Attrition: U.S. Military Continues to Meet Recruiting Goals

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August 14, 2006: The U.S. Department of Defense met all its recruiting goals in July, at least for active duty troops. The army got 104 percent, the marines 112 percent, and the navy and air force, 100 percent of what they were looking for in terms of new recruits. The latter two services are reducing their manpower (as in layoffs). The army has met its recruiting goals for 14 months in a row, and 10,900 new recruits last month. The marines brought in 3,200 new recruits, and has not had any problems recruiting for a long time.
The reserves are having a harder time of it. The Army National Guard only got 5,000 new recruits (75 percent of what it wanted), and the army reserve got only 3,750 (87 percent of what it needed.) However, the reserves expect to get all, or nearly all, the recruits they need for the fiscal year. The reserves are suffering because, for many decades, they attracted people eager for a well-paying part time job, that also had some good benefits. While reservists knew they could be called up for a year, or more, of active duty, few expected it to happen. But after September 11, 2001, and especially after the invasion of Iraq in 2003, it happened a lot. Reservists are still adjusting to this. However, in the long term, the reserves appear to be coping with this change.

 


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