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Military's 2006 recruiting looks like tough going — Freepi worried

Things aren’t looking any better for military recruiting in 2006…hmmm…I wonder why? (NYT):

The Army’s top recruiter, already struggling to meet his quotas this year, said yesterday that 2006 would be even harder, and perhaps the toughest year for recruiting since the all-volunteer force began in 1973.

Maj. Gen. Michael D. Rochelle, in a telephone interview, said the Army would most likely start its fiscal year this October with the smallest pool of recruits ready for boot camp in at least a decade. He said that by then, only 9.9 percent of the roughly 80,000 new active-duty soldiers the Army needs next year to replenish the ranks in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere were expected to be in the pipeline.

Normally, as the Army begins its recruiting year, it has a goal of having already-signed contracts with one in every three of the year’s expected arrivals – a cushion that helps recruiters through the slow winter months. But this year, the Army started with one in five, and if General Rochelle’s prediction is correct, next year will begin with only one in 10.

The general said that prospect was “not a bright picture” and blamed a variety of factors, from the war in Iraq, to an improving economy, to family members and friends of applicants who he said often dissuade recruits from joining.

Beth J. Asch, a senior economist specializing in military personnel at the RAND Corporation, a military-financed research organization, described the general’s prediction as “near disastrous.”

She said the reduced pool of enlistees would force the Army’s 7,500 recruiters, already struggling under intense pressure, to find applicants, verify that they are qualified and send them to boot camp in 30 days or fewer. In 2004, recruits typically waited 110 days to report to boot camp after signing up; as of March, that had dwindled to 50 days.

“It’s comparable to having no savings account,” Ms. Asch said. “They’ll be living month to month.”

In interviews over the past five months, recruiters have said they already feel rushed to push recruits to boot camp as quickly as possible. They said the accelerated pace often leads recruiters to overlook or illegally conceal psychological problems and police records that might make a recruit ineligible.

Various forms of cheating, or breaking Army rules to enlist unqualified applicants, have been on the rise. Army statistics showed 325 closed cases of substantiated improprieties in 2004, up from 199 in 1999, the last year the annual active-duty recruitment goal was missed.

Do you think the Freepi have a solution? Maybe they can all do their patriotic duty and sign up. Note they are really getting nervous about the draft. What happened to all that cockiness about Iraq, huh?

Actual Freeper Quotesâ„?

“I won’t be surprised if this is eventually offered to the Marines and Navy Corpmen(sp?) as well, i.e. folks on the ground. “

“The Army and Marines, both active and reserve components, have not been making their quotas for the last three months, IIRC. Check comment# 1.”

“Great incentives..but I KNOW what the Libs will say..” “What good are incentives like that when you won’t be ALIVE to use them??” Anyone have a counter to that lilly-livered argument?”

“Well, I will just say that the dems and the MSM have a lot to do with this—Why would young people want to join the military to go to an “illegal war” and “kill innocent people”? They are filled in with so much anti-America propaganda in high school and college nowdays that it would seem almost impossible to get a “patriotic” emotion from a lot of them these days….I would think that if they could see the pride of what American troops have accomplished in Afghanistan and Iraq, it might help, but where would they see that—even Fox isn’t showing it as much as they used to…”

“This is worrisome, but at least they’re doing something. It’s set up so that they can do one tour in Afghanistan or Iraq with an Active duty unit and another tour with an Army Reserve or National Guard unit.”

“IMHO it’s a lot simpler than that. Most potential recruits know that there’s a good chance they’ll end up in Iraq within a year. We’re going on our fourth year of active warfare, and it’s tough sledding, recruitingwise. Even in WWII, a “popular” war, most people didn’t volunteer, they waited to get drafted.”

“I think it will eventually come to a draft this time around, too, unless Iraq quiets down dramatically in the next six months or so. The numbers just aren’t there. The trick will be in getting it through Congress, and in selling it to the public in a way that won’t result in a major bloodletting at the polls. If Rove can pull that off, he’ll deserve every nickel of his salary.”

“Right on about Fox. Lately I’ve been really turned off by FNC. I don’t know but recently, to me, it seems like they are mainly concerned with more tabloid-like crap such as in depth coverage about what Michael Jackson had for breakfast rather than actual news. I mean come on, with everything going on in the world there is no reason why FNC needs to saturate us with coverage about Michael Jackson, the runaway bride, or whatever other garbage turns up. Nobody cares! “

“And if Korea or Iran blow up….all bets are off.”

