The US Army is currently planning to recruit approximately 64,000 soldiers, including those on active duty, National Guard, and reserve personnel this year and another 65,515 in 2024 next year.
During a congressional hearing on Wednesday, US Army Secretary Christine Wormuth warned that the army is currently facing recruiting troubles and won’t be meeting its goal this year if the situation does change, further cautioning that structure cuts may be possible.
“I’m suggesting that the kinds of structure we need for the army of 2030 are different than what we needed in the last 20 years, and if we don’t turn our recruiting situation around, I am concerned that we may have to make cuts to the Force’s structure,” she relayed to the US House Armed Services Committee.
“I think it’s going to be a challenge [to meet the recruitment goal for 2023].”
According to the Heritage Foundation’s 2023 Index of US Military Strength, the US military is currently “weak” and “at growing risk of not being able to meet the demands of defending America’s vital national interests,” which should be heavily alarming for Washington, as it is showing dwindling military strength, down from “marginal” in 2021.
Fishing for big goals
According to a budget request in March, the US Army is currently planning to recruit approximately 64,000 soldiers, including those on active duty, National Guard, and reserve personnel this year, and another 65,515 in 2024 next year.
This comes as reports showed the size of the US Army has been decreasing rapidly over the past few years. In 2021, it had 482,000 personnel and in 2023, it has 473,000. Next year, it is predicted to have 452,000.
Back in December 2022, a report published by American broadcaster Fox News revealed that the army missed its targeted “recruiting goals for 2022 by 25%”, estimated at about 15,000 service members. The report added that one of the leading causes of the decline in the numbers of new enlistees is the “confluence of obesity, lack of high school diplomas and accelerated mental health crises among youth.”
In November, the secretary added that only 23% of young Americans were deemed fit enough to join the Army because the remaining fell below fitness and intelligence standards due to obesity issues and poor schooling.
Furthermore, only 9% of young Americans showed interest in joining the army.