[FoRK] Veeery Intewesting...
owen at permafrost.net
Thu Sep 23 17:54:31 PDT 2004
>The draft is DOA. It was floated by Democrats to spread a little
>election year FUD. The DoD is adamantly against the idea, since it is
>very expensive and generates zero benefit, and it won't happen if they
>don't want it.
>A point that isn't usually mentioned but is very relevant is that all
>sectors of the armed forces are meeting or exceeding all enlistment
>targets and goals via the normal volunteer process. Since they already
>have all the volunteers they can handle, a draft would be pointless.
>j. andrew rogers
General: Army Guard will fall short of recruiting goal
*WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Army National Guard will fall short of its
recruiting goal this year, in part because fewer active-duty soldiers
are opting to switch to part-time service, the Guard's top general said
It will be the first time since 1994 that the Guard has missed its
Army Lt. Gen. H. Steven Blum, chief of the National Guard Bureau, said
in an interview at his Pentagon office that the shortfall for the budget
year ending September 30 is likely to be about 5,000 soldiers. That is a
little more than 1 percent of the total Army Guard force of 350,000.
"This is something that can't be ignored. I've got to watch it every
day," he said. "But it's not something that I would say indicates that
we're breaking. I think it indicates that the recruiting climate has
gotten tougher, and that means we need to adjust to a tougher market."
The Guard had set a goal of 56,000 recruits for the year but is likely
to end up with about 51,000, he said.
As a result, Blum said he will increase the number of recruiters and put
more effort into targeting young people in high school and college who
have not previously served in the military.
The other key aspect of maintaining Guard strength is what the military
calls retention -- the number of Guard members who re-enlist. Blum said
the Army Guard is meeting its retention goal this year and finding that
re-enlistments are higher in units that deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan
than those that did not.
He said he believes this reflects the sense of pride and commitment that
develops in Guard units when they are deployed abroad and put in harm's
way, as they are in Iraq and Afghanistan. At least 114 Army National
Guard soldiers have been killed in Iraq since the war began in March 2003.
Blum said he sees two main reasons why the Guard is attracting fewer
soldiers from the active-duty force -- a pool of recruits that in some
states accounts for half of the total new Guard members in a given year.
One reason is that the active-duty Army is prohibiting soldiers in units
that are in Iraq or Afghanistan, or are preparing to deploy there, from
leaving the service, even if their enlistment term is up. Thus the
number who might consider moving into the Guard has shrunk temporarily.
The other reason, Blum said, is that active-duty soldiers are aware that
a growing number of Guard units are being sent to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Thus they figure there is little to be gained, in terms of reduced
personal risk, by switching from active duty to the Guard.
"If you want to get away from active duty and you don't want to take a
chance that you're going to deploy that quickly again," Blum said, "then
you probably are going to make a clean break for a while and not join
the Guard or Reserve, and so we are suffering."
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