The Navy announced Friday that it is halting a plan to force the service’s recruiters to work six days a week.

That about-face comes a day after Navy Times reported that the service’s roughly 3,900 recruiters had been told they would have to work an extra day each week starting July 8, as the Navy and other branches grapple with a recruiting crisis.

An email that Rear Adm. Alexis Walker, the head of Navy Recruiting Command, sent to recruiters this week — obtained by Navy Times — informed them of the forced extra work time and called it “a warfighting imperative.”

But late Friday afternoon an admiral above Walker, Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. Rick Cheeseman, announced the six-day work week policy would not be going into effect.

In an email accompanying a statement by Cheeseman, Capt. Jodie Cornell, his spokesperson, said “the Navy is committed to providing a work-life balance for our personnel.” She declined further comment.

In his statement, Cheeseman does not specifically mention the six-day work week policy, but does note that the Navy had more contracts signed this past May than it did in May 2022.

“The reality is we have a projected shortfall, need a healthy pipeline of people enlisting, and need to grow our Delayed Entry Program,” Cheeseman said. “Our recruiters are the people who make that happen. We will continue to do everything to support our recruiters, adjust policy when we see an opportunity and remain focused on ensuring we have a force ready to fight.”

The Navy expects to fall short of its enlisted recruiting target of 37,000 recruits by between 6,000 to 7,000 bodies when this fiscal year ends on Sept. 30, according to the email Walker sent earlier this week.

The Navy barely made its recruiting quota back in fiscal 2022 and had to drain its delayed-entry pool of recruits to make mission.

“I am not being dramatic when I say that our inability to bring in the right numbers and types of people … impacts our ability to fight and win,” Walker wrote in his email to those under his command. “Recruiting is the prime mover — the thing that makes everything else go — for the entire Navy.”

Walker’s email also suggested that recruiters could go back to a regular work week if they brought in more recruits.

“I want to place the ball in your court and let you control how long we need to be” on a six-day work week, his email states.

Geoff is the editor of Navy Times, but he still loves writing stories. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at

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