Miss. National Guard faces recruiting challenges - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Miss. National Guard faces recruiting challenges

Maj. Gen. Augustus Collins (top right) speaks to a gathering of civilian visitors at Camp Shelby Friday. Maj. Gen. Augustus Collins (top right) speaks to a gathering of civilian visitors at Camp Shelby Friday.
CAMP SHELBY, MS (WDAM) -

The Army is falling a little short of its recruiting goals for 2015.  

Army officials said recruiting is off by about 15 percent so far this year. But, they are confident they will reach their target of 59,000 new recruits by Sept. 30.

Meanwhile, Mississippi National Guard officials said they also believe they will reach their goal of having 9,900 soldiers by the end of September.

But, they do admit that recruiting is becoming more challenging.  

"The recruiting base is getting smaller, because we have a number of young men and women who are obese and they can't get in the service," said Maj. Gen. Augustus Collins, adjutant general for the state of Mississippi. "They're not active enough where they can pass an army physical fitness test. A number of them have already had problems with the local law enforcement, so they have criminal records. So, there's a lot of factors that go into finding the right person to be a recruit in our military service, all of our military services."

The Army also announced plans recently to cut about 40,000 active-duty soldiers from its ranks over the next couple of years. 

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