Top Gun Maverick: Navy, Air Force look for recruitment boost following big opening for Tom Cruise sequel

'Top Gun: Maverick' plays a recruitment video before each show

The military will look for the success of "Top Gun: Maverick" to boost recruitment, repeating the effect of the original film.

We did get a good recruiting bump from ‘Top Gun’ in 1986 when I went to the theaters

and saw ‘Top Gun’ with my friends in '86," Maj. Gen. Edward W. Thomas, commander of Air Force Recruiting Service

told Fox News Digital. "I was already excited about military aviation, but I got even more excited."

The military has faced recruiting challenges over the past few years,

with the coronavirus pandemic reportedly causing shortages that led to each branch missing reserve

attainment targets even with lower targets in those years.

The slump has hit the active component in 2022, with the Army and Navy falling short of their targets through the end of March.