Improved Economy Hurts Recruiting

August 7, 2015

The Army is having trouble reaching its recruiting goals this year, currently falling 14-percent short. 

As the economy continues to strengthen and the unemployment rate dips down to 5.3 percent, the Army faces tough competition to sign new recruits.

Although new recruits are necessary for combat and support units, the Army is required to reduce its size by 40,000 over the next several years. Unfortunately, in addition to strong private-sector competition, potential recruits are also witnessing a severe drawdown that is creating angst among those currently serving and their families. 

“It is a challenging mission, and we're not going to get around that,” said Army Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Snow, commander of Army Recruiting Command. 

Despite missing midyear projections, Army leadership is hopeful they will meet the goal of 59,000 new recruits by the end of the fiscal year. 

Amid these recruiting challenges, Congress continues to push for balancing the budget on the backs of the military. Chipping away at pay and benefits will only make recruiting more difficult.

“Potential recruits are paying attention,” said Col. Mike Barron, USA (Ret), a MOAA deputy director of Government Relations. “If the Army expects to meet recruitment levels now and in the future, we need to make sure we take care of those who serve.”

Congress is still debating the FY 2016 defense bill. Please send your elected officials a MOAA-suggested message today, and urge them not to cut military benefits and compensation.