Recruiting Challenges

The House Armed Services Committee military personnel panel met with service leaders on Thursday to discuss the impact of sequestration on recruiting and retention. “It will remain a challenge for services to recruit the best and brightest,” acknowledged panel Chairman Rep. Joe Wilson [R-S.C.] during the hearing. Due to a weak and struggling economy in recent years, the Air Force has seen the “highest quality of recruits in Air Force history,” said Brig. Gen. Gina Grosso, director for force management policy, under the deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel, and services. This trend, however, is “unsustainable as the economy continues to improve and competition… increases dramatically,” she said. The Air Force must focus on recruiting, assessing, and attaining qualified and motivated airmen in order to “effectively sway youth to military service,” said Grosso. This will require “continued investment in our recruiting forces” even as the Air Force works to “right-size” the force, as well as “adequate initial enlistment” bonuses for new recruits, said Grosso. “In spite of recent budget reductions, we will continue to strongly advocate for recruiting resources needed to ensure we do not miss annual recruiting requirements,” she added.