US Army’s Staffing Shortage Hits Worrisome Low

US Army's Staffing Shortage Hits Worrisome Low

( – The US Army has failed to hit its recruiting goals again, after the fiscal year ended with thousands of spaces unfilled. The Army says it inducted enough new troops to meet its required strength, but it fell far short of its target. Now, commanders want to try a new approach.

After a disastrous 2022 fiscal year for the US Army, when it had a goal of recruiting 60,000 new soldiers but only managed to attract 45,000, the US Army set itself an ambitious target of bringing in 65,000 fresh troops in 2023. The fiscal year ended on September 30, and the Army once again failed to achieve its mission.

Recruitment fell short, this time by 10,000. That was just enough to let the service meet its required active duty strength of 452,000 — but 2022’s requirement was for 473,000. By the time FY 2023 started, the US Army was already the smallest it’s been since 1940, and now it’s shrunk by another 21,000. Meanwhile, senior leaders are focused on woke politics and abortion.

Faced with another year of shrinking numbers, the Army is planning changes in the way it finds new soldiers. Up to now, recruiters have been Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) on temporary detachment; they have a normal Military Occupational Specialty (MOS), and only serve as a recruiter for three years or so before going back to their regular trade. Commanders think this means they’re leaving the job right around the time they finally get good at it.

Now, they plan to create a new MOS, designated 42T, of “Talent Acquisition Specialists.” On top of that, enlistment bonuses for hard-to-fill MOSs have been increased, and the Army aims to recruit more people educated beyond the high school level. It’s also quietly lowering standards, accepting recruits with previously banned tattoos, and allowing retests for drug test failures. Maintaining an effective fighting force isn’t going to get any easier.

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