The Army has missed its recruiting goal for the first time in more than a decade.
Army leaders tell The Associated Press they were about 6,500 soldiers short of their goal in signing up only about 70,000 new troops for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30. The other service branches met their targets.
The shortfall comes despite an extra $200 million in enlistment bonuses and the approval of additional waivers for bad conduct or health issues to allow some people to join who might otherwise not have made the grade.
Maj. Gen. Joe Calloway says the shortfall was fueled by the strong American economy. The pool of eligible recruits has also been declining for years.
The Army is experimenting with new recruitment strategies, including sending teams of recruiters into cross-fit sports competitions and gaming contests.