Saturday, November 26

US army misses recruiting goal, behind about 15,000 soldiers

Lolita C Baldor

  • The US Army missed its recruiting goal by about 15,000 soldiers this year.
  • The Army was the only service that didn’t meet its goal, but others barely reached theirs.
  • Other services had to look in their pools of delayed entry applicants.

​WASHINGTON — 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.

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