Programs

Army expands recruiting programs, invests to fill ranks – WSB-TV Channel 2

WASHINGTON — (AP) — The Army plans to increase marketing investments and is expected to expand a new program for struggling recruits, but leaders on Monday provided few new details about how they will fill the ranks after fell far short of meeting recruitment targets. This year.

Army Secretary Christine Wormuth told reporters that a new recruiting task force was coming up with ideas. But any new plans should materialize quickly in order to reverse the dramatically low number of enlistments over the past year.

For the exercise that ended Sept. 30, the Army was only 75 percent of its target, 15,000 troops short of the target of 60,000. It was the only service to miss its recruiting target, but everyone else had to dig deep into their pools of Delayed Entry candidates, which will put them behind the start of the next recruiting year on Saturday.

Asked if there was any sense the army would be able to meet its target this year, Wormuth said it was too early to speculate.

Wormuth and Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville said a new program that helps underperforming recruits meet academic and fitness standards shows promise. But they said there was still no decision on its expansion to three other locations in the country. Wormuth said that will depend on results over the next two months.

McConville added: “We want to make sure there are the number of rookies who can do it. … The first results we see are that it could fundamentally change the way we recruit.

On a trip to see the program at Fort Jackson, SC, in August, McConville said the program could be implemented at three other Army training bases. Commanders had suggested they could send up to 10,000 potential recruits to classes.

The program provides up to 90 days of academic or physical training to help recruits improve to the point where they can meet military standards.

Wormuth and McConville spoke to reporters on the first day of the Association of the United States Army annual meeting.

On other issues, Wormuth said she was comfortable so far with the amount of ammunition and weapons systems the United States is taking from Pentagon stockpiles and sending to Ukraine. There have been lingering questions about how much the United States can send without affecting the combat readiness of American forces or their ability to train.

The United States has sent hundreds of thousands of rounds of ammunition to Ukraine to aid in its fight against Russia and thousands of weapons, ranging from javelins and howitzers to longer-range systems such as the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS).

For example, a recent aid package contained 75,000 rounds for the howitzer.

“We obviously have a limited supply of these systems and that’s exactly why we’ve put so much emphasis on working with our industry partners to try to ramp up production lines for these types of systems,” Wormuth said.