Monday, July 26, 2004

Army National Guard Recruiting Falling Short

Despite the active Army meeting or closing in on recruiting and retention goals, it seems the call-ups and rotations are beginning to take their toll on National Guard recruiting.
The U.S. Army is lagging about 12 percent behind its recruiting goal for the Army National Guard amid the Pentagon's heavy reliance on such troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, officials said on Monday.

Amid predictions by critics that the difficult duty in Iraq and Afghanistan may harm the all-volunteer U.S. military's ability to attract and keep troops, Gen. Peter Shoomaker, Army chief of staff, told a Pentagon briefing he was watching the situation closely.

National Guard recruiting was at only 88 percent of its goal, Shoomaker said. "However, we remain cautiously optimistic that we will make our goal," he added.

But the National Guard was slightly exceeding its target for retention -- soldiers opting to remain in the service -- while the active-duty Army and part-time Army Reserve both were generally meeting retention and recruitment goals, Shoomaker said.
Maybe the days are drawing near when the answer to my personal debate about re-enlisting will be forced upon me by my often-hyperactive sense of duty. Maybe it's about time the guy on the left in the picture below (me, from Ft. Hood in May 1993) goes back in the Guard. Adding to the pressure: I recently found out the guy on the far right, a close buddy of mine, has gone back in the Guard.
On an M1 at Hood in May 93
Besides, if I go back in, I'll finally get the black beret that the tankers should've always had.

Note: Yeah, we slipped off post to Wal-Mart and bought some sidewalk chalk. If you can't read it in the pic, for those three weeks of transition training from the M60-A3 to the M1, we dubbed ourselves the Bonedickers, slang for goof-offs, of a military sort.


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