Second Lieutenant Kody Sims instructs students participating in the Army's new Future Soldier Prep Course who are working to improve their Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test scores at Fort Jackson on September 28, 2022 in Columbi The Army fell about 15,000 soldiers — or 25% — short of its recruitment goal this year, officials confirmed Friday, despite a frantic effort to make up the widely expected gap in a year when all the military services struggled in a tight jobs market to find young people willing and fit to enlist.While the Army was the only service that didn't meet its target, all of the others had to dig deep into their pools of delayed entry applicants, which will put them behind as they begin the next recruiting year on Saturday.The worsening problem stirs debate about whether America’s fighting force should be restructured or reduced in size if the services can't recruit enough, and could also put added pressure on the National Guard and Reserve to help meet mission requirements.According to officials, the Marine Corps, which usually goes into each fiscal year with as much as 50% of its recruiting goal already locked in, has only a bit more than 30%.
And the Air Force and the Navy will only have about 10% of their goals as they start the new fiscal year. The Air Force usually has about 25%.
Officials spoke on condition of anonymity to provide details on the recruiting totals that have not yet been released."In the Army’s most challenging recruiting year since the start of the all-volunteer force, we will only achieve 75% of our fiscal year 22 recruiting goal," Army Secretary Christine Wormuth said in a statement to The Associated Press.