National Guard recruiting boom

While an increase in recruiting (and don’t forget the increase in retention, however modest) is good news overall, there are a couple of points that can’t be dismissed.

First, the military has a fairly large purse, and has been using that purse to lure new recruits and reenlisters. Doubling signing bonuses and re-enlistment bonuses (up to $90,000 for active duty enlisters, depending on the job) has a very real appeal to folks who have, possibly, been unemployed for extended periods or have little economic opportunity other than the military. School age kids with a sense of “It couldn’t happen to me.” having a chunk of change that large waved at them is likely to get their attention.

The second element is the fact that maximum recruitment ages have been raised to 42, and the percentage of recruits allowed to score at the absolute bottom in their aptitude tests being doubled (to 4 percent), allowed the services, quite a few in fact, to meet or slightly exceed their recruitment goal.

Think about that for a minute, though. 4% of 350,000 (Army Guard) is 14,000 troops whose intellect hovers just above room temperature
. I’m not criticizing them for their limitations. I’m critical of the military seeking them out in an effort to shore up their numbers.
One of the posts from the linksuggests that there are other reasons why the National Guard is doing so well recruiting.

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