In today’s NY Post, Ralph Peters argues that, contrary to the popular belief, the Army is actually exceeding its recruitment goals for the year. He writes:
Now, as the fiscal year nears an end, the Army’s numbers look great.
Especially in combat units and Iraq, soldiers are re-enlisting at
record levels. And you don’t hear a whisper about it from the
Let’s look at the numbers, which offer a different picture of
patriotism than the editorial pages do.
* Every one of the Army’s 10 divisions – its key combat organizations
– has exceeded its re-enlistment goal for the year to date. Those with
the most intense experience in Iraq have the best rates. The 1st
Cavalry Division is at 136 percent of its target, the 3rd Infantry
Division at 117 percent.
Among separate combat brigades, the figures are even more startling,
with the 2nd Brigade of the 2nd Infantry Division at 178 percent of
its goal and the 3rd Brigade of the 4th Mech right behind at 174
percent of its re-enlistment target.
This is unprecedented in wartime. Even in World War II, we needed the
draft. Where are the headlines?
* What about first-time enlistment rates, since that was the issue
last spring? The Army is running at 108 percent of its needs. Guess
not every young American despises his or her country and our
* The Army Reserve is a tougher sell, given that it takes men and
women away from their families and careers on short notice. Well,
Reserve recruitment stands at 102 percent of requirements.
* And then there’s the Army National Guard. We’ve been told for two
years that the Guard was in free-fall. Really? Guard recruitment and
retention comes out to 106 percent of its requirements as of June 30.
I’d have to read more to find out how accurately Peters is portraying the numbers, but given the situation in Iraq, it is quite admirable that soldiers have the guts to be reinlisting on such a mass scale. It also says a lot about the character of our nation, per the previous discussion of the home front.