Without warning, hundreds of noncommissioned officers were ordered via email to report to the recruiting school at Fort Knox, Kentucky, in less than a week, with hundreds more set to start at the school in December — a sudden unexpected move by the Army as the service scrambles to boost its recruiting force by 800 by the end of the year.
The orders came after a breakdown in how the Army tracks how many recruiters it has coming through the pipeline along with retention of existing ones, according to Lt. Gen. Douglas Stitt, the Army's top personnel officer. The sudden depletion of recruiters caught Army planners flat-footed, with officials unable to provide a clear explanation as to what went wrong. Now, NCOs will likely have to move during the holiday season and in the middle of the school year, sowing chaos for families.
“Given the six-day heads up, we have zero time to plan child care,” one noncommissioned officer told Military.com on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media. “We can barely find and afford child care during the week as it is, so now my wife may end up having to quit her job entirely because it is impossible to find on the weekend.”
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The Army has roughly 10,000 recruiters, but that force has been bleeding troops over the past year. The 800 emergency…