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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 462-99
October 05, 1999

FISCAL YEAR 1999 RECRUITING AND RETENTION

The active Army, Navy and Marine Corps met their congressionally mandated end strength for fiscal 1999, while the Air Force ended the year 2.8 percent understrength. Four of the six Reserve components met their congressional mandate. The two exceptions were the Navy Reserve, which made 98 percent of its endstrength; and the Air Force Reserve, which attained 97 percent of its end strength. All Services had a very challenging recruiting year due to the expanding U.S. economy, the increased availability of college funding and a shrinking skilled work force. They were able to meet their end strengths as a result of high retention rates.

The Department of Defense attributes these retention rates in part to the hard work of military leaders, the comprehensive pay package that President Clinton will sign this afternoon and the high quality servicemembers currently serving in our armed forces. The 2000 Defense Authorization Bill offers the most comprehensive and largest pay increase since 1981 and includes a 4.8 percent pay raise, pay table reform that targets non-commissioned officers and mid-grade commissioned officers, and retired pay reform.

In an effort to improve its recruiting efforts, the Department of Defense hired Carter Eskew, chief executive of Bozell-Eskew, and Mike Murphy, vice president of Murphy Pintak Gautier Hudome, to evaluate its recruiting program. While military service has always offered America's young people challenging and rewarding opportunities, getting that message out in today's highly competitive environment is more critical than ever. In addition to increasing the numbers of recruiters and recruiting stations, the services are working to improve the effectiveness of their advertising programs. Below are the fiscal 1999 Active and Reserve component FY99 end strength figures:

FY99 Active Components End Strengths

Component Authorized Strength Actual Strength* Difference
Army 480,000 479,100 (99.8%) 900
Navy 372,696 372,696 (100%) 0
Air Force 370,882 360,574 (97.2%) -10,308
Marines 172,200 172,517 (100.2%) 317

*Services are considered to have met end strength if they are within .5%.

FY99 Reserve Components End Strengths

Component Authorized Strength Actual Strength* Difference
Army Guard 357,223 357,450 (100.1%) 227
Army Reserve 208,003 205,200 (98.6%) -2,803
Navy Reserve 90,843 88,961 (97.9%) -1,882
Air Guard 106,992 105,650 (98.7%) -1,342
Air Force Reserve 74,243 71,684 (96.6%) -2,559
Marine Reserve 40,018 39,966 (99.9%) -52
Coast Guard Reserve 8,000 8,050 (100.6%) 50

*Services are considered to have made end strength if they are within 2%.