House Subcommittee on Readiness

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I'm just taking a stab at this... My first post on DKosopedia so I'm just putting up a link here to refer to on Force Readiness that bears reviewing: It's the link to <a href="http://www.house.gov/apps/list/press/pa12_murtha/PRmilreadiness0913.html"> a page on Murtha's House Site with his recent statement on Military readiness.</a> Summarized below:

Key Facts:


· For FY 2006 the Army’s goal is to recruit 80,000 new active-duty enlisted soldiers. By the end of August, the service was on track to meet that goal, though data for September suggest that the Army may fall short by about 1,000 recruits. Last year the Army missed its goal by 6,700 recruits.

· The Army’s delayed entry pool (DEP) of active duty recruits has shrunk to 10 percent of the recruiting goal, the lowest level in years. As a reference, the DEP held 43 percent of the recruiting goal in 2004.

· Active-duty re-enlistment data show that the Army will meet its annual goals for first-term and career re-enlistees. Similar to last year, current data indicates that the Army is struggling to meet its re-enlistment goals for mid-termers (junior NCOs and field grade officers). It is in this last category of re-enlistments that Army officials anticipate the ill-effects from multiple deployments overseas to be registered.

· The Army reserves also are currently on track to meet their recruiting missions this year, a significant improvement over last year when the Guard and Reserve made only 85 percent and 80 percent, respectively, of the 2005 goals. Like the active-duty force, the reserves’ recruiting programs have been bolstered by the addition of new recruiters, increases in enlistment bonuses and referral incentives, and the relaxation of age and tattoo policies. Yet, as with the active-duty force, the reserve DEP has dropped significantly (12 percent of the recruiting goal).

· All agree that the most effective enhancement to the Army recruiting program has been the addition of recruiters. Since 2004, the number of Army recruiters has increased by 30 percent.

· Nonetheless, pressure to meet recruiting goals has forced the service to increase the number of Category 4 recruits from 2 percent to 4 percent of the annual goal, and increase the percent of recruits who receive medical, moral, or criminal record waivers from 10 percent of the 2001 recruiting class, to 15 percent in 2005, and possibly as much as 18 percent in 2006.

· To judge the quality and commitment of these latest recruiting classes, Army officials are paying close attention to attrition rates – that is, the percent of troops who either leave voluntarily or who are forced out for disciplinary, medical, or other reasons. The latest trends present a mixed picture. For example, in 2004 the attrition rate of soldiers who had been in the service for 0 to 6 months was 16.5 percent. Today, that figure has dropped to 10 percent. A positive reading of this trend would suggest that troops who join today know that they are going to war, and are willing to work hard to have an opportunity to serve and remain in the Army. A negative reading suggests that the Army has relaxed its standards in order to retain as many new recruits as possible to fill the war ranks. Anecdotal evidence from discussions with Army company commanders suggests the latter. For example, these commanders reported that the number of disciplinary actions resulting from drug and alcohol abuse had skyrocketed over the past year.

House Committee on Armed Services Subcommittees:

Projection ForcesReadinessStrategic ForcesTactical Air & Land ForcesTerrorism, Unconventional Threats & CapabilitiesTotal Force

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