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June 30, 2005

Good News, Bad News

See if you can find which is which:

For the first time since January, the Army met its monthly recruiting goal in June, but still faces what some senior Army officials say is a nearly insurmountable shortfall to meet the service's annual quota.
...
But that still leaves the active-duty Army about 7,800 recruits behind schedule to send 80,000 enlistees to boot camp with only three months to go in the recruiting year, which ends on Sept. 30. The Army has not missed its annual enlistment quota since 1999, when a strong economy made recruiters' lives miserable.

Army officials insist that they can still reach their annual goal, especially with hundreds of new recruiters on the street, armed with big enlistment bonuses and greater leeway to recruit more high-school dropouts and lower-achieving applicants.

First time since January. That's not good. Moreover, I'm a bit nervous about our new strategy of attracting the most hopeless, directionless, and uneducated recruits we can find. When "a few bad apples"* can do as much harm to the cause as the bushel running Abu Ghraib did, it kind of underscores the need for a military representing the best of our society, not one formed by trawling the bottom of Lake America and enlisting whatever floats up.

* Abu Ghraib, of course, was not the work of a few bad apples, but a host of bad directives, poor leaders, inadequate oversight, and so forth. Nevertheless, since conservatives seem to think we really do have an Army of Ones, they should be fairly nervous about recruiting individuals who the Army, mere months ago, would've rejected out of hand.

June 30, 2005 in Iraq | Permalink

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Comments

Don't forget that the number recruited, ~6150, is less than LAST MONTH's target of 7800 ,IIRC. So, they hit the target by dropping the target.

Posted by: American Citizen | Jun 30, 2005 1:41:03 PM

And not only that, but bear in mind that attracting recruits from the bottom end of the scale means you'll be getting soldiers who, more often than not, end up being disciplinary hard cases who take NCOs like me away from our primary duty of fighting (and training to fight) the nation's wars.

Posted by: Raf | Jun 30, 2005 1:47:44 PM

Billmon's take on the shifting target is delicious. Or as DeLong puts it, "I'll stop calling them Orwellian when..."

Posted by: Allen K. | Jun 30, 2005 1:54:19 PM

The obvious answer is military conscription. In what war in the last 100 years did America NOT have conscription?

Posted by: Robert Zimmerman | Jun 30, 2005 2:08:30 PM

The obvious answer is military conscription.

Maybe so. Why do you think the Party of Ideas doesn't propose it? After all, they control the gov't, and if they're on the side of the angels they should do what's right, no?

Posted by: TJ | Jun 30, 2005 2:39:23 PM

If the need becomes great enough, they will just as administrations have for a century.

It must really be tough to be on the outside trying to pick at anything.

HEY, THERE'S A MOLEHILL!!!

Posted by: Robert Zimmerman | Jun 30, 2005 2:44:33 PM

This time of year is always a spike for recruitments. Graduations are over. The target quota was dropped just in time for the regular spike in sign ups.
The latest batch may not necessarily be the dregs of the humanity. They are likely young people who are now out of school and are quite sincere about national service. Plus, when you see two or three of your schoolmates hooking up with decent jobs or glamorous grad school posts, you feel pretty eager to get out and find something respectable to latch onto yourself.
The rest of the shortfall will be ugly though. The spike wasn't that great and there is a long way to go. Deployments have been longer and tougher and new boots are needed. The Cheney administration can't invade Iraq or Syria without them!

Posted by: sprocket | Jun 30, 2005 3:14:35 PM

------"Abu Ghraib, of course, was not the work of a few bad apples, but a host of bad directives, poor leaders, inadequate oversight, and so forth."

Who discovered and revealed the abuses at Abu Graib? The Pentagon, if Abu Graib was a microcosm of what the administration wanted to do with prisoners, they surely would not have brought it to light. The general who ran Abu Graib has been punished and those directly involved are on trial or in jail.

Yet you want so badly to paint the entire US military with the Abu Graib brush. That is why gitmo blew up in the left's face. The left believes the military is a bunch of torture happy thugs. I bet gitmo put a big chink in your world view, our military aren't a bunch of sadists, terrorists CAN'T be reasoned with,...

Maybe the military would have an easier time recruiting if liberal teachers weren't hostile and obstructive to recruiters. Maybe the recruiters would do better if they weren't chased around by leftist protestors.

I think the title says it all. You don't know whether to be happy or sad that our military made its monthly recruiting goal in a time of war.

Do you actually wonder why the left is considered anti-military?

'Green Gold, Texas THC'

Posted by: Captain Toke | Jul 1, 2005 9:59:04 AM

I understand a GITMO cookbook is being published with recipes for all of the culturally sensitive dishes that the Pentagon is spending million on for the detainees.
Some of the entrees include Glazed Orange Chicken and Lemon Fish with sides of Vegetable Medley and peas.

Sounds delicious!

Posted by: Robert Zimmerman | Jul 1, 2005 11:00:16 AM

I understand a GITMO cookbook is being published with recipes for all of the culturally sensitive dishes that the Pentagon is spending million on for the detainees.
Some of the entrees include Glazed Orange Chicken and Lemon Fish with sides of Vegetable Medley and peas.

Sounds delicious!

Posted by: Robert Zimmerman | Jul 1, 2005 11:01:49 AM

By the way, Congressman Cooper (D) TN said that gitmo was a model to the rest of the world and that detention centers around the world should strive to be as good as gitmo in ALL respects. I will be sure and get the quotes from all the Democratic congressmen to share with everyone. I am surprized the congressmen's recent visit to gitmo wasn't a topic of discussion here, given all the talk of gitmo brought up by the left recently.

An oversight, I am sure.

Posted by: Captain Toke | Jul 1, 2005 11:22:54 AM

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Posted by: peter.w | Sep 16, 2007 9:00:26 PM

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