Trump wants to beef up the military, but recruiters are having trouble finding people

President Trump has ordered the biggest single-year increase in recruitment targets in the history of the armed services.
March 21, 2018, 12:10am

Donald Trump wants a bigger army. Much bigger. For recruiters, that means a hard job just got harder.

This year's target has been set to 80,000 recruits, up from 68,000 the year before, and the edict comes at a low point for recruitment enthusiasm. Low unemployment rates have made the Army less appealing for young people, as have more than 15 years of war in Afghanistan and Iraq. To make matters worse, a rise in obesity rates means that only some of the young people who are interested in enlisting in the armed forces can even qualify.

So the Army is looking inward, reforming itself to make the prospect of serving more attractive. These initiatives include increasing bonuses, allowing more waivers for people who have used marijuana, and helping potential recruits to lose weight.

Elle Reeve visited Fort Knox to see how recruiters are adapting to their new mission.

This segment originally aired March 20, 2018, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.