Recruiting Numbers Jump in Fiscal 2006

All U.S. armed forces made their
active-duty recruiting goals for fiscal 2006, the Defense Department's top
personnel officer said here today.

In fiscal 2005, the Army missed its recruiting goal by 7,000. This
year, the Army exceeded the goal by 635 soldiers. The goal both years was

The other services all made their goals, as well, with the Navy
enlisting 36,679 new members, the Marine Corps enlisting 32,301, and the Air
Force 30,750.

The news was almost as good on the reserve-component side, with the
Army National Guard just missing its target of 70,000 by enlisting 69,042.
The Army Reserve met 95 percent of its goal, with 34,379; the Marine
Reserve met 100 percent, enlisting 8,056; and the Navy Reserve made 87
percent of its goal, at 9,722. The Air National Guard made 97 percent of
its goal, at 9,138; and the Air Force Reserve enlisted 106 percent of
its goal at 6,989.

"We speak often about an all-volunteer force, ... but it is really an
all-recruited force," Chu said. "People don't just walk in the door,
particularly people we want to have in the military. You have to go out
and seek them out and persuade them that this is a good choice for them."

The undersecretary said the services made their recruiting goals
without lowering standards for all recruits.

Chu said there are two reasons why fiscal 2006 was successful. "First,
focus," he said. "Focus by the military services putting more
recruiters out there.

"Second is patriotism," he continued. "One of the things we read into
the survey results of young Americans today is (that) patriotism has
risen to a much higher place on the list of reasons why people join the
military. In a sense, we are seeing right before our eyes the unfolding
of a new 'greatest generation' in the history of our republic."

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