Berlin, Germany—In an attempt to swell its ranks and reach its recruitment quotas, the German army will target minors.

The Bundeswehr is facing a manpower shortage. In 2011, Germany decided to shift its military from a conscript to an all-volunteer force. Although the process is gradual, the effects are already felt.

The latest figures reveal that from January to August 2017, the Bundeswehr recruited 10,105 men and women with a 23-months contract, a 15 per cent drop for the same period in 2016. The Bundeswehr, however, seems to fair better with two-year contracts since it recruited 33,400 new soldiers during the same period. Nevertheless, around 25 per cent of all recruits resigned during their six-month trial.

To address this issue, the German army recruited 2,128 underaged (below 18) in 2017, with 448 of them being women. In 2011 that number was just 689 recruits.