WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Army, hard pressed to attract new soldiers amid the Iraq war, exceeded its July recruiting goal but seems doomed to miss its target for the year, while the Army Reserve and National Guard fell short of their goals again.
The Iraq war marks the first test of the all-volunteer U.S. military during a protracted war, and Army officials have conceded that all three components of the Army likely will miss their recruiting goals for fiscal 2005, which ends Sept. 30.
The Army, aiming to get 80,000 recruits this year, stood 11 percent behind its year-to-date goal at the end of July, with just two months left to overcome a shortfall of more than 7,000. It has not missed an annual recruiting goal since 1999.
The Army provides the bulk of ground troops in the Iraq war, in which about 1,840 U.S. troops have been killed and another nearly 14,000 wounded.
It achieved its second-straight monthly goal — sending 8,085 new soldiers into boot camp in July, topping its goal by 9 percent — after falling short in the previous four months, according to figures released by the Pentagon on Wednesday.
Definitely worrisome. The issue probably isn’t worthy of the ominous headlines its reported under in the media and it will certainly be exaggerated for political purposes, but it is something that needs to be addressed.
I often wonder why global redeployment of our troops, which is under way even as we speak, isn’t talked about more as a resolution to these recruiting shortfalls? The goal of redeployment is to move our troops from areas where they were protecting us from Cold War-era threats to areas where they can protect us from more modern threats. Redeployment will make our military more efficient. Meaning they can do more with less.
Unless I’m missing something here, won’t redeployment ultimately solve, or at least make less pressing, some of these recruitment issues we’re facing?
By Rob Port of Say Anything.
It’s worrisome if you believe that the army must reach their recruiting goals to continue the war. It’s worrisome if you believe that the only reason that they are not reaching their goals is due to a lack of support for the war effort.
I do not believe that the army needs all 80,000 to acheive its objectives. And there may be other reasons why Americans are not lining up at the recruiting offices, such as historically low unemployment and a robust economy.
They article is also downplaying the fact has reached its recruiting goals for the last 2 months running.
But yes, re-deploying from other areas would resolve some of the issues, but minor shortfalls aren’t the ned-all of the story. There are only roughly 140,000 troops total in the Gulf. We have far more than that in the military.
Re-Military To Miss Recruiting Goals
From wizbang 8-11-05
The US Armed Forces have met or exceeded their goals.
Active duty recruiting. The Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force met or exceeded their active duty recruiting goals in July.
Active duty retention. All services met or exceeded their overall retention goals for July and are projected to meet their retention goals for the current fiscal year.
Reserve forces recruiting. Two of the six reserve components, the Marine Corps Reserve and Air Force Reserve, met their July recruiting goals.
I applaud the people who have signed and re-signed. It shows confidence in our civilian leadership that I find misplaced.
If this is the war to stop terrorism, as described by W, well then let’s make it a country wide commitment. It’s not just people at the front. Declare an emergency, re-institute the draft, raise some money thru bake sales and fight the GD war.
What is unacceptable is the conduct of our civilian leaders. If the war is going bad, see past 2 years, then someone takes the blame. Bush defers to the generals that he accepts. The generals denial of an insurgency, the recognition of a small band or dead-enders, the expected rise in disruption due to elections or a constitution constitute gross negligence.
Please stop supporting the policy of allowing our guys to die while on patrol without enough troops to secure the area.
If it’s a war worth dying for, then it’s a war worth fighting to win.
More troops, more commitment and more money(without borrowing from the Chinese).
RE: “see last 2 years”
Yep, saw ’em.
The war is not going bad.
End of story.
When discussing troop retention, I think it is important to take a close look at how the government recruits. Recruiting with promises to train you, make a man of you, or for you to earn money for school are not bad ideas but they have become the central focus. I come from a family with a long military history and no one in my family served because of those reasons. They did for pride in country and pride in protecting what so many have already died to give us starting with the very founding of this nation.
Instead of raising bonuses, instead of raising promoting a serve then go to work for someone else mentality, lets focus on the professional nature of the military. Let’s raise benefits and wages so that less soldiers are living in cramped homes or using food stamps to help ends meet. We should focus on recruiting career soldiers.
All that said I believe that the reserve service system should be greatly expanded, which can be focused on service, training, and education. I can’t help but think that the reserve could focus more on support services and keep the vast majority of our active duty full time service members combat ready.
Here’s how you all can really help, instead of just tut-tutting with concern.
Not that any of you have the cojones…
It also doesn’t mention that soldiers are reenlisting at higher than expected rates.
In the end it probably evens out.
