Active-Duty Recruiting Tops Goals for 11th Straight Month
By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, May. 10, 2006 All four services exceeded their active-duty recruiting goals in April for the 11th consecutive month and remain ahead of their year-to-date goals, defense officials announced today.
And although four of the six reserve components slipped below their April recruiting goals, their year-to-date progress, particularly for the Army National Guard and Army Reserve, shows promise, Air Force Lt. Col. Ellen Krenke, a Pentagon spokeswoman, told American Forces Press Service.
During what has historically been a slow recruiting period, the active Army recruited almost 5,700 members, 105 percent of its goal, for April. The Air Force signed on almost 2,400 airmen, 101 percent of its goal, and the Navy and Marine Corps met 100 percent of their April goals, recruiting almost 2,600 and almost 1,500 members, respectively, Krenke reported.
Year-to-date recruiting numbers were equally impressive, she said. As of April, the Army had exceeded its goal by 4 percent, with more than 37,000 recruits. The Marine Corps and Air Force exceeded their goals by 1 percent, with almost 15,000 and almost 18,000 recruits, respectively. And the Navy met its goal, recruiting almost 18,000 sailors.
Active-duty retention remained sky-high, a good-news story Krenke said has had some unintended negative consequences. It's keeping active duty members from joining the reserve components and filling critical positions there. Former active servicemembers have long been the biggest source of reserve-component recruits and a valuable resource, Krenke said.
During April, the Marine Corps Reserve exceeded its recruiting goal by 1 percent, with 411 recruits, and the Air Force Reserve met its goal, with 544 recruits. But with almost 5,900 new recruits - more than the other five reserve components combined - the Army National Guard still fell 10 percent short of its April goal, Krenke said.
The Army Reserve recruited more than 2,100 members in April, 83 percent of its goal. The Air National Guard recruited more than 700 airmen, 92 percent of its goal, and the Navy Reserve, almost 650 sailors, 75 percent of its goal, Krenke said.
The Army National Guard, Air Force Reserve and Marine Corps Reserve all have recruited above or at their year-to-date goals, 103, 105 and 100 percent, respectively. The Army Reserve stands at 95 percent of its year-to-date goal; the Air National Guard, at 86 percent, and the Navy Reserve, at 84 percent.
"Overall, we're still looking at a positive recruiting picture and optimistic about finishing the fiscal year in good shape," Krenke said.
"Despite monthly ups and downs in the recruiting numbers, it's still evident that our recruitment and marketing efforts are having an effect and that young people still consider the military a worthwhile endeavor," she said.