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October 18, 2005

Final Recruiting Numbers Worse Than They Appear

Final numbers are in from the Department of Defense, and as expected, the Army missed its fiscal 2005 recruiting goal by a wide margin, falling short by more than 6,600 soldiers.  The Army National Guard, Army Reserve, Navy Reserve and Air National Guard also all missed their recruiting goals, each pulling in less than 90 percent of their targets.

While some divisions of the armed forces did meet their year-end goals, even some in the military admit the situation is worse than it may appear.  An article in Stars and Stripes notes:

But the active-duty Army shortfall — they recruited about 4,000 fewer soldiers than in fiscal 2004 — is especially troubling because the service has already widened its recruit pool to accept older candidates and those with lower test scores, according to Mike Reilly, vice president of operations at the Center for Security Policy.

“You can’t compare these numbers to the ones from last year, because you have to understand what they did to get these new numbers,” he said. “They’ve really gone down more than just what the difference is.”

Posted by Kat Aaron on October 18, 2005 | Permalink

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Comments

The article is accurate only to a point. The Army sets its goal much higher than it really expects to achieve. In its original computation, the numbers include those that will not actually go to Basic Training and those that will fail and be sent home. It also does not include the total number or reenlistments. The total strength of the Army is a set number, in order to maintain that number the Recruiting Command publishes a number to recruit in a Fiscal Year. The same goes for reenlistments. These numbers are inflated so that in the end the total strength of the service is maintained.

Posted by: vernon oneil | Oct 29, 2005 11:20:51 AM

The article is accurate only to a point. The Army sets its goal much higher than it really expects to achieve. In its original computation, the numbers include those that will not actually go to Basic Training and those that will fail and be sent home. It also does not include the total number or reenlistments. The total strength of the Army is a set number, in order to maintain that number the Recruiting Command publishes a number to recruit in a Fiscal Year. The same goes for reenlistments. These numbers are inflated so that in the end the total strength of the service is maintained.

Posted by: vernon oneil | Oct 29, 2005 11:21:35 AM

So then by your assesment the fact that this is the first time since 1999 they missed that "higher than expeceted goal" and had to put an extra 1,000 recruiters on the streets, that they have had to lower their recruiting standards, increased the age of eligle enlistees, continue to use stop loss/stop movement and have mandatory reclassifications for SM's so they can fill those MOS's that they cant get enough people to enlist for is a non-issue because these numbers are over inflated? Are you delusional? When will the apologists wake up and come to grips that these band-aid solutions are crippling the end strength numbers and that the future of the voluntary (for some) force is at the breaking point?

Posted by: lakers | Nov 3, 2005 6:08:34 AM

Stop-loss/ Stop movement has always been here. The United States Army has used this for every deployment, training or otherwise, to maintain a stable force since the inception of PLUS2 unit manning.
No SM's have been involuntary reclassified for another MOS unless their PMOS has been deleted or overstrength. The Army attained 92% of the mission, how is this failing? Thats an A in the school system, so an A isn't passing?
We increased our numbers to allow for another 80,000+ soldiers, the mass majority 63.78% for rear echelon MOS'. The Navy and Air Force are cutting 25,000 and 75,000 jobs respectively. We are stepping up to allow them to continue to serve, and not put them out.
As for lower enlistment standards, its not that the Deptartment of Defense wants to, but today's children are totally inept. When I enlisted, the ASVAB National Average was 76 AFQT, now it is 42 AFQT. When your children are incompetent, we have to adjust. The very kids you "protect" are looking at a bleak future. The facts and statistics are there. We are not looking to recruit specific socioeconomic brackets or ethnicities. We are prospecting for High School Diploma Graduates that can pass the ASVAB and have no criminal history. Unfortunately, you rather denigrate the Military, than provide an opportunity to your children. The Armed Forces will maintain, its been here longer than our country, longer than you or I, and will be long after your little dissident movement fades away. Come to grips with that.

