The Army is short on recruiters, and as hundreds of thousands of American teenagers graduate high school in June and ― perhaps ― turn their attention to enlisting, the service is pulling out all the stops to man those recruiting stations.
Specifically, the service is looking for 150 retired staff sergeants and sergeants first class, who have either been recruiters or instructors, to come back on active duty.
The Army also is looking for a handful of officers and warrants.
“This opportunity is a normal strength management tool used by the Army to meet critical skill requirements, while preserving unit readiness in the operational Army,” according to a Thursday release from Training and Doctrine Command.
This kind of measure has been used before in the Army, according to a spokeswoman, though she did not elaborate on how often or when it was last used.
“The policy of retired soldiers returning to active duty on a voluntary basis is used frequently to assist Army commands across the force and is used by commanders at their discretion,” Megan Reed told Army Times.
With the Army’s end strength on a steady upswing, the need to grow the training base is growing as well. But soldiers aren’t generally clamoring for instructor or recruiting duty, and operational tempo is still high, so bringing back retirees could be one way to fill those gaps.
Officers, meanwhile, are needed to serve as ROTC professors, or small group leaders at basic officer leader courses and captains career courses. Some warrants and officers could also return as instructor pilots.
A return to active duty would mean a two-year commitment, with full pay and benefits due to active soldiers, the release said, though there aren’t any bonuses associated.
They also have to pass a PT test and meet height-weight standards.
The Army is short about 400 recruiters, Lt. Gen. Thomas Seamands, the Army G1, confirmed to Army Times earlier this year. The service has been working on measures to fill the shortfall, he said, a result of 2017’s significant bump in recruiting.
Earlier this year, Sergeant Major of the Army Dan Dailey sent an email to senior enlisted leadership about the possibility of involuntarily sending some former recruiters TDY to recruiting duty to help with the shortage.
That measure never materialized, however. Neither did the extended hours and additional weekend shifts suggested by a Texas recruiting brigade back in May, though officials told Army Times that those options are always on the table.
Interested retirees can send an email to email@example.com or call the TRADOC adjutant general’s office at (757) 501-6855/6863/6861.
Meghann Myers is the Pentagon bureau chief at Military Times. She covers operations, policy, personnel, leadership and other issues affecting service members.