U.S. Army recruitment down, Minnesota fares better than nation
ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Across the country, the U.S. Army is struggling to reach its recruitment goals. Here in Minnesota, efforts are stronger compared to the rest of the nation.
According to Lt. Col. Ryan Rossman, Minnesota National Guard’s Retention Battalion Commander, the state sits at 68.3 percent of its recruiting mission. Rossman said with just seven weeks out from the end of the Army’s fiscal year, the goal is to be at 80 percent. But, it fares better than the nation, which has only recruited 52 percent of its goal of 60,000 new active duty personnel.
“Minnesota has got a very good history in recruiting battalion,” Rossman said. “For many years, they’re number one, two, three, battalion in the nation. What we have here is dedicated young people who want to serve their community and state.”
Rossman said it’s hard to speak for the entire country, but credits low unemployment rates, a smaller number of fit Americans being able to serve and COVID pandemic to recruitment issues.
Minnesota has remained in the top five states for recruitment every month this year. Lining up against states like Texas, New York and California.
“I think we’re doing well. We want to be doing better in the environment, but I’m happy where my team is at. They are still energized, talking in the streets, talking to young Americans,” Rossman said.
According to U.S. Army, Secretary Christine Wormuth says retention of existing service members remains high nationwide. This year, Minnesota passed a law to help keep soldiers in the National Guard. The law, signed in May, gives a reenlistment bonus to soldiers and airmen. Before the law, service members with more than 12 years of service were not eligible for the bonus.
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