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Solid Momentum Continues in Military Recruiting, Retention

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 10, 2006 – All the military services exceeded their recruiting goals for January - a trend that's continued for eight consecutive months, Defense Department officials announced today.

The January figures reflect continued recruiting successes since last June, Air Force Lt. Col. Ellen Krenke, a Pentagon spokesperson, told American Forces Press Service. "These successes are helping the services build the momentum they need as they approach the springtime months, which are traditionally slower times for recruiting," she said.

Recruiting typically rebounds again during the summer months, following high school graduations, Krenke noted.

During January, the Army recruited 8,337 new members, 103 percent of its goal; the Navy, 2,726, 101 percent; the Marine Corps, 3,234, 106 percent; and the Air Force, 2,915, 101 percent, Krenke said.

In addition, three of the six reserve components met or exceeded their January goals. The Army National Guard reached 113 percent of its goal. Both the Marine Corps Reserve and Air Force Reserve met 100 percent of their goals.

The Army Reserve, Navy Reserve and Air National Guard fell slightly short of their January goals, achieving 96, 88 and 90 percent of their goals, respectively, Krenke said.

Krenke credited a variety of initiatives - from pumping up the recruiting force to providing more generous incentives and more creative programs - with helping the services maintain recruiting success.

The January successes come at a time when retention remains high throughout the military, she noted.

This reflects the commitment many servicemembers feel toward the military, Krenke said, as well as the professionalism of the force.

"Once people join the military, there's a strong tendency for them to want to stay," she said. "They recognize that military service is a total package - one that allows them to serve their country, be a part of a professional organization and enjoy a good quality of life, not only for them, but also for their families."

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