PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. — The U.S. Army, the Nation’s largest military branch, announced last year that its recruitment goal for fiscal year 2022 fell short by 25 percent, or about 15,000 Soldiers. In July, the service also cut its projection for the overall size of its force for this fiscal year by 10,000 and anticipates another decline in 2023.
As a result of the shortfall, Army leaders worldwide are taking a proactive approach to assist in recruiting efforts. On Sept. 21 of last year, the Picatinny Arsenal Senior Commander, Brig. Gen. John T. Reim, sent an email to the mostly civilian workforce at Picatinny with the subject line reading “Call to Service.”
“I wasn’t expecting one of our own to step up and answer the call,” Reim said of the email about three months later. But Reim would indeed be delivering the oath of enlistment to a Picatinny Arsenal employee.
Sarah Worthy, 27, a management analyst at the installation’s Network Enterprise Center, contacted recruiters upon receiving Reim’s email. Thus began the path to enlistment.
On Dec. 22, 2022, the two met for the first time when Worthy recited the enlistment oath. Reim asked Worthy to raise her right hand and swear to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
“You keep [communications] running here at the NEC,” Reim told Worthy regarding her duties before she would leave to start her enlistment. “For us, we have an incredible mission here at Picatinny. We are the DoD Center of Excellence for all things Armaments and Ammunition. Our assigned weapon is our computer and our phone. Without that, we are not combat effective, so we appreciate all you do here. And we certainly appreciate you stepping up and answering the call.”
Worthy, who will serve in the U.S. Army Reserves, chose the military occupational specialty of Psychological Operations Specialist. She received a $13,000 signing bonus, plus an additional $50,000 student loan repayment option as enlistment incentives.
“My father is an Army chaplain and he has a psychology degree,” Worthy said. “We would kind of psychoanalyze people together. That’s where I got my interest in the MOS when it was presented to me. I thought it was something interesting that I should try.”
Worthy graduated from Liberty University with a degree in international relations, with a specification in strategic intelligence. She worked as a paralegal before taking a job with the NEC about two years ago.
“We are looking for motivated men and women like Sarah to join the Army team,” said Capt. Brian Fydenkevez, Commander, North Jersey Recruiting Company. “Only one in three people is eligible to join the Army based on our demanding academic, physical and moral standards.”
Worthy will report to recruit training in January. She will also be required to complete Airborne training, followed by a 10-day Psychological Operations Specialist Assessment and Selection Program. She then moves on to the Psychological Operations Specialist Qualification Course.
Her full-time position with the NEC is legally protected while she’s away at training for the Army Reserves and if she ever gets called up to active duty.
“The Picatinny Network Enterprise Center family is extremely proud of Ms. Worthy for her decision to enlist into the United States Army,” said Kevin Chadwell, Director of Picatinny’s NEC. “Congratulations on joining a proud American tradition. We salute and honor your service!”
To learn more about Army career options and the benefits of the military service, visit GoArmy.com.