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Officials Attribute 13th Month of Recruiting Success to More than Luck

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 10, 2006 – Defense officials are attributing the 13th consecutive month in which every military service met or exceeded its active-duty recruiting goal to more than just good luck.

Bryan Whitman, deputy assistant secretary of defense for public affairs, cited the high priority every service has placed on recruiting, including the resources to back up that commitment, with successes measured both in numbers and quality of recruits.

Active-duty recruiting numbers, both for June and for the first nine months of fiscal 2006, continued to exceed 100 percent of goal across the board, Whitman told reporters today.

At the same time, the services are maintaining their high quality standards, as measured by percentage of recruits with high school diplomas and scores on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test, Whitman said. He noted that more than 90 percent of all recruits have high school diplomas and nearly two-thirds have scored in the top 50 percent of ASVAB categories.

Both measures correlate closely with a recruit's success in the armed forces. Whitman called the possession of a high school diploma "the best single indicator of how well somebody will stick to and adjust to the military."

He emphasized that the department has not lowered recruiting standards, despite "myths" that have surfaced in the media. "The quality standards for the military are very high," he said, noting that fewer than 4 percent of all recruits score in Category 4 on the ASVAB, the lowest score the military accepts, Whitman said.

Meanwhile, Whitman said the emphasis the services put on recruiting -- backed up by more recruiters, and better tools and incentives to help them -- is paying off.

During June, the Army recruited more than 8,700 soldiers, 102 percent of its goal, and the Marine Corps signed on more than 4,300 Marines, 105 percent of its goal. The Navy met its goal of recruiting more than 3,900 sailors, and the Air Force exceeded its goal by 1 percent, bringing in more than 2,500 airmen.

Recruiting numbers in the reserve components were also up in June, with all components but the Navy Reserve meeting or exceeding their goals, defense officials said.

The Army National Guard recruited more than 5,800 soldiers, 101 percent of its goal, and the Army Reserve exceeded its goal by 21 percent, recruiting more than 5,600 members. The Marine Corps Reserve recruited more than 1,300 Marines, 103 percent of its goal; the Air National Guard, almost 900 members, 119 percent of its goal; and the Air Force Reserve, more than 600 airmen, 100 percent of its goal.

The Navy Reserve fell 5 percent short of its June goal, recruiting just fewer than 1,000 sailors.

Year-to-date statistics show positive recruiting trends throughout the force, with every service meeting or exceeding its goal to date and four of the six reserve components meeting their goals, officials noted.

As of June 30, the Army had exceeded its year-to-date active-duty recruiting goal by 4 percent, and the Marine Corps and Air Force by 1 percent. The Navy met its year-to-date goal.

In the reserve components, the Army National Guard exceeded its year-to-date recruiting goal by 3 percent, the Army Reserve and Marine Corps Reserve by 1 percent, and the Air Force Reserve by 4 percent.

As of June 30, the Air National Guard had met 92 percent of its year-to-date goal, and the Navy Reserve 83 percent.

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