June Recruiting, Retention Stats Up for All Services
By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, July 11, 2005 Recruiting and retention rates were up in June for all the services in both the active and reserve components, Defense Department officials announced today.
The release of June recruiting and retention statistics for all four services today came as welcome news following a spring slump for the active Army and the reserve components.
The June recruiting and retention numbers reflect "a lot of hard work," particularly on the part of Army recruiters, Bill Carr, acting deputy undersecretary for military personnel policy, told American Forces Press Service.
"But we still have a long way to go," Carr said, not only to meet year-end recruiting goals, but also to attract recruits to enter the military in fiscal 2006 through the Delayed Entry Program.
The Army had hoped to enter fiscal 2005 with 30 percent of its new soldiers already recruited through the Delayed Entry Program but came up 12 percent below projections, Carr explained. That left recruiters scrambling to make up the gap, he said.
The Defense Department continues to work with Congress to increase incentives available to recruiters as they work to fill the military's ranks. "We need a better, stronger toolkit of recruiting and retention incentives for recruiters," Carr said.
DoD is encouraging Congress to approve increasing the ceiling on enlistment bonuses from $20,000 to $40,000, he said. It's also hoping to boost retention bonuses to entice trained servicemembers to stay in the military.
In June, the Army outrecruited all the other services in the active component, reaching 109 percent of its mission by enlisting more than 6,157 new soldiers. The Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force all exceeded their June goals as well, recruiting more than 4,500, 4,100 and 2,400 members, respectively, defense officials reported today.
In addition, all services met or exceeded their overall active-duty retention goals for June.
Four of the six reserve components exceeded their June recruiting goals, with only the Army National Guard and Navy Reserve falling short of their missions, officials said.
June statistics for reserve forces attrition are not yet available, but officials said the lower-than-projected losses that occurred in May were expected to continue into June.
However, the Army and Air National Guard both reported retention rates that exceeded their June goals -- 106 percent for the Army National Guard and 110 percent for the Air National Guard.