The Army is rushing to push noncommissioned officers into its recruiting school after graduating only half the number of recruiters this year that the classes are capable of producing, according to service data reviewed by Military.com.
The eight-week Army Recruiter Course at Fort Knox, Kentucky, can train a maximum of 2,866 students across a total of 53 classes. However, data shows that it graduated only 1,336 in fiscal 2023, which concluded at the end of September.
A sudden and chaotic string of orders for NCOs to immediately fill 800 seats at the recruiting school has roiled the Army in recent days. On Monday, 200 of them started classes after being given a week's notice, though some soldiers' orders to the school were canceled due to media coverage and local chains of command that were irritated by the short notice.
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It's not uncommon for military schools to miss student enrollment targets. But falling so significantly short set off alarms among Army planners that the service was losing far more recruiters than it was bringing in — amid one of the worst recruiting crises in recent memory.
As the number of soldiers responsible for getting more Americans to enlist drops dramatically, the Army remains locked in a historic struggle to bring in recruits, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic. It just reported coming up 10,000 soldiers short of its goal of 65,000 new troops over the…