Recruiting Rates Up Militarywide; Army Targets New Veterans
By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Dec. 12, 2005 Both the active Army and Army National Guard continued reversing a springtime recruiting slump, exceeding their November goals at 105 and 110 percent, respectively, defense officials announced today.
The active Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force also exceeded their November goals, reporting rates of 102, 105 and 101 percent, respectively. The Marine Corps Reserve and Air Force Reserve achieved 100 percent of their November recruiting goals as well, officials reported.
Three reserve components experienced shortfalls in November. The Army Reserve recruited 96 percent of its goal; the Navy Reserve, 87 percent. The Air National Guard, already at 99 percent of its year-end strength, recruited 71 percent of its earlier-designated November goal, officials said.
A new program designed to entice veterans of all services to join the Army is among initiatives expected to help the Army continue its recent success in reaching its recruiting goals, officials said. Officials are hopeful the new "Unity of Effort" program will encourage more prior-service members, regardless of their service, to bring their experience to the Army's ranks.
In mid-November Army officials contacted 78,000 veterans who recently left the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps, encouraging them to consider returning to military service in the Army, Lt. Col. Roy Steed, the Army's deputy division chief of enlisted accessions, said during a recent interview with the Pentagon Channel.
The Army is hoping 1,600 of those contacted will take the Army up on its offer, helping the Army reach its higher recruiting goals with experienced new members who have already proven they can adapt to military life, Steed said.
"We are trying to work smart," he said. "If you have already recruited them once and you have already trained them once and the person wants to come back and serve, let's give them the opportunity to come back. And they are coming back."
Prior-service troops make attractive recruits, he said. "They bring experience. They bring commitment. They know what the military is about, so they already have that under the belt and they adjust and adapt a lot quicker," Steed said. "It's a win-win situation."
If retention rates are any indication, the program is likely to be a solid success.
The Army is at the 92 percent mark on its active-duty year-end re-enlistment goal, and the Marine Corps and Air Force both reported solid re-enlistment rates in November, defense officials reported today.
The Navy barely missed its mid-career goal, officials said, but is making program adjustments to reduce losses in specific specialized skill areas to achieve its end-of-year mission.
On the reserve component side, the Army and Air Guard retained 103 and 101 percent of their cumulative goals for the year, respectively. The Army Guard is at 95 percent of its end strength and the Air Guard is at 99 percent, officials said.
Losses in all other reserve components were within acceptable limits during October, and that trend continued in November, officials reported.