DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Just ahead of the Memorial Day holiday, former Dothan Mayor Mike Schmitz gave an update on the state of Fort Novosel.

Schmitz serves as the CASA to Fort Novosel or the civilian aide to the secretary of the army. He spoke at Thursday’s Republican Women’s monthly meeting and emphasized the importance of recruiting.

The Wiregrass and the southeast part of the country already provide 29% of the army recruits nationwide, but Schmitz feels that number still can grow, this would help replace the 60,000 troops who retire every year and bring more people possibly to Fort Novosel and to the Wiregrass.

“I think the big thing is how we keep Fort Novosel strong,” CASA for Fort Novosel, Mike Schmitz said. “The future is changing. The military is changing. How do we make sure that Fort Movosel stays the leader in army aviation.”

Schmitz says one of the biggest problems they are having with new recruits is that they are not in shape and are not qualified academically, so the Army has started schools to help these recruits pass those requirements.