I say we should pull our troops out of Europe. Re-deploy those troops either on the border or in other hot spots in Iraq, Afghanistan or perhaps to plan the next phase of the war of Terror…say against Iran or Syria. G-d knows they both deserve an ass-kicking.
Re: melior (and minnie)
Anybody got a can of “Troll-Be-Gone?”
Spray can(s) preferably.
I’m guessing recruiting is down because enlistees will actually be called upon to soldier rather than merely participate in a nice housing/travel/education benefit package.
It is probably for the best. I’d rather have fewer patriotic American’s committed to our ideals than a passel of gimmes.
What if those who really wanted to get their chance to really support the troops, would, gosh, get up and get involved?
Wouldn’t that mean getting above those recruiting goals?
What If America Had Been Attacked? What if Now, more than ever, it was time to stay the course. You know, back the president to back the troops and all of that.
Or is it still the same lame excuses, that the folks who really wanted someone else to die for them, are still fearful of that scary ‘chickenhawk argument’ because it so enflames their ChickenHawk Angst….
and yes, just because you don’t like a thing does not mean that it changes the fact that some of use have actually served our time in the military to protect YOUR RIGHT TO FOLLY.
so what is your excuse this time?
Your coherence is astounding.
RE: drieux’s post (August 11, 2005 09:41 PM)
…the folks who really wanted someone else to die for them, are still fearful of that scary ‘chickenhawk argument’ because it so enflames their ChickenHawk Angst…
Have you filed for the copyright for this yet?
I served from 1980 to 1992, so blow it out your ass.
The recruiting goals are set up to *expand* the size the Army, not *maintain* it. While missing the recruiting goals isn’t great, it also isn’t a disaster.
Yet, the Marines who are being killed and wounded at a much higher rate than the other branches continue to meet or exceed recruiting goals.
Makes me proud to be a “dog”.
I served during the same time, be funny if our paths crossed at some point. Thought I was separating in ’91, but got waylayed.
And drieux (sounds French), you can recruit all you want, but it does not solve the situation on the ground. You want to retain people, not replace them with inexperience (of course you need new people, but only a few at a time). The biggest problem is not getting people on the ground, it’s keeping the SNCO’s and officers above 0-2 to about 0-5. Those with the best experience and ability to help the new people coming in and be able to lead by example. A good NCO is worth 100 new recruits. IMO.
At least we give them a choice.
/non chickenhawk out
What is not being reported is the record number of re-enlistments of troops in theater. One purpose of getting new recruits is to help offset the folks that do not re-enlist. People are re-enlisting in record numbers, and while they are in theater no less. So missing the recruiting goals by 11% is not a doom and gloom scenerio that is being portrayed by the MSM. Advancement is also effected by how many people the armed forces recruit. If there are less people coming in then there are more opportunites to advance. This is not happening. It might very well happen in the near future because the military needs new recruits to fill the “low man” positions but so far this is not happening. I served in the Navy during the first Gulf War and I am currently in the National Guard and deploying in the near future back to Iraq. Our unit and sister units are above their recruiting goals for the year. We acutally have people trying to transfer to our units in order to go to Iraq.
To take a phrase out of the Rummy’s bag, just what metrics are you using to suggest “the war is not going bad”. The number of roadside bomb attacks by insurgents against U.S. military supply convoys in Iraq has doubled in the past year, the general in charge of logistics for American military forces in Iraq said on Friday.
You must have been listening to much to Cheney:
• Vice President Dick Cheney, who predicted on the eve of the U.S. invasion of Iraq that Americans would be “greeted as liberators,” has in recent weeks been peddling a new line of spin
• Hailing what he described as “major progress” in Iraq, Cheney said, “I think they’re in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency.”
A different assessment on the war from the CIA:
• A recent classified CIA report came to the gloomy conclusion that Iraq may have become an even more effective terrorist training ground than Afghanistan was under the Taliban, according to a description in the New York Times on June 21.
I support winning the war. As I posted earlier, it seems that a lot of troops in Iraq are re-enlisting. They are to be commended.
My support for winning the war doesn’t involve:
• Statements such as “Bring ’em on”.
• Not securing existing weaponry…now used against us.
• Denial of an insurgency.
• Not enough troops to secure the borders.
• Plausible deniability for torture…then abandoning your troops. President Bush has claimed that the prison abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib was “disgraceful conduct by a few American troops.”
• Lack of armor.
• Mission Accomplished.
The right to criticize our civilian and military leaders is part of what the troops are fighting for in Iraq.
actually, the odd thing is that the July quota was increased just last month by 1350 – the army actually beat its original target by 32%. details here.