It is of great concern that amid changing conditions in the branches of the armed forces, there is more talk made quietly about reviving the draft in some form. Noting this and the evolving paradigm of the current state of the US Defense position, it is of interest that the Navy is moving to recruit thousands of soldiers amid an admitted shortage of personnel.
The U.S. Navy has identified thousands of unfilled roles at sea as the service branch faces a hiring gap that has grown from 2,750 vacant billets last year to 9,000 this year.
The Navy is now requesting $33.9 billion for personnel funding for fiscal year 2021, which will fund the hiring of 7,300 new sailors, Navy Times reported. The funding for personnel hiring would represent a $2.1 billion increase over its personnel hiring budget requests for 2020.
The U.S. Navy reportedly wants to shift some of its funding away from building new ships as it calls for its new hiring efforts.
“We are fully committed to closing gaps at-sea as quickly as possible by sustaining our near-record Sailor retention and aggressively increasing our recruiting goals,” Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm John Nowell told Navy Times in an emailed statement. “We owe it to our shipmates at sea to ensure every billet is filled with the right Sailor, who has the right training, and who is hitting the deckplates at the right time!”
The Navy’s hiring gaps have reportedly contributed to delays in pre-deployment training efforts before ships hit the seas.
The Navy prepares for its deployments through the Optimized Fleet Response Plan (O-RFP). The O-RFP, which was established in 2014, necessitates that Navy ships have their full complement of sailors by the time it begins its earliest phases of pre-deployment training. Early phases of training are meant to nail down basic crew functions such as firefighting, safe navigation and effectively using a ship’s combat systems. (source)