Oct. 30 (UPI) -- To address ongoing recruiting challenges, the U.S. Air Force and Space Force have raised the age limit for new enlisted and officer recruits to 42.
Department leadership made the adjustment to the age limit last week and it went into effect immediately.
The change comes roughly a month after the Air Force missed its recruitment target, falling short by approximately 2,700 applicants this year, signifying a substantial recruitment challenge that has not been seen more than two decades.
Military leaders believe the recruitment shortfall underscores the mounting difficulties the service faces in attracting qualified candidates amid a rapidly evolving job market and shifting demographics.
Air Force authorities project that the increased age limit will draw in an additional 50 recruits annually.
Earlier this year, the department relaxed previously stringent regulations regarding tattoos and prior drug usage, aiming to reduce entry barriers without compromising the caliber of recruits.