Thursday, December 09, 2004

Military recruiting falling far short of goals. Duh.

Retired Col. Hackworth is one of the good guys. He does Soldiers for the Truth. He's been talking to recruiters, and getting some nasty numbers.

Since this tragic war kicked off in March 2003, the United States has evacuated an estimated 50,000 KIA, WIA and non-battle casualties from Iraq back to the States – leaving 50,000 slots that have had to be filled.

The job of finding fresh bodies to keep our units topped off falls mainly to the Army Recruiting Command. But the “making-quota” jazz put out by the Recruiting Command and the Pentagon to hype their billion-dollar recruiting effort, with its huge TV expenditure and big expansion of recruiters during the past year, is pure unadulterated spin. Not that this is anything new. The Command has a sorry reputation for using smoke and mirrors to cover up poor performance.

“Hack, here’s a snapshot of how little of our 1st Quarter mission has been achieved,” says an Army recruiter. “Look at it from a perspective of a business releasing quarterly earnings information. To keep unit manning levels up out in the field, especially in Iraq, there’s no question our recruiting mission is in serious trouble.”

“These are totals for the 41 USAREC (Recruiting Command) Battalions, so these stats represent the USAREC mission accomplishment:

Regular Army Volume (all RA contracts):

Mission: 25,322
Achieved: 12,703 (50.17 percent)

Army Reserve Volume:

Mission: 7,373
Achieved: 3,206 (43.48 percent).”

The Army National Guard is faring no better. A Guard retention NCO says: “The word is out on the streets of Washington, D.C. ‘Do not join the Guard.’ I see these words echoing right across the U.S.A.”

By the end of this recruiting year, the Regular Army, Reserves and Guard could fall short more than 50 percent of its projected requirement, or about 60,000 new soldiers. And according to many recruiters, quality recruits are giving way to mental midgets who have a hard time telling their left foot from their right.

Shades of our last years in Vietnam.

The way I see it, this is anothe reason why Shrub is pushing so hard to make elections happen in January. Once he declares the job of bringing democracy to Iraq a success, he can bring everyone home and avoid the consequences of his folly. Nevermind the chaos and ongoing bloodshed, the new lost generation of broken vets, and the destabilization of the Gulf. In a few years, the privations of the "ownership society" will outweigh the short memories of youth, and the Neocon gun will be reloaded and ready for more mischief.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too bad that some of those folks who are so convinced that Bush is their man and Iraq was a good move won't pony up their kids to join the actual fighting. You'd think there'd be at least a few thousand Shrub voters out there who aren't complete hypocrites.

By the way, what are Jenna and notJenna up to these days?

12:23 PM  

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