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US Army expected to miss recruitment goal again in 2023

"We are doing everything we can to get as close to it as possible; we are going to fall short."

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The US Army has made known that it will come up short of its recruiting goal of 65,000 new soldiers. The number of young Americans who have an interest in enlisting is apparently shrinking, per Military.com. However, other branches of the US military are also at risk of coming up short of their recruiting goals. 

The Army reportedly came up 15,000 active-duty members short of their goal last year. The Army National Guard is in even worse shape, with its struggle to bring in new recruits, as well as retaining those who enlist. There is reportedly a struggle to balance domestic and overseas missions.

"We are not going to make that goal," Army Secretary Christine Wormuth said during a congressional meeting on Tuesday. "We are doing everything we can to get as close to it as possible; we are going to fall short."

Military.com reported that the only branch of the military that appears to be doing well is the Space Force, which also happens to be the smallest branch. The outlet noted that many of its recruits are transfers from the Air Force.

However, Army leaders have noted that it is not only that the numbers of enlistment are low, but there are only about 23 percent of Americans between the ages of 17-24 who are eligible to serve. Many potential applicants fail to pass the military’s SAT-style entrance exam, or they are too overweight to qualify for enlistment.

The outlet reported that 20 percent of all male recruits and 40 percent of all females are too heavy to be eligible for enlistment, which makes it difficult to pass the physical fitness portion of their training. This fits with the statistical fact that approximately 30.7 percent of all Americans are overweight, which often has to do with nutrition and lack of exercise.

Another major issue for potential recruits is that the military has observed applicants being barred from enlisting due to “applicants’ medical and mental health history,” going on to mention issues “such as years-old minor injuries or common prescriptions causing major headaches.” Amid the leaks of classified Pentagon documents, there appears to be evidence that the US has soldiers actively engaging with Russian soldiers, which raises questions about where many active-military members are being deployed.
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