Tuesday, March 10, 2009

US Military Meets, Exceeds Recruiting Goals for February 2009

News in Balance

News in Balance:

WASHINGTON, March 10, 2009 -- Defense Department officials today announced across-the-board recruiting and retention successes in February, with every service meeting or exceeding its active-duty, reserve and National Guard goals.

The statistics reflect solid recruiting performance during a month that Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman noted is traditionally a slow recruiting period.

Both the Army and Marine Corps, which are in the midst of growing their forces, exceeded their February goals. The Army led active-component recruiting, signing on 324 more soldiers than its 6,000-soldier goal for February. The Marine Corps, with 1,752 new accessions, topped its monthly goal by a whopping 36 percent, officials said.

Meanwhile, the Navy and Air Force met their February goals with 3,060 and 2,486 accessions, respectively.

In the reserve components, the Army National Guard signed on 6,114 members, 109 percent of its goal. The Army Reserve, with 3,614 accessions, topped its goal by 15 percent.

The Air National Guard recruited 946 members, 110 percent of its goal. The Navy Reserve and Marine Corps Reserve both met their monthly goals of 602 recruits, and the Air Force Reserve met its 803-airman goal.

These recruiting successes continue a fiscal 2009 trend despite what the Pentagon’s accessions chief described last week as a particularly challenging recruiting environment.

“The services have done a remarkable job in recruiting a quality force in an environment that has been characterized by most as the most challenging since the advent of the all-volunteer force in 1973,” Curtis Gilroy, director of the Pentagon’s Accessions Policy Office, told Congress last week.

Gilroy cited a full range of recruiting challenges during a House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel hearing. Adult influencers have become increasingly hesitant to recommend military service, and young people are demonstrating a lower propensity to enlist than just four years ago, he said. In addition, the pool of qualified candidates is shrinking due to educational, physical fitness or health problems, including obesity.

But despite these challenges, Gilroy reported a strong year for military recruiting. “I’m delighted to report to you that the state of recruiting and retention for our active-duty force, as we are one-third of the way through fiscal 2009, is a success,” he told the congressional panel.


Active Component

- Recruiting. All services met or exceeded recruiting goals for February.
- Army – 6,324 accessions with a goal of 6,000; 105 percent
- Navy – 3,060 accessions with a goal of 3,060; 100 percent
- Marine Corps – 1,752 accessions with a goal of 1,292; 136 percent
- Air Force – 2,486 accessions with a goal of 2,486; 100 percent

Retention. All four active components continued their success in fiscal 2009, meeting or exceeding February retention goals.

Reserve Component

Accessions - All six reserve components met or exceeded their accession goals for the month of February 2009.

- Army National Guard – 6,114 accessions with a goal of 5,592; 109 percent
- Army Reserve – 3,614 accessions with a goal of 3,138; 115 percent
- Navy Reserve – 602 accessions with a goal of 602; 100 percent
- Marine Corps Reserve – 602 accessions with a goal of 602; 100 percent
- Air National Guard – 946 accessions with a goal of 859; 110 percent
- Air Force Reserve – 803 accessions with a goal of 803; 100 percent

Attrition - Losses in all reserve components were within acceptable limits.

(From a report by Donna Miles, American Forces Press Service, and a U.S. Defense Department news release.)

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