The United States Army has recently stated its intent to drop the requirement that its incoming recruits must have a high school diploma or a G.E.D. degree what seems to be a ploy to try and increase the number of incoming recruits.
This past Thursday, the Army officially announced the incoming changes. Recruits must still be 18 years of age and eligible for a job in any other area of active duty and must also achieve a score of at least 50 when given the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) in order to ascertain their academic ability, as reported by Military.com.
It was noted by the military-focused outlet that, “The Army and its sister services have scrambled this year, offering increasingly generous benefits and policy tweaks in an effort to improve recruiting numbers. The Army has hit 40% of its recruiting goals this year, with the struggle to fill the ranks seemingly so grim the Defense Department reduced its planned total force size because prior recruiting goals were out of reach.”
Just last week, the Army also announced that it would relax its current regulations in regard to size, placement, and the total number of tattoos that its recruits could have.
“Social norms, people are getting more tattoos,” stated Sargent Major Ashleigh Sykes to the assembled press this past Thursday. “It doesn’t stop readiness if someone has a tattoo on the back of their neck.”
As stated in a recent memo sent out about the rule change, “This directive announces a change in policy for the allowable placement of tattoos for currently serving Soldiers and applicants for enlistment or appointment. Changes to the Army tattoo policy allow individuals who meet all other qualifications for appointment or enlistment the opportunity to serve.”
“They also support the Army’s People Strategy, our number one priority, by offering Soldiers options for appearance that take into account professional appearance and good order and discipline,” stated the memo.
As reported by NBC News on Monday, every branch across the U.S. military is currently not going to meet its expected recruitment goals if nothing changes.
“This recruiting crisis is like a slow-moving wave coming at us,” stated a senior defense official that deals with personnel issues and recruiting to NBC News. “As the military has gotten smaller and the public have gotten less and less familiar with those in uniform, it has grown. And COVID accelerated it.”
Army Secretary Christine Wormuth also initiated a new stream that meets bi-weekly to speak about the new recruiting efforts.
“The Army, like other services, is facing the most challenging recruiting market in the last 20 years,” stated Wormuth to the outlet. “I expect these recruiting market headwinds to persist, so the Army must improve how we recruit in this new market environment. In March 2022, the Army began a comprehensive review and analysis of our accessions enterprise, recruiting policy, organizational structure and marketing practices. Recommendations for this review, coupled with other immediate steps we are taking, will help the Army address recruiting challenges and position the Army recruiting for success in the future.”
The military is also reportedly thinking about making use of Chinese-owned Tik Tok and other social media platforms as a way to recruit young Americans.
“We have to be where the recruits are, and TikTok is one of the biggest social media platforms in the world,” stated a defense official.