Recruiting Goal 2023: US Marines on Target for Active, Reserve Recruiting and Retention Goals

Foreign Affairs

Washington: The US Marine Corps will meet its recruiting goal for 2023, stands ahead of schedule for 2023 retention goals and already has reached more than a quarter of its retention goal for 2024.


The service is developing a reenlistment smartphone application that would allow Marines to “sign the dotted line” again at the click of a button. That work stands amid a multiyear struggle the rest of the military branches are facing in recruiting, ― though the Army also met its retention goal four months early, which was announced in early June.

The Marine announcements came June 28 here at the Modern Day Marine Expo during a panel that featured the heads of recruiting, training, plans and the Reserve.

Maj. Gen. William Bowers, head of recruiting command, said, “Now, you’ll read out there that less than 10% of the youth are quote ‘propensed’ to serve.”

“We like to replace ‘propensed,’ that kind of points the finger at the youth for not wanting to join to inspired, which puts it back on us.”

big bang

The Corps recently confirmed an end-strength of 177,000 for active-duty Marine Corps personnel, lower than the previous two fiscal years.

Maj. Gen. Roger Turner, head of Plans, Policies and Operations, said, “It’s really a culture shift in the Marine Corps, where maybe a few years ago there was a kind of ‘recruit and replace’ and that was the paradigm.”


“And now we’re more of a recruit, train and retain force. I think we’re changing that and that’s one of the biggest factors we’re seeing on retention success.”

As of June, the Corps has hit 110% of its 2023 retention goal, keeping 6,925 first-term Marines in uniform, 700 ahead of schedule.

Lt. Gen. David Bellon, commander of Marine Forces Reserve, said June 28 that 4th Marine Division is currently at 138% of its retention requirement already for 2023. The fiscal year concludes at the end of September.

A big hurdle for Marines looking to reenlist includes administrative hassles. A 20-document process could eat up a lot of time for those interested in staying in. Through a commandant-directed retention initiative, the process has now shifted to a 24–36 hour process that’s seen a 72% increase in first-term, top tier reenlistments, officials said.

As part of the program, officials are seeking out top tier Marines, those who’ve met or exceeded major Marine and job-specific goals and display above-average scores and reviews compared with their peers and allowing them to reenlist up to two years before the end of their contract.