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IPFS News Link • Military

No Maverick appeal: Air Force misses recruitment goal for first time since 1999


Despite hopes that movies like "Top Gun: Maverick" would recapture the imagination of youth and open their minds to the possibility of high-flying military service, the U.S. Air Force has missed its recruitment goals for the first time since 1999.

This is part of a service-wide trend (Army and Navy included) that has so far only spared the Marines, which at 33,000 has much lower target numbers than the Army, for example, which missed its goal of 65,000 new recruits in May. It was the second year in a row the Army fell short.

But the active duty Air Force's failure to meet its goals is the first time in nearly a quarter century, presaging hard times to come. According to this report the active duty component fell just shy (90 percent) of its 26,877 goal, while its reserve and Air Guard fared worse, with 30 percent shortfalls in each.

Unlike the pre-9/11 days in 1999, which, despite small overseas operations against lesser rivals like Saddam Hussein, was considered peace time, military officials are worried about what these shortfalls mean for their ability to meet the current twin security challenges consistently identified by official Washington: Russia and China.