September 11, 2001, it has cost the U.S. Army about $6,000 more to get each new
recruit. Currently, it costs about $18,300 per recruit. Most of the increase
has been for additional bonuses to get particularly well qualified prospects,
but about a third of the additional cost has gone into more advertising.
Meanwhile, the best advertising is still a soldier who has been to Iraq or
Afghanistan. The re-enlistment rates of those troops are higher than for those
who have not been to a combat zone. But media and politicians opposed to the
war more than counteract the testimony of people who have been there. The
anti-war sentiment is so strong that about ten percent of those who sign up,
back out before they have to report to basic training. Since September 11,
2001, the army has been able to attract enough new recruits, and
re-enlistments, to actually increase the number of people in uniform. But this
has been done in the face of growing disinformation and anti-Army propaganda.