All active components of the military services met or exceeded their recruiting goals for January, the Defense Department announced today.
The Army achieved 111 percent of its goal with 9,306 troops; the Air Force, 100 percent of its goal with 2,552 troops; the Navy, 100 percent of its goal with 2,764; and the Marine Corps, 108 percent with 3,403.
Four of six of the reserve components met or exceeded their recruiting goals for January. The Army National Guard, Marine Corps Reserve, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve all achieved more than 100 percent of their goals. The Army Reserve and Navy Reserve lagged, with 99 percent and 93 percent, respectively.
Retention among active and reserve components remained solid. The Marine Corps and Air Force met or exceeded overall retention missions. The Army met 109 percent of its year-to-date mission, and the Navy met 93 percent.
Army National Guard retention was 120 percent of the cumulative goal of 10,289, and Air National Guard retention was 97 percent of its cumulative goal of 3,289. Both the Army and Air Guard are at 99 percent of their target end strength. Losses in all reserve components for December are well within acceptable limits, officials said, and indications are that trend will continue into January.
The Army's recruiting numbers may get an added boost in March after the Army launches a traveling, virtual reality exhibit. The Virtual Army Experience is a high-tech, team-based experience designed to immerse visitors in the operational roles of soldiers, according to an Army news release.
The 10,000-square-foot interactive exhibit brings the Army's exceptionally popular computer game, "America's Army: Special Forces (Overmatch)," to a life-size networked world, according to the release. In the Virtual Army Experience, participants employ teamwork, leadership and high-tech equipment as they take part in a hands-on virtual mission to capture a terrorist leader. The Virtual Army Experience debuts this week at Speedweek in Daytona, Fla., and will deploy to 35 events around the nation.
"The Virtual Army Experience provides visitors with unparalleled insight into today's high-tech Army, in which smart, capable soldiers work within elite teams to master the most complex and demanding situations," said Col. Casey Wardynski, project director for America's Army and originator of the concept for the Virtual Army Experience. "Upon entering the Virtual Army Experience, visitors meet virtual members of their team -- skilled professionals in fields ranging from aviation to communications. From this point forward, visitors gain an appreciation of the degree to which the Army prepares young adults to be confident, skilled and trusted."