The Coast Guard announced Monday that it will create a new career path for recruiters — a move aimed at addressing shortfalls in attracting new members over the last four years.
Gary Rasicot, deputy for personnel readiness, said in a Coast Guard-wide message that the service will make recruiting a permanent rating instead of a shore assignment for those trained in other occupations.
The “talent acquisition specialists,” or TAs, will be trained to identify, attract and recruit new members to the service. The designation is expected to be rolled out in the coming months.
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“The creation of the TA rating is not just a change, but a revolution in the way we recognize and advance the skills of our dedicated recruiters,” Rasicot wrote in the announcement.
The Coast Guard has struggled to bring in recruits, failing to meet its enlisted goals for the past four years. In mid-2023, Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Linda Fagan told Congress that the service was short 3,500 members, while the service's fiscal 2024 budget request reported a shortfall of 4,800, or nearly 10% of its force.
Officials have reported that, in the past several months, the service has been recruiting at its fastest pace since 2020 after having made a number of changes to fill vacancies, including a referral program that pays bonuses to members, retirees or…