US Army misses recruiting goals

#1
ISN SECURITY WATCH (04/03/05) - For the first time in five years, the
US Army last month missed its recruiting goals for active-duty,
National Guard, and National Reserve forces, with deployment to Iraq
being one of the primary concerns of potential new recruits.

Pentagon spokesman Larry Di Rita told a press briefing on 3 March
that the army was “a particularly stressed force” and officials were
studying ways to increase recruiting.

In February, the active army’s goal was 7’050 new recruits, and the
service fell short by 1’936 recruits, or 27 per cent. All other
services made their recruiting goals.

Di Rita cited a number of reasons for the shortfall, including fear
of being sent to Iraq, and an improving economy that makes it harder
to compete with the civilian sector. Di Rita went on to say that the
army hoped to fill the gap by increasing incentives such as
enlistment bonuses from US$8’000 to US$10’000. In some hard-to-fill
military occupational specialties, he said, the service had raised
enlistment bonuses to US$15’000. In addition, the army has increased
the number of recruiters on the street by 20 per cent, adding 950
recruiters to the total recruiting force.

Di Rita also said the military was working to get parents - or
other “influencers” - to encourage eligible young men and women to
enlist.

On the plus side, Di Rita noted that retention rates were better than
expected. In units that had deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq, the re-
enlistment rate actually was higher than in units that had not
deployed.

In other news, the Washington Post reported on Friday that the Bush
administration was seeking guarantees from Europe that it would back
punitive measures against Iran if negotiations failed to produce an
agreement with Tehran to permanently abandon any ambitions to develop
nuclear weapons.

The White House aims to impose a tight timeline on any potential
incentives package, and is seeking agreement that the case will be
referred to the UN Security Council if diplomatic efforts do not
produce results within that time. US Vice-President Dick Cheney and
the Defense Department are reportedly the main skeptics of any plan
to offer incentives to Tehran, as they worry that Europeans may not
follow through with tough measures if talks should fail.

European officials, on the other hand, have expressed concerns that
the US could derail the diplomatic effort by not offering enough
incentives and brandishing the Security Council threat too
aggressively.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

What a surprise :roll:
 
#2
Do the Yanks actually realise how small most European armies are these days? I think we have confused them by having a 1st British Corps, kind of implies there might be more than one? I bet Bliar is having kittens about this imagine him trying to convince parliament to back another war.

Not surprised about the recruiting though, they'll probably drop the standards required like most countries do if they need more troops.
 
#3
I suspect that MEPS[Military Entrance Processing] will get less picky. Here are some problems that might be disqualifying.

Almost any surgery other than an uncomplicated appendectomy or hernia repair, or ligation of tubes, male or female. Absolutely any surgery of the brain, back, spinal cord, chest, upper abdomen, pelvis, and joints. A tissue report is required in the case of most biopsies (skin, breast, etc.) of tumors and lumps.

Any history of hospitalization other than the exceptions listed directly above, even if it was only 1 or 2 days for tests.

Any History of Asthma after 13th birthday.

History of counseling (family, marriage, etc.).

Skin diseases other than mild acne and athletes foot.

Allergies if more than mild.

Back sprains.

ADD/ADHD

Severe joint sprains.

Heart conditions.

Hepatitis, mononucleosis.
 
#5
far2young2die said:
Do the Yanks actually realise how small most European armies are these days?...
Yes, we do. :wink:

With regards to lowering standards, it will be tempting, but I think this time around it (hopefully) won't happen. Right now, the average time between graduating from initial training and deployment to Afghanistan or Iraq is 27 days. With that type of operational tempo, having 'switched on' troops is vital.
 
#6
Tracy..... with all the wavers we have now, I don't think we can really lower the standards any more. :lol:
 
#7
far2young2die said:
...I think we have confused them by having a 1st British Corps, kind of implies there might be more than one? ...
In fact we dont even have that, haven't since 1992, although we are Framework Nation for the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps.
 
F

fozzy

Guest
#9
hackle said:
far2young2die said:
...I think we have confused them by having a 1st British Corps, kind of implies there might be more than one? ...
In fact we dont even have that, haven't since 1992, although we are Framework Nation for the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps.
ie We do the catering...

The "thin red line of 'eroes" is pretty thin
 

Mr Happy

LE
Moderator
#10
Ozgerbobble said:
ISN SECURITY WATCH (04/03/05)
On the plus side, Di Rita noted that retention rates were better than
expected. In units that had deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq, the re-
enlistment rate actually was higher than in units that had not
deployed.
BULLSHIT.

