Friday, October 16, 2009

Army meets recruiting goals for quantity, quality—but not honesty

From Army News Service. The army recently bragged about having met its recruitment goals the fiscal yearn ending September 30.
The Army and other services met their recruiting goals in fiscal year 2009, many exceeding both numeric goals and quality benchmarks for new recruits.

'We are pleased to report that for the first time, since the advent of the all-volunteer force, all of the military components -- active and reserve -- met their number as well as their quality goals,' said Bill Carr, the deputy under secretary of Defense for military personnel policy during an Oct. 13 press conference at the Pentagon. 'That's the first time that's been achieved for every component since the start of the all-volunteer force in 1973.'
The successful campaign was attributed by some to the poor job market.

But Fred Kaplan in Slate notes that it had nothing to do with the job market.
According to the Pentagon's report, the Army's goal for fiscal year 2009 was to sign 65,000 new recruits. It actually signed 70,045—amounting to 8 percent more than the target.

But the picture is less bright than it seems. Though the Pentagon's report doesn't mention this fact, in each of the previous two years, the Army's recruitment goal was 80,000—much higher than this year's. The Army met those targets, but only by drastically lowering its standards—accepting more applicants who'd dropped out of high school or flunked the military's aptitude test.

This year, the recruiters restored the old standards—a very good thing for troops' morale and military effectiveness—but they signed up 10,000 fewer new soldiers.

It is, in other words, not the case that high unemployment or a new public spirit is leading more young men and women into the Army. It's not the case that more young men and women are going into the Army at all.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.