* The RAND Corp. has developed a new forecasting tool that can help Army leaders find new recruits.
The Army reached out to the corporation to better understand and predict the potential recruiting pool, said Jeffrey Wenger, senior policy researcher at RAND.
The service wanted to determine "how they could think about reprogramming resources so that they could achieve their recruiting goals," Wenger said.
"We built them a suite of tools, one of which is a forecasting model to determine whether or not the recruiting environment was going to be particularly difficult," he added.
The effort was tricky for RAND because there are a number of elements associated with recruitment that are out of the Army's control, he noted.
Some issues that factor into the ability to attract people to join the military include the state of the national economy, the unemployment rate and the Army's operating environment.
The reduction in casualties associated with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has aided recruitment, he said.
However, the robust job market has created hurdles for enticing people to serve.
Overall, Wenger believes the Army is approaching a time when it will be difficult for the service to recruit its desired number of soldiers. With 70,000 recruits in 2018, the Army fell short of its 76,500...