According to budget materials submitted to Congress earlier in February, Army might face ?significant challenges due to lower entry pools and a more competitive recruiting environment? but is determined to hit its goal of recruiting 62,000 soldiers in 2016 and 2017. The annual goal set by the army might face hurdles but will be achieved as assured by the officials.
It is pertinent to mention that even though the Army managed to achieve its goal of recruiting 59,000 soldiers in fiscal 2015, the recruiting campaign initially started off with just 16,500 young people being under contract. As per the records, this is the smallest delayed entry pool in 7 years. Similarly, the entry pool for 201 did not show any improvements either. In fact, the numbers dropped to 15,207 being under contract for future enlistment on October 1, 2016.
As the statistics provided by the Recruiting Command state, the enlistment total for 2016 for Regular Army was at 21,004 soldiers, which is almost one third of the total annual required for 2016.
The Army sternly notified in its budget submission that the reduced incentives, more stringent policies and restrictions and improving economic conditions are creating obstacles to reach the recruitment goals with ease.
However, it should be noted here that in spite of the challenges being faced, the newly enlisted young people are well-educated. Approximately 97 percent of the newly admitted youngsters hold traditional high school diplomas.
In addition, it is worth mentioning that around 60 percent of non-prior-service young people who are giving admissions back in 2015 have scored in or above the 50th percentage of the Armed Forces Qualification Test. The Armed Forces Qualification Test is a measure of recruit aptitude.
The budget document further stated, ?Nationally, the decline in high graduation rates and increasing obesity levels (among young people) have challenged the Army to strategically deal with the changing societal norms.?
In addition, service officials notified the lawmakers about the implementation of upgraded test score standards ?may impact quality achievement in the future as enlistment standards will increase.?
Approximately, enlistment bonuses up to $40,000 are offered by the Army to attract young people for fields that cannot be achieved simply with qualified recruits. These jobs and fields include but are not limited to health services, intelligence, communications and electronics, field artillery, administration and air defense.
According to the Federal law, the Army can utilize a sum of up $40,000 for enlistments. This also includes payments spread over the life of the enlistment. On the other hand, according to army policy, a soldier can receive a lump sum of $10,000 initially after completing basic training and initial skill training. Similarly, soldiers who are eligible for bonuses of more than $10,000 receive equal installments during the period of their enlistment.
As of now, around 44,000 new soldiers are eligible to receive bonuses in 2016. Approximately 45,000 new soldiers will be in line to receive the bonuses by 2017, as stated in the budget materials.
According to the report, these numbers are higher compared to the 32,000 recruits up for bonuses back in 2015, with 15,000 young people enlisted for the Regular Army.