Posted by: OIF Combat Vet | Nov 8, 2005 1:53:36 PM

Stop-loss/ Stop movement has always been here. The United States Army has used this for every deployment, training or otherwise, to maintain a stable force since the inception of PLUS2 unit manning.
No SM's have been involuntary reclassified for another MOS unless their PMOS has been deleted or overstrength. The Army attained 92% of the mission, how is this failing? Thats an A in the school system, so an A isn't passing?
We increased our numbers to allow for another 80,000+ soldiers, the mass majority 63.78% for rear echelon MOS'. The Navy and Air Force are cutting 25,000 and 75,000 jobs respectively. We are stepping up to allow them to continue to serve, and not put them out.
As for lower enlistment standards, its not that the Deptartment of Defense wants to, but today's children are totally inept. When I enlisted, the ASVAB National Average was 76 AFQT, now it is 42 AFQT. When your children are incompetent, we have to adjust. The very kids you "protect" are looking at a bleak future. The facts and statistics are there. We are not looking to recruit specific socioeconomic brackets or ethnicities. We are prospecting for High School Diploma Graduates that can pass the ASVAB and have no criminal history. Unfortunately, you rather denigrate the Military, than provide an opportunity to your children. The Armed Forces will maintain, its been here longer than our country, longer than you or I, and will be long after your little dissident movement fades away. Come to grips with that.

Posted by: OIFCombatWounded | Nov 8, 2005 2:00:11 PM

OIF,

You are misleading people. Yes, while "stop loss" has always been in place, it was designed as a personnel management tool in a crisis. "Stop Loss" was never intended to keep -10 level positions filled 3 years after crossing the LD into Iraq.

Unit Manning is bullshit and will fail. I can't believe that the Schoomaker/Cody/Preston cabal are still trying this loser 3 years later. Warfare is a dynamic environment and the enemy gets a vote. The three year lifecycle will prove unworkable. The 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain is slated to go to Iraq again. Those troopers will have to be stop-lossed.

92% is not an A - the 8% missing are -10 level folks. Couple this with automatic E-5 and a disaster is afoot. Will comment more later.

I believe you are a G-1 flack for Buster Hagenbeck. I'm not a fool that never served. I will refute you point by point. Till tomorrow....

Posted by: IRR Soldier... | Nov 8, 2005 11:57:27 PM

OIF you make it sound as if your doing these soldiers a favor by mandating they reclass into an mos in which they had no intention of enlisting for. The reason their mos are overstrength is because this administration has continued to push through their restructuring of the force in spite of the realities of the worldwide conflicts we are currently embroiled in. Simply by cutting the allowed amount of soldiers in one job because you can contract out those positions and assuming that those same soldiers will be eager to serve in those hard to fill mos's is bad business. All of these stop gap solutions have continued to harm morale, retention, and enlistment and its going to get worse. Thats not denegrating the military its speaking a fundamental truth. Until more people wake up to the realities of the situation we will continue to smash to bits an already broken system.

Posted by: lakers | Nov 9, 2005 9:55:22 AM

Enlistment is down but the army has actually grown this year, why? Because Re-Enlistment is way up.

Posted by: Fred | Nov 21, 2005 9:00:58 PM

Fred,

Your assertion is demonstrably false on a number of levels.

1. The statement that the Army is "growing" is a canard. Why? Because in the aggregate, the Army in FY 2005 sought as many enlistees as it did during FY 2001 - around 80,000.
Yes, while the Army may be seeking a temporary uptick in its authorization levels, the number of new bodies sought last year was almost identical to the number sought 4 years ago.

2. The retention numbers you cite are not true "reenlistments". They are an aggregate number that includes voluntary extensions (and some not so voluntary extensions). True, the Army did exceed its retention numbers, but you have to acknowledge the role that stop loss/stop move played in this.

Regardless, the "rosy" retention news will falter too. Even with stop loss, the Company Grade officer attrition is nearing post-Vietnam records. Factor in those that want out but are stop-lossed and you are talking a very serious situation.

Simply put, the third tour, like the 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain was just informed of, will break the Army. The Guard and Reserve are pretty well shot as rotational forces and their individual members are becoming "human spackle" to cover the gaping holes in our force structure.

3. The recruiting shortfall is even more dire than numbers lead on. The Army has fallen VERY short on recruiting for Combat Arms MOSs and in the aggregate, those career fields are sucking at the -10 level.

You can retain all the NCOs you want, but the lack of new 11Bs, 11Cs, 13Es, 19Ks and 21Bs cripples an Army.

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I hate spam posts! Anyway, My brother just got out of the marines and did not have the best experience in their and is spreading the word. I think that much of this movement is simply word of mouth and public sentiment due to things like the miss management of the war in iraq. was the iraq war issue has calmed down the numbers will go back up.

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