DoD Leaders Confident Army Will Attract Needed Recruits
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, June 14, 2005 Defense leaders are confident that the U.S. Army is doing what it needs to do to attract qualified recruits.
The Army missed its recruiting goal for the fourth month in a row in May. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said it takes time for the corrective actions the service put in place to take effect. Rumsfeld and Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace spoke during a Pentagon press briefing today.
"It takes time for these things to take," Rumsfeld said. Complicating the situation is the fact that the Army itself is growing. The service is trying to attract 8,000 more recruits this year than last for a total of 80,000 new soldiers. "The (recruiting) goals are higher than they have normally been," the secretary said. "Therefore, the infrastructure to achieve the goals were lower than they would need to be to achieve the higher goals."
Pace said the Army's leadership has made the right choices to meet their recruiting goals. The service has assigned 3,000 more recruiters nationwide and added to its advertising budget.
Pace said that he finds it interesting that soldiers in the service are re-upping at record numbers. "We have had the goals for re-enlistment exceeded, especially by those units who have served in Afghanistan and Iraq," he said. "Why? Because those soldiers have had the opportunity to serve the country the way they volunteered to do. They get it. They understand the tremendous positive impact they are having."
He said DoD and the Army need to work harder to get the message out to prospective volunteers. "As a country, we need to encourage our young people to serve this country in a time of need," he said.