As if more proof was needed that the Army is broken and George Bush is the vandal that broke it; the Army is lagging both on new recruits and reenlistments. The situation with recruiting shortfalls is so dire – the Army fell 16% short of recruiting goals in June alone – that 1,106 former recruiters have been reassigned and ordered back to recruiting stations throughout the land. The sudden TDY reassignments will run from this coming Friday to 15 October. (FY 2007 ends on 30 September.)
This surprise program comes at a time that Army recruiting has fallen on hard times.
The service missed its active-duty recruiting goal by 16 percent in June, the worst showing in two years. The shortfall was particularly worrisome to Army leaders because the summer, after students have graduated high school, typically is the best recruiting season.
While recruiters are running at 101 percent of their year-to-date mission of 51,150, Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey recently cautioned that the recruiting environment is “very difficult.”
The fiscal 2007 mission, which ends Sept. 30, requires Recruiting Command to generate at least 30,000 enlistments during the remainder of the summer. Included in that fourth quarter mission are enlistments for July, which have not yet been tallied.
Casey, who spoke during a recent town hall meeting at
Reenlistments are not faring much better, and in an effort to ameliorate that situation, the Army has restructured the reenlistment bonuses for many career fields, ranging from infantry, field artillery and special forces to medical personnel and quartermasters.
The retention goal for FY 2007 is 62,200 but by mid-July less than 50,000 soldiers with a termination date (ETS) before 01 October had reenlisted.
More significant, and not reported in the Army Times article is who is not reenlisting. The tragedy unfolding is due to the mid-level Sergeants who are bailing, burned out after repeated and extended deployments and strains on family life.
Non-Coms are the backbone of any military command structure, and this depletion in the numbers of seasoned NCO’s will have a deleterious effect on the ranks for the next quarter century. These are the soldiers that the Army most needs to retain, and they are leaving in droves.