Defense Department: U.S. military falling short of recruitment goals, new data shows

There’s a new effort to get more people to join the military


New statistics from the Department of Defense show a drop in people joining certain branches.

Military officials say they’ve seen the warning signs for years, but new efforts to get more people to join seem to be falling short, at least for now.

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The latest effort to boost military recruiting features ads that target younger Americans. It’s part of a $4 billion effort to help increase the numbers.

Those numbers show that the Army expects to fall 15,000 recruits short of its annual recruiting goal this year. The navy is expecting to be short 10,000 recruits, and the Air Force is down another 3,000.

Only the Marine Corps remains on target for its recruiting goals. Recruiters say the current shortage could have a lasting impact.

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“If you don’t have enough people going through the pipeline, transitioning into basic military training, then that can hinder our defenses later on,” one recruiter said.

At the Pentagon, military leaders are blaming the shortfalls on several factors.

“These unprecedented recruiting challenges are driven, in part, by a low national unemployment rate, a strong job market, intense competition with the private sector and a declining number of young Americans interested in and qualified for uniform service,” Army Lt. Gen Douglass Stitt said.

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In addition to the surge in new ads, they’re now asking congress for more help. They want high school students to have more access to military recruiters.

“Where high schools are incentivized to grant predictable and regular access to recruiters and support to the Career Explorer program,” DoD Deputy Assistant Secretary for Military Personnel Policy Stephanie Miller said.

Some military branches are even adding bonuses for quick hires. They’re hoping it works on younger Americans, particularly Generation Z.

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