Fixing Army Recruiting Won't Be Quick

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Recruits taking an oath
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Fixing Army Recruiting Won't Be Quick

The Army must do a better job of connecting with America’s youth if it is going to overcome its recruiting challenges, the service’s top civilian leader said.

In addition to a good economy, a tight labor market and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Army faces a propensity challenge, Army Secretary Christine Wormuth said. Only about 9% of young Americans are inclined to serve or interested in serving, she said.

Camarillo: Army Gains Modernization Momentum

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Army Undersecretary Gabe Camarillo on a troop visit.
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Camarillo: Army Gains Modernization Momentum

The Army is hitting its stride when it comes to reaching its modernization goals, Army Undersecretary Gabe Camarillo said.

“I think we've got a tremendous amount of momentum headed into our modernization portfolio,” Camarillo said Sept. 7 during a conference hosted by Defense News. “Many of our programs … are working their way through the process to achieve these critical milestones and getting to the next phase … where we can field capabilities that are relevant to our soldiers.”

Army Divisions Tapped to Support Recruiting

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Soldiers talk to teens about serving in the Army
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Army Divisions Tapped to Support Recruiting

Soldiers from five active-duty divisions are providing “campaign-level support” to help the Army navigate the national recruiting crisis, a senior commander said.

Dangerous Times Require Ready Army

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Army Chief of Staff James McConville speaks to AUSA Warfighter attendees
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Dangerous Times Require Ready Army

From COVID-19 response to supporting allies and partners in Eastern Europe, the Army has shown it is ready, versatile and able to respond quickly whenever the nation calls, the service’s top general officer said.

“We can do a lot of things that the nation asks us to do, but that’s not really our reason for being,” Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville said July 28. “The Army exists for one purpose, and that’s to protect the nation by being ready to fight our nation’s wars along with the joint force. We are a warfighting organization, and we should never forget that.”

Vice Chief Warns Readiness is ‘Fragile’

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Soldiers firing weapon
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Vice Chief Warns Readiness is ‘Fragile’

The Army’s “high state of readiness” was on full display earlier this year when it rapidly deployed more than 12,000 soldiers to Eastern Europe, but maintaining those capabilities requires a lot of hard work, the Army vice chief of staff said.

“We are a ready and trained Army, but our readiness imperative to our mission is also fragile,” Gen. Joseph Martin testified July 19 before the House Armed Services Committee’s readiness subcommittee. “Our Army must be both responsive to the threats today while still modernizing to be ready for the threats for tomorrow.”

Army Declares ‘War for Talent’

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Swearing in recruits
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Army Declares ‘War for Talent’

Army leaders have declared war after acknowledging serious problems manning the force.

“This is not a recruiter problem,” Army Secretary Christine Wormuth and Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville say in a joint memo that projects Regular Army troop strength will be about 466,400 at the end of the fiscal year, far less than the originally budgeted 485,000. 

Survey: Gen Z Unaware of Many Benefits of Service

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Soldiers with service dog speaking to students
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Survey: Gen Z Unaware of Many Benefits of Service

As the Army works to recruit new talent and dispel misconceptions about serving, the knowledge gap between Generation Z and the service is widening, an Army survey found.

Though 73% of Gen Z respondents said they are familiar with the Army, the “Know Your Army” National Consumer Survey found that this group, young adults between the ages of 18 and 25, holds several misconceptions around Army jobs, work-life balance and soldier benefits. 

Troop Levels Prioritize Quality over Quantity

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Soldiers training
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Troop Levels Prioritize Quality over Quantity

Facing an increasingly difficult recruiting environment, the Army is opting for quality over growing the size of the force.

“I am concerned about end strength, but I believe quality is more important than quantity,” Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville said May 12.

Testifying alongside Army Secretary Christine Wormuth before the House Armed Services Committee about the fiscal 2023 budget, McConville said the service is going to “take a pause” and “keep the quality up” as leaders look at ways to better reach America’s young men and women.

National Guard Recruiting ‘Good’ Despite Challenges

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National Guard recruits
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National Guard Recruiting ‘Good’ Despite Challenges

The Army National Guard expects to meet its recruiting goal this year, even though a senior official said the component has been grappling with many of the same challenges faced by the Regular Army and Army Reserve.

Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, said the Army National Guard is “in a pretty good spot today … at about 99% strength” for the current recruiting year.