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View Diary: Hollow Army: Recruitment follies (96 comments)

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  •  That was my question too (none)
    I'm a librarian and I pride myself on the ability to find information and I have not been able to find any numbers by month for previous years.  I also haven't been able to find this year's monthly goals.  I'm starting to wonder where my tinfoil hat is.

    By the way, are these recruiting numbers or recruiting/retention numbers?  Given the stop-loss program and the big bonuses they now give to retain current soliders, I think the retention rate is much higher than it would have been otherwise. They may be combining recruitment and retention numbers to make the recruitment situation look less bleak.

    •  Just Recruiting (none)
      The numbers announced today are just recruiting, not retention.  But I am still confused about what constitutes "recruiting" numbers.   Did 6000 people sign up this month, or did 6000 people ship out to basic training this month?  One explanation for the numbers that I heard from an Army spokesman on NPR tonight was that June is typically a big month because many of the "delayed entry" recruits who actually signed up months ago will ship out to basic training right after graduating from high school.  If that's how they measure it, then July and August might not be so great.

      And I have to wonder (not trying to be conspiratorial, but...) did some of these folks get counted twice?  Once when they signed up earlier in the year, and again when they shipped to basic?

      Regarding retention, be wary of reports that "the troops must support the war because so many are re-enlisting in the war zones."  Remember that income -- including re-enlistment bonuses, which are in the 5-figures -- is tax-free in a combat zone.  During the Bosnian conflict we saw the same trends in combat zone re-enlistments; meanwhile, US Air Forces in Europe (which bore the brunt of the USAF effort there) saw very low retention rates overall.

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