View Full Version : U.S. Army Falls Short Of Recruiting Goals Again: Officials

07-09-2007, 10:05 PM
US Army falls short of recruiting goals again: officials


(Gold9472: I'm almost starting to think that maybe a draft would be a good idea to get people off of their asses.)

Published: Monday July 9, 2007

The US Army fell short of its recruiting goal in June for the second straight month, raising concerns over the impact of an increasingly unpopular war in Iraq, US defense officials said Monday.

Although the army is still on track to meet its annual target of 80,000 enlistments, it came up more than 1,000 recruits short of its June goal of 8,400 recruits, said a defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

"We missed it by quite a bit," the official told AFP.

It was the second month in a row that army recruiters failed to meet their monthly target. In May, they fell 400 recruits short of a goal of 5,500 recruits.

The Pentagon is not expected to officially release the figures until Tuesday.

"I'm not going to tell you we are not concerned, because we are, but we're not at a stage of panicking or anything," said Colonel Dan Baggio, an army spokesman.

"We've got the summer months coming up, which are big months for us, and there is obviously going to be pressure to do well," he said.

"You've got to remember we are fighting a war on two fronts, and it's pretty powerful that to date we're ahead on our annual recruiting numbers," he said.

But the June shortfall took a big bite out of the 2,000 recruit lead that the army had at the end of May.

"We significantly cut into that cushion, if you will, but we haven't busted that," said the US defense official. "Suffice it to say we cut that number by more than half."

Aided by beefed up signing bonuses and other incentives, army recruiters had met their goals every month but one in the 23 months before May.

But growing public disenchantment with the war in Iraq now appears to be taking a toll with parents increasingly reluctant to encourage their sons or daughters to enlist, the defense official said.

"When you are in a long protracted war, nobody wants to see their kids get hurt," the official said. "So that is one of the challenges that we have."

To meet their year-end goal, army recruiters must sign up even larger numbers of eligible youths in each of the next three months.

The army's goal is to recruit at least 9,750 prospective soldiers in July, another 9,600 in August, and 9,500 in September, when the fiscal year comes to a close.

The army fell short of its annual recruiting goal in fiscal 2005, but recovered the following year by easing eligibility standards and offering bigger bonuses and financial incentives to new recruits.