The Navy has set up the Navy Recruiting Reserve Command, a move that comes as the armed forces struggle to recruit for this exercise.
The objective is to provide the service with a unit specifically targeting sailors and others who have already served. The command is staffed primarily by professional recruiters to educate others — including active duty sailors, veterans and civilians — about the Naval Reserve, according to the service.
“The challenge that has affected us all is the competition for our military and civilian talent, and that of our reserve market,” Capt. Karen Muntean, commander of Navy Recruiting Reserve Command, said in a press release. “This competitive job market has forced us to think about short-term and long-term organizational structures that make sense.”
The move is part of the realignment of Commander Navy Recruiting Command’s command structure from a three-region model (East, Central and West) to a two-region model (East and West). for recruiting into active duty, training new members of the reserve, and Reserve Training and Administration, according to the Navy. This frees up the new NRRC to focus on the prior service reserve mission in a competitive job market.
The command is to hold an inaugural production conference in Millington, Tennessee, in September.
“The goal of the NRRC Initial Leadership Conference is to connect our leaders, accept mission assignments, identify strategic partnerships and move forward together,” Muntean said.
Leaders like General Joseph Martin, the Army’s vice chief of staff, have recently cited staffing struggles stemming from recruiting. The Army projects it will miss its final strength target for fiscal year 2022 by about 7,000 soldiers, Martin said in July.
Commanders from each of the services have said factors such as more extensive medical screenings, fewer Americans eligible for service, and low civilian unemployment have contributed to recruiting difficulties.
However, other services, including the navy, are doing better than the army. Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Mike Gilday told reporters July 26 that while recruiting still proves a challenge, the Navy is currently on track to meet its goals.
The Marine Service is working to meet the needs of young people and is reevaluating some policies that previously barred many of them from serving, Gilday said. He cited recent changes like last year’s policy update that allowed those who had previously tested positive for marijuana to join the service.
“This isn’t the first time we’ve faced these challenges,” Gilday said. “We simply cannot rest on our laurels. We need to be more innovative. We need to be more creative. Our influence must improve.
Last year, the Navy exceeded its goals, recruiting a total of 33,559 new enlisted sailors to the fleet in fiscal year 2021, 159 more than its goal of 33,400 new recruits.