Attrition: Recruiting in Wartime


August 13, 2007: The U.S. Army reached its recruiting goals for July, after falling a little behind during the previous two months. With two months to go in this fiscal year, the army has attracted 77 percent of the 80,000 volunteers it needs. This puts them a little ahead of projections. The army has put more troops on recruiting duty, with nearly 10,000 assigned now. The army is also offering $20,000 signing bonuses for those who will report for basic training before September 30th.All of the other services also met their recruiting goals for active duty troops. The Air National Guard, however, was 13 percent short in July.While the monetary incentives help, recruiters report that patriotism, or a quest for adventure, still play a large role in getting young men and women to sign up.

In addition to attracting recruits during a protracted war, something the army has never done before, Congress has also ordered the army to increase its strength 6.4 percent, to 547,000, over the next five years. Another problem is increasing difficulty getting experienced soldiers to stay in. This is because the constant deployments to combat zones is hell on family life, and that puts pressure on troops to cut short their planned military career.


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