The United States Army has announced a major transformation of its recruiting enterprise in response to the challenging recruiting environment it currently faces. Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth and Chief of Staff of the Army Randy George outlined the sweeping changes during a press conference at the Pentagon.
The Army's recruiting reforms are based on a comprehensive study of Army recruiting over the past 25 years, which provided recommendations on how to regain competitiveness in the modern labor market. The changes aim to identify and recruit talent more effectively, expand the Army's focus to a larger share of the youth labor market, and create a specialized talent acquisition workforce.
The Army expects to have ended FY2023 with nearly 55,000 recruiting contracts, including around 4,600 for the Army's Delayed Entry Program. This will enable the Army to meet its end-strength goal of 452,000 active-duty Soldiers.
Secretary Wormuth and General George commended the efforts of the recruiting workforce and acknowledged the success of initiatives like the Future Soldier Prep Course and the Be All You Can Be campaign. However, they emphasized that more work needs to be done to make the Army a more attractive career choice for young Americans.
The leaders outlined five key areas in which the Army's recruiting enterprise will be transformed:
1. Transforming how the Army prospects: The Army will expand its focus beyond recent high school graduates and target individuals in the college market or those already in the job market. The goal is for at least a third of the Army's newest soldiers to have more than a high school degree by 2028.
2. Transforming the Army's recruiting workforce: The Army will create a more permanent and specialized talent acquisition workforce, ensuring that recruiters have the necessary tools, talent, and training to reach prospects effectively. This will involve the creation of two new military occupational specialties.
3. Creating an experimentation capability within USAREC: The Army will establish an experimentation team consisting of recruiters and experts in various fields to drive innovation and adapt to changing trends in the labor market.
4. Enhancing the evidence base for recruiting policy decisions: The Army will improve the measurement and evaluation of recruiting policy decisions to better allocate resources and determine return on investment. This will involve establishing an evidence-based learning capability in the Army headquarters.
5. Aligning Army recruiting leadership and structure: The marketing functions and the entire recruiting enterprise will be consolidated and re-aligned as a proposed three-star command reporting directly to the Secretary of the Army and the Chief of Staff. The commander's time in position will also be extended to four years to provide leaders with more time to make an impact.
Wormuth and George emphasized the need to better convey the value of service and the opportunities the Army offers to young Americans. They highlighted the Army's high retention rates, indicating that those in the Army generally love their jobs. The message they want to convey is that the United States Army is a place where individuals can truly be all that they can be.