Associated Press | November 01, 2007
WASHINGTON - The Army began its recruiting year Oct. 1 with fewer signed up for basic training than in any year since it became an all-volunteer service in 1973, a top general said Wednesday.
Gen. William S. Wallace, whose duties as commander of Army Training and Doctrine Command include management of recruiting, told reporters at the Pentagon that the historic dip will make it harder to achieve the full-year recruiting goal - after just barely reaching it in the year ended Sept. 30.
Achieving the Army's recruiting goals - a challenge in the best of times - is not only more difficult now but also of more consequence. That is because the Army has decided that it must grow its active-duty force by several thousand Soldiers a year in order to relieve strain on war-weary troops.
Wallace said he expects to reach the goal of 80,000 recruits, with extra effort by his recruiters.
"It's going to be another tough recruiting year," the four-star general said.
Making it even tougher is the decline in what the Army calls its delayed entry pool, which is the group of enlistees who have signed contracts to join the Army but want to wait before shipping off to basic training. Normally the Army tries to start its recruiting year with a delayed entry pool equal to about 25 percent of its full-year goal, which in this case would equate to 20,000 recruits. Read more