Attrition: Paratroopers Break Reenlistment Record


July 10, 2006: The U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division, after recent action in Iraq, broke a record for the percentage of eligible troops who signed up for more years of duty. Normally, the reenlistment rate would be 30 percent. But this time around, the 101st had 61 percent of eligible troops reenlisting. Part of the reason for so many troops signing up again, was the reenlistment bonuses. The 4.600 paratroopers reenlisting in the last year, averaged a bonus of $13,044 each. The other reason is the fighting in Iraq, where the troops see progress up close, and face far less danger in combat than did their predecessors in Vietnam, Korea and World War II. While still dangerous, combat in Iraq is a lot less risky than in past wars. Moreover, far fewer troops are getting killed, or rendered unfit for duty because of combat fatigue.
Note: While we did not receive any email from members of the 82nd Airborne division, several members of the 101st urged us to point out that while the 101st is an "Airborne" division, it does not have any paratroopers (well, there are some). The 101st takes to the air via helicopters, and practices what is called "Air Assault." This was developed during the Vietnam war, and has largely replaced the use of parachutes for delivering airborne infantry to the combat zone. There. Now you know.


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