Wednesday, October 14, 2009

US military recruiting - by the numbers

Services Show Record Recruiting Year

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 13, 2009 – The military services’ active and reserve components notched record recruiting numbers and signed up the highest-quality recruits ever in fiscal 2009, senior defense officials said today.

It is the first time that all active services and reserve components met or exceeded their numerical recruiting goals and exceeded their recruit-quality benchmarks since the start of the all-volunteer force in 1973, Bill Carr, deputy undersecretary of defense for military personnel policy, told Pentagon reporters.

While Carr acknowledged that the current economic downturn probably is having a positive effect on recruiting, he also pointed to the sterling efforts of military recruiters for the superb results and noted the military deployed a robust bonus program in which 40 percent of recruits received an average bonus of $14,000.

The recruiting success achieved in fiscal 2009 is even more impressive, Carr said, considering that 70 percent of today’s high school graduates – the military’s target recruiting pool – go on to college upon graduation. In the 1980s, he noted, only about half of American high school students went on to college.

A rising propensity for young people age 17 to 24 to be obese, Carr said, also complicates the military’s recruiting mission.

“If we look back to the 1980s, one in 20 young people were obese,” Carr said, as compared to today’s ratio of 1 in 4 young people being categorized as obese. “And, that creates a tighter constraint as you seek to find fully qualified recruits,” he added.

However, he said, the number of waivers issued to recruits with medical or conduct issues is trending downward.

Here are the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force recruiting results for fiscal 2009:

-- The Army had 70,045 accessions, making 108 percent of its 65,000 goal.

-- The Navy had 35,527 accessions, making 100 percent of its 35,500 goal.

-- The Marine Corps had 31,413 accessions, making 100 percent of its 31,400 goal.

-- The Air Force had 31,983 accessions, making 100 percent of its 31,980 goal.

Reserve-component recruiting results for fiscal 2009:

-- The Army National Guard had 56,071 accessions, making 100 percent of its 56,000 goal.

-- The Army Reserve had 36,189 accessions, making 105 percent of its 34,598 goal.

-- The Navy Reserve had 7,793 accessions, making 101 percent of its 7,743 goal.

-- The Marine Corps Reserve had 8,805 accessions, making 122 percent of its 7,194 goal.

-- The Air National Guard had 10,075 accessions, making 106 percent of its 9,500 goal.

-- The Air Force Reserve had 8,604 accessions, making 109 percent of its 7,863 goal.

Attrition losses in all reserve components are among the best in recent years, officials said.

Carr also attributed current recruiting success to the “Millennial” demographic of young people that includes those born between 1978 and 1996. Generational studies show, he said, that these young people – who’ve lived during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States – are more inclined to perform public service. ...

There is more and you can read it here.

And addressing National Guard recruitment, there is this:

Army, Air Guard Reach End-Strength Goals

By Air Force Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith
Special to American Forces Press Service

ARLINGTON, Va., Oct. 13, 2009 – Both components of the National Guard reached their end-strength goals for fiscal 2009, officials announced today.

The Army National Guard closed its books for 2009 with 358,391 soldiers, or 100.1 percent of its fiscal year end-strength goal of 358,200 soldiers. It also met its retention goal by retaining 36,672 soldiers, or 106 percent of its goal of 34,593.

The Air National Guard surpassed its 2009 end-strength goal with 109,196 airmen, or 102.3 percent of its goal of 106,756 airmen. The Air Guard also retained 17,904 airmen, or 120.1 percent of its goal of 14,904.

Success for the Army Guard, officials noted, meant reducing its end strength rather than gaining servicemembers. The Army Guard had 368,727 soldiers in March, and it needed to reduce that to a congressionally mandated end strength of 358,200 soldiers by September.

“Never before has the Army Guard been challenged to reduce its end strength by more than 11,000 soldiers within six months,” said Army Lt. Col. Ron Walls, chief of the strength and maintenance division at the National Guard Bureau. The Army Guard reduced end strength while meeting accession and retention goals. Its 56,000-soldier accession mission was met with 56,071 soldiers, and 36,672 soldiers were retained to meet the 34,593-soldier retention mission.

“We had to do a ‘full-court press’ with the 54 states and territories in order to ensure we were successful,” Walls said. “We ensured each state could reach their end strength while maintaining retention.”

Success came down to “driven, focused leadership and a committed recruiting and retention force,” he said....

For more on this, go here.

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