Efforts to increase recruitment into the military for 2023 after struggling for years

JACKSONVILLE, Fla — The military has been struggling to meet its recruiting requirements for the last couple of years. One local recruiter is doing everything he can to bring more officers into the force.

“You can talk education, you can talk the many countries I’ve been to, the deployments I’ve done,” says Eric.


Meet the commanding officer of The U.S. Navy in Jacksonville, Eric Marshall Kearns. He comes from a generation of military men and after 22 years in the service Kearns wants to help others find a passion within The U.S. Navy. The U.S. Navy is also struggling to meet recruiting requirements and, in an effort, to fill spots some branches of the military are offering signing bonuses.

Kearns believes Covid is to blame for recruitment issues.

“Ensuring you can have those face-to-face communications with someone you’re in a contract with to effectively change their life that was significantly impacted,” said Kearns.

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In the last month the navy in Jax has exceeded its recruitment goals but says recruitment differs for each person.

“There’s a big difference between people that have significant felonies and those that have misdemeanors and have made simple mistakes in their lives and deserve a second chance and we have to evaluate those on a case-by-case basis,” said Kearns.

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Kearns says a lot of what derails recruitments is the time that it takes to approve administrative requirements such as one’s medical background.

“As long as we continue to press and prove to them every day why the navy is the best in the world and why they should join us we contract them,” said Kearns.

For information on how you can join the Navy, click here.

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