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Posted: 12/15/2005 1:28:38 AM EDT

Army recruiting tops new goals

By Rowan Scarborough
December 13, 2005

The Army has exceeded recruiting goals in the first two months of this fiscal year, reversing a trend that had some Iraq critics saying the armed services branch was "broken."
The Pentagon yesterday said the Army signed up 5,856 recruits in November, 5 percent above its goal. It previously announced the Army also exceeded its target in October, the first month of the 2006 fiscal year.
The Army has that hit its recruiting mark for six straight months, a promising development for the Bush administration. President Bush's critics had cited the Army's failure to achieve its recruiting goals in fiscal 2005 as proof that the war in Iraq is breaking the force.
Rep. John P. Murtha, Pennsylvania Democrat and one of the party's chief Iraq war critics, has called the Army "broken" and urged the White House to withdraw all U.S. troops from the country.
But Lt. Col. Bryan Hilferty, an Army spokesman at the Pentagon, said the service is more confident of filling the ranks as the recruiting year unfolds.
"Part of the reason is it's like steering a boat," he said. "The changes we made in the last year take a while to take effect."
Those changes included putting more recruiters on the street and offering specific assignment incentives. If a high school graduate was willing to commit to the 3rd Infantry Division bound for Iraq, for example, he could receive a bonus of several thousand dollars. Enlistees can receive up to a $20,000 bonus depending on the length of commitment and their job skills. The Army also changed its ad campaign to focus more on patriotism.
"I think the Army as a whole is working harder at recruiting," Col. Hilferty said.
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and other officials explained the 2005 recruiting shortfall this way: the active-duty Army is growing by 30,000, making the sign-up goal larger, and parents in some cases are counseling against joining the combat arms at a time when more than 2,000 American service members have been killed in Iraq since March 2003.
Soldiers typically spend a year in Iraq or Afghanistan, and then a year at home before deploying again. In contrast, Marines spend six months overseas and six months at home.
The Army fell far behind its goal of 80,000 recruits in fiscal 2005, but made up much of the lost ground during the summer, when high school graduates typically decided their next step. By Sept. 30, recruiters had brought in 73,000 future soldiers, a number the Army said was sufficient to sustain the force the next year. The Army last missed its mark in 1999.
Col. Hilferty said he "can't guarantee" the Army will meet its end goal of 80,000 by next Sept. 30, noting the winter and spring are traditionally difficult recruiting seasons. The Army has 492,728 active-duty soldiers in the 1.4 million-member armed forces.
The Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force all met their November enlistment quotas.

Wonder how the doom and gloomers will spin this? I bet they start claiming we are brainwashing recruits now or something.
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 1:56:38 AM EDT
Well, they did lower their standards.
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 2:10:21 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Sukebe:
Well, they did lower their standards.

I would only view that as a concern if we see a lower standard of performance from these recruits. So far, I have seen no evidence suggesting that is the case.
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 3:44:39 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Sukebe:
Well, they did lower their standards.

they raised the upper age of enlistment, they didn't "lower their standards"...

here's some facts regarding recruits:

1. recruits aren't stupid. in fact, they are far better educated than the general youth pop. 90+% have hs degrees compared to 75% civs. as far as regular .mil, more have college degrees or are working towards those degrees than civvie world.

2. average recruits score higher on the asvab than those who choose not to go into the .mil (67% score above the 60th percentile with 50th percentile being the national average).

3. recruits aren't poor and underprivileged. the majority come from the middle class and recent studies (since 9/11) show a dip in lower socioeconomic groups and a slight rise in upper-class groups.

4. recruits don't come from the inner cities. in fact, they are the most underrepresented group. suburban and rural recruits are both OVERrepresented.

5. 41% of all recruits come from the south (36% youth pop), 24% come from the north central us (23% youth pop), 21% come from the west (24% youth pop), 14% from the northeast (18% youth pop).

tell ya something else, the rand corp did a study some 20-30 yrs ago that showed .mil types are more honest than ave civs, too (cops being the most honest).
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 8:15:36 AM EDT
I met a guy who said he was going to be an Army E-4 even though he did not have a HS diploma and did not take his GED. That's what his recruiters told him. He better score really really really high on his ASVAB!
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 8:28:17 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Sukebe:
Well, they did lower their standards.

Is that even possible?

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