Somewhere, in Alaska, there might be a unit that's just re-rolled to collecting bear shit from inside bear caves that's lost more people but the idea that troops retention is per see higher with deployed than undeployed units is dripping in brown stuff.
 
#11
Actually its true Happy. One problem the Army faces is that the US economy is doing quite well and there are alot of opportunities in the private sector.
 

Mr Happy

LE
Moderator
#12
tomahawk6 said:
Actually its true Happy. One problem the Army faces is that the US economy is doing quite well and there are alot of opportunities in the private sector.
Toss Tomahawk (and I respect all your posts) - are you seriously telling me that the average US unit returning from deployment has a better retention rate than the average unit never deployed?
 
#13
It was true after the first rotation. Most of the Army's combat units have done a rototation in either Astan or Iraq [some have done a tour in both].
Retention is not a problem- at least right now. The USAF and USN are downsizing and the Army has a program called Blue to Green where these folks can transition to the Army. More recruiters have been put onto the street to bolster recruiting. The Army needs 80,000 recruits a year so thats a sizeable challenge year in year out.

Here is a link to USAEUR's retention stats.

http://www.per.hqusareur.army.mil/
 

Mr Happy

LE
Moderator
#15
80,000 target, 5000 recruiters, my little eagle brain says that each recruiter needs to get 16 blokes per annum, or one every 3 weeks.... That's gotta be an easy job.

Just hang around schools offering free cigarettes to anyone that wants a free $15000 for a signature.... BINGO!
 
#16
Its pretty stressful. They work +14 hour days 6 days a week. There are recruiters who have applied for transfers to combat units only to be turned down. I think soldiers need to be rotated between combat units, training and recruiting duty.
 
#17
Mr Happy said:
...are you seriously telling me that the average US unit returning from deployment has a better retention rate than the average unit never deployed?
Believe-it-not, yes. The big draw is a tax-free re-enlistment bonus. The prevailing theory is that retention is higher for deployed units because undecided Soldiers opted to re-enlist because of the tax-free status of the bonus.
 
#18
Another, more disturbing, trend for the US Army is fewer minorities are joining up. A few years ago the Army had about 21% percent African-American population. It's been steadily decreasing over the last two years. There's no official reason given, but some informal studies suggest that minorities don't want to join the Army because they're afraid they'll be shipped to a combat zone; and the education and other benefits aren't enough to change their mind. I guess the 'good' news is that Navy and Air Force are having no problems attracting recruits.

Racial percentages are a "hot button" issue in the USA; and this controversy is going to make recruiting even tougher for the recruiters. If they don't recruit enough minorities from their area, they're reprimanded and labeled a racist; and it can lead to them getting kicked out of the Army for non-performance.

Recruiting for the Reserves and National Guard is even tougher than active duty. AR and NG assignments were considered 'safe' ways to earn some extra money and help out occasionally in local and national emergencies. They're now standing side-by-side with the active troops in Iraq for terms of 12-18 months. Financially, they're getting hammered and their families are struggling to make ends meet. Any NG or AR unit that has casualties faces a problem of everyone being from the same area, which can be a heavier blow to community than usual.

Rough times ahead for sure...
 
#19
To what extent is stop-loss making retention figures look better - if indeed it is. If a sizable percentage of your troops leave upon returning from Iraq it must put a hole in the figures.
 
#20
One_of_the_strange said:
To what extent is stop-loss making retention figures look better - if indeed it is. If a sizable percentage of your troops leave upon returning from Iraq it must put a hole in the figures.
The primary reason for Stop Loss is to give Commanders a better idea of who will deploy with the unit and remain for the full combat tour. It prevents personnel from being discharged during a deployment; thus creating an unanticipated gap in the ranks.

When counting heads for retention purposes, Stop Loss figures are not a part of the metric. A good retention measure is what drives promotion rates. If the retention amount increases, promotions decrease. So including Stop Loss personnel in the retention counts can slow promotion, which in turn further decreases retention, which in turn increases the Stop Loss accessions...

When a unit redeploys back to its home station, Stop Loss personnel begin to process out from the service. From a strict retention point of view, it looks disasterous, because a larger percentage of the unit leaves the service. "Big Army's" solution is to spread out the Stop Loss personnel so most units are relatively unaffected.

There are few very isolated cases where a person was put on Stop Loss AFTER redeploying back to home station. The reason was to stabilize the personnel structure until fresh replacements arrived and received their indoctrination training. That way unit readiness doesn't completely disappear.

Does that help?
 
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