Attrition: Still No Manpower Shortage in the U.S. Army


September 7, 2006: The U.S. Army achieved it's annual (Fiscal 2006, when ends 30 September) retention (reenlistment) goal (64,200 troops) a month early. The Army Reserve, however, has only reached 81 percent of its goal of 17,712 reenlistments so far. The Army National Guard has reached 98 percent of its annual goal of 34,875, and will apparently exceed its annual goal. Overall, the army, active and reserve, will exceed its 2006 goal of having 116,787 troops reenlist. The total size of the army, active and reserves, is about 1.1 million troops. The army also met its goal for new recruits.
The army used higher reenlistment bonuses, and extra pay for key specialties, to keep the people it needs. Not all troops ending their enlistments (usually four years) are eligible for reenlistment, but the army is particularly keen to retain people with scarce technical, leadership or language skills. Word-of-mouth has been a major help as well. Troops going to Iraq and Afghanistan return believing they have made a difference, and most encourage others to join up or reenlistment.


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