We live in strange times. Looking at Army recruiting videos on YouTube, I noticed that some were weeks old and had only a few hundred views. I’m talking between four and six hundred, And this was the official US Army Recruiting channel, not some weird knockoff (not that anyone would want to knock it off). A quick search revealed that a cat playing the piano garnered more than 1.2 views in only a bit more time.

Piano Cat 1 : US Army 0

Just as they are falling short of recruiting video views, The United States Army is falling way short of signing up actual recruits. According to the Associated Press, the Army missed its recruiting mark by about 15,000 soldiers. That’s a 25% shortfall. To make matters worse, for the Army, at least, they are the only service that didn’t meet its recruiting goals this year. And some of the other branches made it only by the skin of their teeth. On the other end of the spectrum, Space Force, says Lt. Gen. Bradley Saltzman in AirForce Times, didn’t face the same challenges. He said the service, which only has about 8,400 guardians (that’s what they call themselves), has “more volunteers than we have spots to fill.”  

New recruits take the oath
The latest batch of US Army recruits takes their oath. Image credit: US Army War College

The folks at the US Army War College remind us that “recruiting is critical for sustaining an all-volunteer force” and that under US Federal Code Title 10, “each service performs its own recruiting function.” In other words, if the Army fails to meet its goals, they have no one else to blame. The official statement made by Army Secretary Christine Wormuth, as reported by the Associated Press, is as follows:

“In the Army’s most challenging recruiting year since the start of the all-volunteer force, we will only achieve 75% of our fiscal year 22 recruiting goal.”