Recruiting, Retention Rates Remain Solid in March
By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, April 11, 2007 All service branches met or exceeded their active-duty recruiting goals in March, but three of the six reserve components missed their targets, Defense Department officials announced yesterday.
“For the month, the armed forces have done extraordinarily well,” Bill Carr, the deputy undersecretary for Military Personnel Policy, said in an interview.
In March, the two ground services exceeded their recruiting goals. The Army had a goal of 5,500 recruits and actually enlisted 5,545 new soldiers, for 101 percent. The Marine Corps had a target of 1,787 and enlisted 1,936 recruits, for 108 percent of its goal.
The Navy and Air Force met their goals of 2,749 and 2,172, respectively.
DoD officials said retention in the services remains solid. The Army, Marine Corps and Air Force are meeting or exceeding overall retention missions. The Navy missed its first-term target, but achieved 99 percent overall.
On the reserve-component side, three of the six components made their recruiting goals in March.
“The reserves are over 100 percent except the Army Reserve and the Navy Reserve,” Carr said. “But the National Guard for the Army is above 100 percent, so … the ground forces are doing well.”
The Army National Guard hit 105 percent of its goal, recruiting 6,953 soldiers out of 6,645 needed. The Air Force Reserve also exceeded its recruiting goal, recruiting 741 on a goal of 622, for 119 percent.
Also finishing March on the plus side was the Marine Corps Reserve, which attained 116 percent of its goal, recruiting 430 Marines on a goal of 371.
Falling short in March was the Army Reserve, which hit 80 percent of its goal, with 2,055 recruited out of 2,567 needed, and the Air National Guard, recruiting 90 percent of its goal, with 844 out of 933 needed.
The Navy Reserve missed its goal for the fifth consecutive month. The component hit 99 percent of its goal, recruiting 851 sailors out of 856 needed.
“(Navy Reserve recruits) are coming up, and they are starting to close the gap. So they’re on the right azimuth now,” Carr said. “I expect the Navy Reserve is going to be on the mend from this point to the end of the year.”
Navy Reserve recruiters are putting in place the right incentives and best practices to help build momentum, he said.
For the year to date, the Army’s active-duty recruitment is at 107 percent, and the Defense Department is at 104 percent in total enlisted accessions, Carr said.