As the military services compete for an ever-shrinking pool of eligible recruits, some are faring better than others.
The Army and Marine Corps are set to fall on opposite sides of what has become a recruiting crisis as enlistment estimates roll in this week and the fiscal year comes to a close on Oct. 1.
The Army is expected to end up roughly 10,000 recruits short of its goal to bring in 65,000 new active-duty soldiers, according to a service official with direct knowledge of the situation. Meanwhile, the Marine Corps has met its recruitment goals for fiscal year 2023, Gen. Eric Smith, the service's newly confirmed commandant, announced Thursday.
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“It's a difficult environment right now,” Maj. Gen. Johnny Davis, commander of the Army Recruiting Command, told Military.com in August. “I feel good about going into 2024; we're seeing some positive momentum. Everyone is also competing for these young men and women. We want the very best to serve; we're competing for them.”
The services are facing one of the toughest recruiting times in many years, caused partly by high employment rates and a shrinking pool of eligible Americans. Roughly 23% of 17- to 24-year-olds are eligible to serve, and that issue has gotten more dire due to rising obesity and falling academic scores.
The Army is not alone in its…