New materials launched for Every Sailor is a Recruiter program

by Tommy Grant

The Navy is providing new resources to all Navy commands as part of its Every Sailor is a Recruiter initiative, months after the service missed its recruitment goals for the first time ever, and as it joins the other services in attempting to dig out of an historic recruiting crisis.

Commands will have access to the so-called “Every Sailor is a Recruiter Commanding Officers Smartbook” and the Navy recruiting E- toolbox website with the hope of getting the fleet to help bring in additional recruits, according to a new naval administrative message, or NAVADMIN, released this month.

The Navy’s Every Sailor is a Recruiter campaign launched in July 2022, and aims for current sailors to share their positive experiences in the service with potential recruits.

Under the program, sailors may earn up to two Flag Letters of Commendation if they successfully refer someone who signs a future sailor contract. These are worth one point each toward advancement, according to the service.

The smartbook provides resources detailing community events, media outreach programs, delayed entry programs, a Recruit Training Command primer, military pay and educational information, among others.

Meanwhile, the toolbox website provides a dashboard that allows commands to follow referral and contract efforts. It also includes links to the referral submission website, as well as promotional materials sailors may share with prospective sailors.

The Navy announced in October that it recruited 30,236 new active duty sailors in fiscal 2023, failing to reach the 37,700 target number accessions for the year. The service also fell short of meeting its officer goals, recruiting only 2,080 new active duty officers rather than the 2,532 target.

For fiscal year 2024, the Navy said its striving to recruit 40,600 new active duty enlisted personnel, as well as 7,619 Reserve enlisted personnel.

Military leaders attribute recruiting challenges to more thorough medical screenings, fewer Americans eligible to serve and low civilian unemployment.

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