Services Meet or Exceed Active Duty Recruiting Goals for 14th Straight Month

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 10, 2006 - All active-duty military components met or exceeded their July recruiting goals, Defense Department officials announced today, marking the 14th consecutive month the services have met or exceeded their goals.

The Army exceeded its goal of 10,450 recruits; it signed up 10,890 new soldiers, for 104 percent of its goal. The Navy and Air Force both came in at 100 percent, with 4,043 and 2,121 recruited respectively, while the Marine Corps hit 112 percent of its July goal, with 3,197 recruits.

"It demonstrates that men and women of military-service age are finding that they want to contribute in significant ways to this global war of terror and to protecting the freedoms that everyone in this country enjoys," DoD spokesman Bryan Whitman said.

On the reserve-component side, three of the six components made their goals, but all save one are on track to meet fiscal year goals. The Naval Reserve is at 84 percent of its goal for fiscal 2006. Navy officials said the service is having difficulty meeting the reserve mission. Part of this is because active-duty retention is so high. The Naval Reserve gets most of its people from those leaving active duty. Those people who normally go into the reserve are just not getting out of the active-duty Navy, officials said.

All the active-duty components are projected to meet their retention goals for the fiscal year, Whitman said. "Retention is so high, it is inconceivable that they wouldn't make their goals across all the services at this point," he said.

Officials said it is still a very difficult recruiting environment. The economy is doing well, with the unemployment rate being around 4.7 percent nationwide. Standards for enlistment remain high, and those that do not meet the standards do not enlist, officials said.

Role models who influence young men and women to enlist are more inclined to tell them to wait and see if conditions in Iraq change before enlisting, officials said.

Still, young men and women are volunteering to help their country in this time of war, Jeff Spara, chief of recruiting policy for the Army, said today. More recruiters are on the streets, and bonuses and incentives that Congress has given the military are kicking in.

No one is complacent, Spara told reporters in the Pentagon. "While this is a good news story, it can turn quickly," he said. "We can't let that happen."

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