WASHINGTON, Nov. 22, 2010 — Defense Department officials announced the services’ recruiting and retention numbers for the first month of the new fiscal year, as well as a change in the way they report recruiting numbers to the public.
The services already are off to a good start, with both active and reserve components meeting or exceeding their year-to-date accession goals, Curtis Gilroy, the Pentagon’s accession policy director, said.
Gilroy attributes the services’ recruiting success, in part, to the economy but also cites other significant factors, such as patriotism.
“The improved situation in Iraq and continued support from Congress also greatly enhance recruiting efforts,” he said. “Patriotism is one of the contributing factors to recruiting success as well, as 4 out of 10 new Army recruits cite ’service to country’ for their reason for enlisting.”
Within the active duty, the Army made 103 percent of its goal with 6,643 recruits against a target of 6,425. The Navy made 100 percent of its goal with 2,291 recruits. The Marine Corps made 100 percent of its goal with 2,457 recruits against a goal of 2,448. The Air Force also made 100 percent of its goal with 1,511 recruits.
The Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force retentions are near or above the fiscal year-to-date goals through October, officials said.
Within the reserve components, the Army National Guard made 110 percent of its accession goal, signing up 4,973 recruits against 4,504. The Army Reserve made 108 percent of its goal with 2,774 accessions against 2,557. The Navy Reserve met its goal of 665 accessions. The Marine Corps Reserve was successful, making 130 percent of its goal with 1,154 accessions against a goal of 889.
The Air National Guard made 135 percent its goal of 541 with 729 recruits, and the Air Force Reserve made 101 percent of its goal with 769 recruits against a goal of 760. As for attrition rates, losses in all reserve components were within acceptable limits, officials said.
Along with the recruiting numbers, officials announced they will now use fiscal year-to-date goals rather than monthly goals to report recruiting.
Officials decided to change the way they present the numbers to offer the public a more comprehensive look at military recruiting, Gilroy said.
To derive recruiting goals, officials consider the number of servicemembers who may choose to stay in or leave each month and then factor in a service’s desired end strength. The services then adjust recruiting mission to ensure end-strength goals won’t be exceeded, an official explained.
Services may purposely come in under short-term goals with the big-picture numbers in mind, Gilroy noted, a practice that can be misinterpreted when looked at on a month-to-month basis.
“In the past, the services have, on occasion, intentionally ‘missed’ their monthly recruiting goals to ensure they don’t come in over end strength,” he explained. “This gives the false impression that recruiting goals are not being met, when in fact, for the year, the services are meeting or exceeding their goals.
“By reporting against year-to-date goals, the public is provided a more comprehensive picture of military recruiting,” he said.
U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)