“It’s set up so that they can do one tour in Afghanistan or Iraq with an Active duty unit and another tour with an Army Reserve or National Guard unit.”

“AR and ANG are geopraphically located. People aren’t assigned or deployed the same way as Active Duty. They likely won’t go unless their AR or ANG unit is sent and only a fraction of AR and ANG units are deployed at a time. “

“And this time around it is time for women to step up to the plate and be required to register with the SS since they want equality. Fem groups argued for years about women on ships and combat areas. There is no reason for them to be exempt from national service or the draft. A guy years ago was more to the point. He would go all out for women and equality WHEN he saw them join in mass protests for the right to be drafted. The wusses in Congress after years of hand wringing finally allowed them to participate in current realities.”

“I posted comments earlier elsewhere about FNC’s ratings running circles around the other news channels. They have been my news channel source for obvious reasons. But, I pointed out they lately have regressed and seem to be using a National Enquirer mentality by sensationalizing lead-ins to upcoming segments…”See the shocking videos…blah, blah,” “You won’t believe what so and so said…blah, blah.” Yesterday, I emailed Greta’s show, which is amounting to Son of Court TV about the above. “

“A few months ago a thread like this would have already been loaded up with the, “What,-are-you-crazy? We-don’t-need-no-stinking-draft!” crowd. The authority to draft and the registration of women should have gone through congress and signed by the President before the end of September 2001. Now, it’s going to be a wee bit tougher to “get ‘r done.””

“Even in WWII, a “popular” war, most people didn’t volunteer, they waited to get drafted. Ten Million+ of what some refer to as “The Greatest Generation” were drafted. The trick will be in getting it through Congress, and in selling it to the public in a way that won’t result in a major bloodletting at the polls. If the Bolton matter and the Filibuster issue were settled today, it would still take many months for Congress to even focus on the issue of manning the force. “

“Imo we need to pay the soldiers fighting on the ground much m
uch more then they are making now. And get away from this promising of benefits crap.. make it real cash, aka increasing salary. And we need to get away from the whole reserve idea of sending them overseas for a continuing mission.”

“After congress is done shelling out money to the unions, pork barrel contracts, and every other special interest.. I doubt there will be any money left over for troops.”

“I’m not sure more pay is the answer. Don’t get me wrong, the troops can’t be paid enough but big incentives are being offered right now. I do believe, under conscription, we’d have be a little more creative than in the past. Of course, when the draft ended in 73, E1 thru E5 weren’t highly paid anyway. So, it didn’t much matter that a US (draftee) made the same as an RA (enlistee). One way would be to create a two-tier pay scale for the grades effected (E1-E4 or 5). If a draftee chooses to stay longer at any point in the process, they would immediately jump to the higher scale. People forget that, even under the old draft, many draftees re-enlisted.”

“A few months ago a thread like this would have already been loaded up with the, “What,-are-you-crazy? We-don’t-need-no-stinking-draft!” crowd. No way there would be a draft. It would never pass in congress. If that were really the only option, which I don’t believe it is, then the U.S. would have to leave Iraq. I’m not saying there will not be a need for a draft in the future, but its not going to happen for Iraq. The U.S. will need to get hit with a nuke, or something of similar significance, before there would be any chance of selling a draft.”

“And if Korea and Iran blow up….they will raise the Draft Age to 75 and Save Social Security. “

“If Iraq is not worthy of a Draft, then we shouldn’t be there. I guess I agree with you. I also agree that it may take another major attack on US interests to make it happen. Make no mistake, something”

“Come on. You know very well what sort of event would be needed to get public support for a draft – something on the level of a nuclear attack on a U.S. city. To claim that anything short of that is not worthy of military commitment seems ridiculous and would give our adversaries free reign.”

“I said it would take a **major** attack to get enough support for a draft, but I also feel that changes will need to be made in the near term in terms of retainment, recruitment and deployment until the Iraqi army gets up to speed. If that doesn’t happen in a reasonable timeframe in which we can maintain sufficient troop levels then we will have to look at other options, which include, among others, handing the keys to al Zarqawi and friends or stepping back and allowing a civil war to break out while aiding whatever group seems advantageous to U.S.”

“Even without a major attack on us, at the current deployment tempo and drop in recruiting, Iraq is going to take the Army and Marine Corps to the breaking point.”

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding