Attrition: Recruiting In Wartime

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June 16, 2007: For the first time in two years, the U.S. Army missed a monthly recruiting goals. The army brought in 5,101 new recruits in May, seven percent short of what it expected. However, the army still expects to make its annual goal because it is about 2,000 recruits ahead with its fiscal year-to-date (which began last October) total. The other services are also making their recruiting numbers. The only exception is the army and air force National Guard. These are state controlled organizations, that are only mobilized for federal service when they are needed overseas. The army National Guard (which comprises half the armys reserve force) came up 12 percent short in May, while the air force National Guard came up 23 percent short. The army National Guard is actually on the upswing in recruiting, having been even deeper in the hole two years ago.

Overall the U.S. volunteer military recruiting is holding up well in wartime. This is a unique situation, as the United States has never fought a foreign war this long before, without resorting to conscription. The main reason for this is that the troops are well paid, the casualty rates, compared to past wars, are very low, and the troops are given time at home, between tours in Iraq or Afghanistan, and good living conditions in the combat zone. There's also the patriotic aspect, which is seen more on the Internet, than in the mass media. The volunteers know they are going to war, why they are going, and after being to Iraq or Afghanistan, re-enlist in record numbers.

 


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