly a place where you can be all that you can be,” they said.

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