The U.S. Army has said it is seeing an upward trend in recruiting but has refused to provide numbers to bolster the claim.
Army Secretary Christine Wormuth told Congress that the branch has improved upon its numbers from last year in its bid to reverse a severe recruiting crisis, but would not fulfill a request to provide the actual data when it was requested by Military.com
According to the outlet, requests to the Army for quarterly recruiting data were made in early April, and the branch has declined for weeks to be forthcoming with the numbers and has provided no reason for their refusal.
“We have seen an increase across the force in each quarter,” Madison Bonzo, an Army spokesperson, told Military.com. “We expect to finish the third quarter strong and continue this momentum as we move into the fourth quarter.”
The report comes as the Army battles its worst recruiting crisis since the military switched to an all-volunteer model after the Vietnam War, coming up 15,000 recruits short of its 60,000 soldier recruiting goal in fiscal year 2022.
While all branches of the military have struggled to fill their ranks, the Army, the largest branch of the Armed Forces, has been the hardest hit by the crisis. The low numbers have been of particular concern to Congress, with the Army representing a vital partner for the defense of NATO amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
However, Wormuth has struck a more optimistic tone as of late, telling lawmakers at a hearing last month that the branch is making headway toward reversing course.
“We are seeing improvements in our recruiting situation. We are better off this year than before the previous year,” Wormuth said during the hearing.
However, Wormuth also told lawmakers during the Senate Appropriations Committee’s defense panel that the branch is still unlikely to reach its goal this year.
“At the same time, the chief and I set a very ambitious goal of 65,000 recruits this year,” Wormuth said. “We are not going to make that goal. We are doing everything we can to get as close to it as possible.”
The Army has taken multiple steps in recent months to help bolster its recruiting efforts, including expanding a pre-basic training course that allows recruits who normally would not qualify for service as a result of low physical fitness or aptitude test scores to attend the training and meet Army standards before shipping to initial-entry training.
The course has so far been successful, the Army has said, and could result in as many as 12,000 additional troops entering the ranks that otherwise would have been disqualified from service.
The Army did not immediately respond to a Fox News request for comment.
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