For the first time since January, the Army met its recruiting goal this month, but it still faces what some senior Army officials say is a nearly insurmountable hurdle to meet the service's annual quota.
Gen. Richard B. Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a public forum at the Pentagon on Wednesday that the Army exceeded its June goal, but he gave no details. Senior Army officials said in interviews earlier in the day that the Army exceeded the quota of 5,650 recruits by about 500 people. The Army Reserve also made its first monthly goal since last December, the officials said.
Wow, so they're finally out of their slump, huh? (as noted with sadistic glee by Powerline) Oh, but wait a sec...what's this nice graph next to the text of the NY Times article?
Notice anything about the month of June? (see the update below for my corrected version of this graph)
And this is after the Army lowered its quota in May with no public notice.
So now that recruitment is (somewhat) up, what should be done to help meet future quotas?
America's parents should not stand in the way of sons and daughters who want to join the military, but should let them follow their patriotic instincts, the nation's No. 2 general said Wednesday.
"Those who are looking to serve this country should be encouraged to do so," said Gen. Peter Pace, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Telling parents to quit trying to protect their children--man, that guy has some balls. But I guess that's how you get to be the nation's No. 2 general. Big, hairy, impertinent balls.
And for anyone who likes a little insult with their injury: A couple republican senators are claiming that the reason parents have been discouraging their children from enlisting is negative media. (Via Bulworth)
Families are discouraging young men and women from enlisting "because of all the negative media that's out there," Sen. James Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican, said at a U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.
Inhofe also said that other senators' criticism of the war contributed to the propaganda of U.S. enemies. He did not name the senators.
Army Chief of Staff Peter Schoomaker urged members of Congress to use "your considerable influence to explain to the American people and to those that are influencers out there how important it is for our young people to serve this nation at a time like this."
The Army on Wednesday said it was 14 percent, or about 7,800 recruits, behind its year-to-date recruitment target even though it exceeded its monthly target in June. With extended deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, recruiting also is down for the National Guard and the Reserves.
"With the deluge of negative news that we get daily, it's just amazing to me that anybody would want to sign up," said Sen. Pat Roberts, a Kansas Republican.
So we are to believe, it seems, that American moms readily encourage their sons and daughters to enlist, until one evening they turn on the news and say, "Holy shite! People are dying in Iraq! I had no idea. Wow, I'd never heard of these, um, what's the term, 'su-i-cide bomb-ers.' You're not going anywhere, mister/missie. You're grounded until this war is over."
As a final note, if you do a search in Google News for "army recruitment," Powerline's post is the first link. Scaaaary.
...it made more sense to shift some of that quota to the summer months, traditionally a better season for recruiters to attract new high school graduates.
How much of a shift are we talking about? The Army needs on average 9,760 new recruits in each of the summer months to make its goal of 80,000 (for the year) by the end of September. They got about 6,100 in June. So the graph above should actually look like this: