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Navy Making Recruiters Work 6-Day Weeks as Recruiting Crisis Deepens

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

By: Ailan Evans, Daily Caller News Foundation

The Navy’s head of recruiting has ordered the service’s recruiters to work six-day weeks and is considering measures to temporarily inflate the number of Navy troops assigned to recruiting duty amid dire recruitment prospects, according to screenshots posted on social media and validated by Military.com.

Navy head of Recruiting Command Rear Adm. Alexis Walker said the service could not “wait a minute longer” to extend recruiters’ working hours as the U.S. Navy’s recruiting struggles deepen in 2023, a spokesperson confirmed to Military.com after screenshots of messages announcing the change were posted on Reddit’s r/Navy community. Other screenshots suggested the Navy is deliberating ordering sailors slated for recruiting duty to report six months early, while extending tours of duty for those already in recruiting by at least one year.

“While we continue to lead the country in Navy recruiting (and I thank you for your efforts in making this happen!), the rest of the Region (and the nation as a whole) are continuing to struggle, and we need to pitch in as part of an all-hands effort across Navy Recruiting Command,” the skipper, whose identity was obscured, wrote to their team.

The change will take place on July 8 and is “expected to affect staff from the top down,” Recruiting Command spokesperson Lt. Cmdr. Rich Parker told Military.com.

Extended working hours “may be met with some hesitation,” Parker acknowledged, according to Military.com, but added that “our duty is to bring the best and most qualified recruits into the Navy.”

The Navy just skirted past its active-duty enlistment goal for 2022 by delving into a delayed-entry pool, leaving few reserves to pull from to reach the 37,000 goal for 2023, Military.com reported. Adm. Lisa Franchetti told Congress in April she expects the service to miss its goal by about 6,000 sailors.

The Navy also missed active duty and reserve targets, including officers, by 200 in 2022, according to Military.com.

While “there have been no official policy changes to recruiting duty orders, early transfers, or extensions,” Navy Personnel Command spokesperson Lt. Rachel Maul told the outlet. “The Navy is considering all available options in order to fully man our recruiting stations as we continue to address the projected recruiting shortfalls for 2023.”

“I am not being dramatic when I say that our inability to bring in the right numbers and types of people … impacts our ability to fight and win,” Walker wrote in his email to all of Naval Recruiting Command.

Service officials have attributed recent recruiting struggles to a historically low number of Americans who are both eligible to serve and express an interest, as well as intense competition and often better-paying, less demanding offers from the private sector.

The Navy is also bumping up enlistment bonuses for people looking to fill highly technical occupations; recruits who offer to ship out before October could earn up to an extra $140,000 in bonuses and loan repayments, according to the recruiting website. As of June 15, recruits entering the nuclear career field would receive a $75,000 bonus, while all others get $50,000, the Navy said in a news release.

The program “is designed to attract the highest quality of recruits” and maintain the Navy’s readiness, the press release said.

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