Brigadier Andrew Jackson, commander of the army recruiting group, blamed the shortfall on changing attitudes, including a dislike of taking orders and a decline in patriotism.
"The sort of thing that people say about the army is that they are not attracted by the physical work and taking orders," Jackson told The Scotsman.
The war in Iraq, unpopular in England, has added to the army's woes.
The army recently decided to get rid of four battalions. The recruiting shortfall is also expected to hamper plans to cut troops' stays in Iraq.
The U.S. military has been experiencing similar recruiting problems.