Army Announces 5 Initiatives to Boost Recruiting

Army Announces 5 Initiatives to Boost Recruiting

Photo by: U.S. Army Reserve/Pfc. Aiden Griffitts

Sweeping changes are coming to Army recruiting as the service aims to find soldiers in new markets, create a specialized recruiting force and elevate the power of Army Recruiting Command, senior leaders announced.

The moves, which seek to transform the Army’s recruiting enterprise, come as the service has missed its recruiting goals for the past three years, including the most recent fiscal year that ended Sept. 30.

In an Oct. 3 meeting with Pentagon reporters, Army Secretary Christine Wormuth and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Randy George announced five new recruiting initiatives.

First, the Army will expand its focus on recruiting high school seniors and recent graduates to markets that include college graduates and other people with more than a high school education. This demographic currently comprises 20% of the force. The goal, Wormuth said, is to have at least one-third of recruits from those markets by 2028.

Next, a specialized recruiting force will be shaped with the addition of a new MOS—42T or talent acquisition specialist. The Army will use the professional recruiting force, currently the 79R MOS, as the foundation to build the new specialty. Additionally, there will be new recruiting warrant officers to provide subject-matter expertise and leadership in recruiting.

The way recruiters are selected also will change. Beyond the basic background check and evaluation of their skills for working well with people, recruiters will be given an aptitude test “to make sure that the folks that we bring into the recruiting force have the kind of skills and attributes to be successful,” Wormuth said.

To give Army Recruiting Command greater authorities, Wormuth said, the two-star command will be elevated to a three-star command, and it will subsume Army Cadet Command, which also is at Fort Knox, Kentucky, and the Army Marketing Office, which will remain in Chicago.

In addition to becoming a three-star command, the job of commander of Army Recruiting Command will transition from a three-year assignment to a four-year stint.

At the command, George announced, there also will be a new deputy commanding general in charge of innovation and experimentation, with the ability to bust through some of the bureaucracy that could keep new ideas and programs from being implemented quickly.

The Army ended fiscal 2023 with 55,000 new contracts, including 4,600 who are in the Army’s Delayed Entry Program and will ship to training in fiscal 2024. The year’s goal, which leaders had called a stretch goal, was 65,000 new recruits.

Even though the Army missed its goal this year, it is “a very big achievement compared with last year,” Wormuth said, when the service fell short by 15,000 recruits. She said the slight uptick is “kind of rebuilding our bank account.”