Army recruiting still lagging, top enlisted soldier tells Congress

As the Army feverishly works to implement a raft of recruiting reforms, the service’s top noncommissioned officer told lawmakers Wednesday that recruiting totals are still not on pace for the Army’s goals.

Sergeant Major of the Army Michael Weimer, who was testifying to a House panel focused on service member quality of life issues, said fiscal year 2024′s recruiting numbers are “up a little bit, but they’re not where they need to be.” He did not provide further details about Recruiting Command’s performance in the hearing or in his written testimony, however.

Despite announcing major changes to recruiting structures, the service has been unable to decisively turn around its ongoing recruiting slump, having missed its recruiting targets in both fiscal years 2022 and 2023. Army leaders previously stated that overhauling Recruiting Command is a long-term project that cannot solve the recruiting crisis overnight.

The Army recently began soliciting warrant officers for the new 420T “talent acquisition technician” field, marking one of the first steps toward implementing its promised changes.

Army headquarters is currently refining — or “staffing” — the execution order that will lay out timelines and responsibilities for the reforms, according to a document obtained by Army Times. The order will codify immediate changes to the Recruiting Command organizational chart, including the reassignment of Army marketing.

According to the document, the new-look Recruiting Command will be at initial operating capacity by the end of August, but the reforms won’t be complete until the end of fiscal year 2025.

In the interim, Army leaders are struggling to fill seats at the service’s recruiting college. The service apologized in November after public outcry from soldiers who received involuntary recruiting orders on short notice. Officials recently extended a limited-time $5,000 bonus available to those who volunteer for recruiting duty, who may also be eligible for accelerated promotion opportunities.

Davis Winkie covers the Army for Military Times. He studied history at Vanderbilt and UNC-Chapel Hill, and served five years in the Army Guard. His investigations earned the Society of Professional Journalists’ 2023 Sunshine Award and consecutive Military Reporters and Editors honors, among others. Davis was also a 2022 Livingston Awards finalist.

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