Op-Ed: Army Scrambles to Boost Lagging Recruitment, But Won't Make the One Really Necessary Change


It seems like the U.S. Army might have realized what it needs to do to meet its aggressive recruitment goals for this year, and it doesn’t have anything to do with being woke.

Fiscal year 2023 began on Oct. 1, 2022, and since that time, the Army has already added roughly 18,500 soldiers with another 13,000 in the process, Maj. Gen. Johnny Davis, head of the service’s Recruiting Command, told This puts the Army not only on track to meet its goal, but surpass it.

This is good news, seeing as how the Army missed its 2022 recruitment goal by 25 percent. “The Army’s goal this year is to bring in 65,000 new soldiers, after falling 15,000 short of its 60,000 recruiting target last year. If it kept up its pace from the first quarter, the Army would bring in 74,000 recruits in 2023,” reported.

“I think the Army is getting better at recruiting,” Thomas Spoehr, director of the Heritage Foundation’s Center for National Defense, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “They were complacent for a number of years and took it for granted that people come to them, and they’re now very much in the mode of reaching out to prospects than they were in the past.”

The growth is attributed to a number of reasons.

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First and foremost, Army leadership is aware of how badly it missed its recruitment goal last year and doesn’t want it to happen again for fear of having America’s largest branch of the armed services understaffed.

The Army is increasing its appeals to potential recruits’ self-interest with a focus on benefits and career opportunities available to soldiers. also reported the Army is trying to increase the appeal of being a recruiter. Recruiters now have better housing and benefit options available to them as well as financial rewards they can earn for each recruit.

The ending of the COVID vaccine mandate may have helped recruitment, or at least done away with any hesitation some potential recruits may have had.

Army Secretary Christine Wormuth believes that the same labor supply problem the private sector was facing last year also affected the military, as potential recruits had more employment options. However, as the nation has entered a recession, the Army has once again become an attractive option.

Has the Army embraced progressive values?

While these factors have increased the pool of interested candidates, they don’t address the fitness of those candidates. Only 23 percent of potential recruits between the ages of 17 and 24 are qualified to serve, the Army said in July.

To decrease this number, the Army began its future soldier prep course last August for candidates who do not meet the enlistment requirements but could with some help. It is essentially a pre-boot camp program that has already graduated 3,000 recruits. This program allows the Army to maintain its standards, its readiness and its recruitment goals.

What the Army hasn’t done, though, is do away with the woke policies it has instituted in recent years. This is working against its goals. It leads to parents who would normally support the military discouraging their children from enlisting. Having woke policies is not going to attract people who would make good soldiers or even pass the recruiting requirements.

While it’s nice to see the Army making positive changes, more can be done, and it won’t cost the Army anything. Well, there’s always next year.

The views expressed in this opinion article are those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website. If you are interested in contributing an Op-Ed to The Western Journal, you can learn about our submission guidelines and process here.

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Michael Letts is the founder and CEO of In-VestUSA, a national grassroots non-profit organization helping hundreds of communities provide thousands of bulletproof vests for their police forces through educational, public relations, sponsorship and fundraising programs.