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Donna Miles - American Forces Press Service
All four services met or surpassed their monthly active-duty recruiting goals for December, and five of the six reserve components showed similar success, Defense Department officials announced today.
The Army recruited 789 active-duty soldiers last month, 105 percent of its December goal. On the reserve-component side, the Army National Guard recruited 4,985 members, 120 percent of its goal, and the Army Reserve, 3,280 soldiers, 107 percent of its goal.
The Marine Corps recruited 1,992 active-duty Marines, 115 percent of its goal, and met its goal of recruiting 410 Marine Corps reservists.
The Air Force met its December goal of recruiting 1,772 active-duty airmen and 561 Air Force Reserve members. The Air National Guard achieved 96 percent of its goal, recruiting 624 members.
The Navy met its goals of recruiting 1,891 active-duty sailors and 682 Navy reservists.
Army Secretary Pete Geren conceded today that the Army has faced a “tough recruiting market for awhile,” but said he’s confident the Army will continue to meet its recruiting goals. He noted that last year alone, the Army recruited 175,000 people -- the size of the entire Marine Corps -- into its active force and the National Guard and Army Reserve.
“This will be a tough year; last year was a tough year,” he said. “We are confident we will meet our goals this year, but I am also confident it won’t come without a lot of work by a lot of folks.”
Army Lt. Gen. Clyde Vaughn, director of the Army National Guard, expressed even more confidence today in the Guard’s ability to maintain the current momentum. “I’m on record right now that all I’ve got to do is get out of bed every morning and have a cup of coffee, and we are going to be over strength this year,” he said. “That’s the kind of machine that’s running right now, and it has a lot to do with pride in the force.”
Ultimately, the Army’s recruiting successes boil down to Americans’ willingness to serve, Geren said. “At the end of the day, what makes the difference is there are young men and women out there that, despite the challenges, are willing to step up and join the Army,” he said.