The Army Is Fielding Hundreds Of More Recruiters After Failing To Bring In New Soldiers

news
Army National Guard photo / Sgt. 1st Class Wayne Woolley.

WASHINGTON — The Army is adding hundreds of new recruiters after failing to get as many new soldiers to enlist in fiscal 2018 as it had hoped, top service officials said on Monday.


“We’re expanding the number of recruiters we’ll put out in the streets; we’re cleaning up the storefronts; we are moving into 20-plus cities around the United States,” Army Secretary Mark Esper told reporters during the Association of the United States Army’s annual conference. “I think we can and we will do a lot better, but it’s going to take some time to re-position ourselves.”

Training and Doctrine Command is conducting a review of the Army’s recruiting strategy that will look at which regions of the country should have the extra recruiters, Esper said. The service’s new recruiting strategy will also include a greater presence on social media.

“Americans need to know their Army, but it’s on us to get out to meet them,” he added.

Service leaders did not say exactly how many recruiters are being added. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley estimated the number at a “couple hundred,” but the final figure is still being determined. He also tried to downplay the Army’s recent recruiting woes.

Initially, the Army planned to recruit 80,000 new soldiers in fiscal 2018. It later lowered that goal to 76,500, but it ended the fiscal year with about 70,000 new recruits.

“It’s certainly a warning light out there but it is not by any means catastrophic to us,” Milley said on Monday. “We are a very large organization. On balance, we’ve had a very, very good couple of recruiting years. This past year, we missed the mark.”

The Army needs to get bigger so it can increase the number of soldiers who can go to war as well as critical billets, such as drill sergeants, Milley said. However, with unemployment at a record low, the Army faces more competition from the private sector to recruit the best talent.

But Milley said he and Esper are committed “to not sacrifice quality for quantity.” Toward that end, Esper announced in July that his office would have to approve all waivers for drug and alcohol tests amid an increase in such waivers from 21 in  fiscal 2015 to 605 as of August.

“We very easily could have met the numbers if we were just after the numbers,” Milley said. “But we want to make sure that we have the highest quality recruits that we can have to man our Army.”

WATCH NEXT:

U.S. Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan speaks at the annual Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany February 15, 2019. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert

ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT (Reuters) - Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said on Saturday he had not yet determined whether a border wall with Mexico was a military necessity or how much Pentagon money would be used.

President Donald Trump on Friday declared a national emergency in a bid to fund his promised wall at the U.S.-Mexico border without congressional approval.

Read More Show Less
A pair of U.S. Navy Grumman F-14A Tomcat aircraft from Fighter Squadron VF-211 Fighting Checkmates in flight over Iraq in 2003/Department of Defense

Since the sequel to the 1986 action flick (and wildly successful Navy recruitment tool) Top Gun, was announced, there's been a lot of speculation on what Top Gun: Maverick will be about when it premieres in June 2020. While the plot is still relatively unclear, we know Tom Cruise will reprise his role as Naval aviator Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, and he'll be joined by a recognizable costar: The iconic F-14 Tomcat.

It looks like the old war plane will be coming out of retirement for more than just a cameo. A number of recently surfaced photos show an F-14 Tomcat aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, alongside Cruise and members of the film's production crew, the Drive's Tyler Rogoway first reported earlier this week.

Read More Show Less

D-Day veteran James McCue died a hero. About 500 strangers made sure of it.

"It's beautiful," Army Sgt. Pete Rooney said of the crowd that gathered in the cold and stood on the snow Thursday during McCue's burial. "I wish it happened for every veteran's funeral."

Read More Show Less

President Donald Trump claims the $6.1 billion from the Defense Department's budget that he will now spend on his border wall was not going to be used for anything "important."

Trump announced on Friday that he was declaring a national emergency, allowing him to tap into military funding to help pay for barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Read More Show Less

Every once in a while, we run across a photo in The Times-Picayune archives that's so striking that it begs a simple question: "What in the name of Momus Alexander Morgus is going on in this New Orleans photograph?" When we do, we've decided, we're going to share it — and to attempt to answer that question.

Read More Show Less