Attrition: U.S. Army Recruiting in Europe Improves

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February 9, 2006: U.S. Army recruiters are having a much better time in Europe, where they are signing up dozens of former American soldiers. Why, you might ask, does the United States Army have recruiters in Europe? Well, for decades, there were nearly a million Americans over. A quarter of these were troops, the rest dependents and civilians working for the military in Europe. It wasn't long before the army realized that teenage children of troops, or American civilians, were potential recruits. So several recruiting stations were established, usually in the areas where there were the largest concentrations of Americans (Germany and Britain). Over the years, thousands of American troops got out of the service, many after only one enlistment of 3-4 years, and stayed in Europe. They usually married locally and began raising families. Many got jobs with the army as civilians. There were thousands of these civilians (most of them local Germans) who helped keep the American bases going. But now more of those bases are closing, and the civilian employees are losing their jobs. More of the younger American veterans among them are rejoining the army. The military is glad to have these experienced people back, In fact, since September 11, 2001, the army has been getting hundreds of prior-service recruits each month. The number has been slowly rising. Even though there is a war on, the word gets around quickly via the Internet that, unless you volunteer for certain types of units, you are not going to see much, or any, combat. There's more work to be done during wartime, but more money to be made (for non-combat troops in a combat zone), and promotions come a little faster. Some recruiters have found that they get better results by spending more time with prior service people, than with the usual recent high school or college graduates. If nothing else, when a recruiter contacts a former soldier, they both speak the same language, and the recruiter can make the pitch, and get a response, more quickly.

 


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