The U.S. Army will fall short of its annual recruitment goals for this year! The military branch has only met a little more than half of its target in this fiscal year 2022.
Christine Wormuth, the Army Secretary, told NBC News Friday that the Army has recruited only 52% of its goal for 2022. Worse it is expected to be short by as many as 15,000 recruits.
“We are right now at about 52% of the mission that we had originally set for ourselves. So we’ve got a ways to go, and obviously, we’ve only got about a month or so until the fiscal year ends,” Wormuth said. “I would say we’re going to be about 12,000 to 15,000 recruits short this year.”
September thirtieth will be the end of this fiscal year and marks the deadline for military recruitment. The Army had a projected goal of adding 60,000 active-duty enlistments this year. Unfortunately, The US Army has since downsized its target goal amid dismal recruitment shortfalls.
NBC News reports that the Army is authorized to have as many as 485,000 total troops. Due to its recruitment shortage, it recently lowered that number to 476,000. Wormuth has made known that long-term recruitment shortages could impact military readiness in the future.
In June, The Pentagon announced that annual recruitment goals for all military branches were down 23%. This is largely due to the eligibility of young Americans being a much smaller number than previous generations and many who are eligible are unwilling to join.
NBC News reported that the Defense Department conducted an internal survey that found that only 9% of Americans eligible to serve in the military had any desire to do so. This is the lowest number since 2007. 57 percent of those surveyed said they would most likely have emotional or psychological issues after their service and close to half believed they would have physical problems.
Fewer young Americans are actually eligible to join the military, with many disqualifications due to obesity, drug use, or criminal records. Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville testified in May that only 23% of Americans ages 17-24 are qualified to serve without waivers to join. According to NBC News, this is down from 29% in recent years.
To combat this shortage the military has offered financial benefits for service.
Also to appeal to the political left the Army launched a recruitment campaign, named “The Calling,” which emphasized the Army’s commitment to diversity. The first ad in the campaign highlighted the story of Cpl. Emma Malonelord. A young woman who was raised by a lesbian couple.
“It begins in California with a little girl raised by two moms,” Malonelord narrates in the video. “Although I had a fairly typical childhood, took ballet, played violin, I also marched for equality. I like to think I’ve been defending freedom from an early age.”
The ad fell short and garnered harsh criticism from the American people. The “woke” ad focusing on LGBT social justice issues made the Army look weak in light of current world tensions with Russia and China.