Attrition: U.S. Army Versus The World

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November 15, 2007: The U.S. military was able to attract all the new recruits needed for the first month of fiscal 2008 (October, 2007). The army, which needed 4,500 new recruits, enlisted 4,564. The army has had the hardest time maintaining its strength during a long war. Moreover, the army is now increasing its strength as well. To do all this, recruiting standards were lowered and screening methods were improved. Until recently, less than ten percent of army recruits had been high school dropouts. But in the last decade, that has grown to 24 percent, with no noticeable decline in the quality of troops. Same thing with those receiving "moral waivers" (for having a police record). That has gone from 4.6 percent four years ago, to 6.2 percent.

The army has had the most problems recruiting troops for non-combat jobs. Patriotism, low casualties, and a sense of adventure, brings in plenty of recruits for the infantry. But with support jobs, the army is competing with the civilian economy, which has been booming of late. But the civilian jobs are mainly been for those who graduated from high school. Thus the army is attractive to drop outs, and this has presented the opportunity to find those drop outs who are truly ready to succeed. But the army has to be quick, because the civilian "human resources" community has been watching the army effort with great interest, and wants the same people, if it can discover them before the army can.

 


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