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New Approach to Growing Army Force Numbers

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By Debbie Gregory.

The U.S. Army, like the other service branches, is struggling to maintain strong force numbers.

In the not-too-distant past, there was talk of a troop drawdown. But now Army recruiters are facing a significant challenge to increase their numbers and reach their target goal.

To that end, the Army has launched a pilot program to bring Active, Guard and Reserve recruiting under one mission.

Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Snow, commander of Army Recruiting Command, was able to exceed the active troop goal by more than 300 soldiers, but fell short on the numbers for the Reserve component by 1,228 soldiers.

Since some of those soldiers may have gone to the Army National Guard, which recruits separately from the Army active and Reserve components, bringing the Army’s Active, Reserve and National Guard recruiting under one umbrella makes sense.

“The Army has obviously got three components; we only recruit for two of those in this command,” Snow said. “United States Army Recruiting Command has responsibility for two components — that’s Reserve and Active.”

Recruiting all three components as one Army would mean “we leverage recruiters to recruit for all three components, which I have always felt this is the right thing to do,” said Snow. Additionally, it would benefit the National Guard because there are some parts of the country where the Guard struggles to meet its numbers.

To reach last year’s target of 69,000 recruits, the Army accepted more people who did poorly on aptitude tests, increased the number of waivers granted, and offered hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses.

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