(RightIsRight.co) – All branches of the United States military, the most powerful force in the history of the world, are presently struggling to find recruits after two years of the COVID-19 pandemic and due to other factors – but the situation is most dire for the U.S. Army.
The insufficient number of military-age Americans who are fit for service is among the top concerns.
The Army will not only fail to fulfill its recruitment plans by tens of thousands of soldiers this fiscal year, but in 2023 it could be working with the lowest number of soldiers it has had in decades.
The Army is facing “unprecedented challenges” as far as finding new service members is concerned, according to its vice chief of staff, Gen. Joseph Martin, as cited by Breitbart News.
He revealed that in 2022, the Army was supposed to have 476,000 troops on active duty but has ended up with 466,400, almost 10,000 fewer.
In 2023, it may end up with as few as 445,000 soldiers depending on recruitment, and even the best-case scenario isn’t rosy, with 452,000 active-duty Army troops.
In the 2022 fiscal year, which ends on September 30, the U.S. Army was supposed to recruit 60,000 new soldiers, but it has recruited half of that number with only 2.5 months left to go.
By the start of the 2023 fiscal year on October 1, the Army will likely have failed its recruitment goal by about 25%, judging from the current trends.
The other main branches of the U.S. military – the Navy, the Air Force, and Marine Corps – are in a better position, but they, too, suffer from a shortage of recruits fit for military service.
According to the report, only 23% of young American adults are “physically, mentally and morally” fit for service in the branches of the U.S. military without being granted some waiver.
The issues regarding moral behavior have to do with the use of narcotics, having ties to criminal gangs, or having criminal records.
Recruitment for the Army and the other military branches is hobbled by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, which wreaked havoc on public events at schools and other venues used by the U.S. military for advertising its career opportunities.
Other factors include low unemployment and fierce competition from the private sector.
“We look at it as the toughest recruiting environment that we’ve had in decades,” said the head of the Navy Recruiting Command, Rear Adm. Lex Walker.
“Companies are also offering great pay, they’re offering sign-on bonuses, help with college. They’re offering many of the same benefits the Navy has historically used to recruit,” he added.