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Military Exceeding Recruiting Goals

August 23, 2005 -- WHAT was the big "Iraq" story in August? Which vital issue got the most air-time and ink? The camp-out of a sad, tormented woman who had lost her son, her marriage and her judgment.

The media pounced on poor Cindy Sheehan in an anti-Bush, anti-war frenzy. The disappointment was obvious when she decided to go home.

What should have made headlines? It would've been nice to see more attention devoted to the complexity and importance of drafting a new constitution for Iraq. But my nomination for the "Greatest Story Never Told" is a quieter one: Locked in a difficult war, the U.S. Army is exceeding its re-enlistment and first-time enlistment goals. Has anybody mentioned that to you?

Remember last spring, when the Army's recruitment efforts fell short for a few months? The media's glee would have made you confuse the New York Times and Air America.

When the Army attempted to explain that enlistments are cyclical and numbers dip at certain times of the year, the media ignored it. All that mattered was the wonderful news that the Army couldn't find enough soldiers. We were warned, in oh-so-solemn tones, that our military was headed for a train wreck.

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 "mainstream media."

Read the whole thing.

Its absolutely amazing that the media could be so blatantly active in trying to mislead the public with regard the war on terror. Even I was taken in on the "military will miss its recruiting goals" meme.

This recruiting news is dynamite under the wall of opposition to the Iraq war thrown up by the anti-war left. After all, how can you call Iraq a "quagmire" when the people who are on the ground and prosecuting the war in that country are re-enlisting in substantial numbers to go back and continue their mission?

In order for these anti-war activists to be credible they must show that our troops are discouraged with their mission. Without that these people just look like the appeasing, clueless political malcontents they really are. Which is why the average American isn't going to hear about this recruiting success on the evening news.

By Rob Port of Say Anything.


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Comments (23)

Hey, the troll brigade seem... (Below threshold)

Hey, the troll brigade seems to be leaving this one alone for some reason...

This is definitely a case o... (Below threshold)

This is definitely a case of the MSM's efforts backfiring, if one supposes that the original story (with which I have a problem) was meant to demonstrate yet another venue affected by a lack of support for the Iraq war, and any related Bushian activity.

In the past three months five young men I know, including my oldest son, have decided to sign up. Several of them are already in boot camp, while the others complete their paperwork and exams. For one of them, the decision was based solely on the news about recruitment. He felt that he had to serve because he was obviously needed. The rest probably have the military more on their minds because it is talked about constantly, in the news and at the dinner table.

My irritation with the reports of recruitment issues is the misportrayal of information noted by Peters. It wasn't hard to critically dissemble the argument when it popped up several months ago, but that didn't stop the papers from running the "story."

<a href="http://www.foxnews... (Below threshold)
mantis:

General: Army to Miss Recruiting Goals in '05

So the army had 4,000 more re-enlistments than it's goal in the past year. That's good and all, but...

The monthly goals of both June and July were met, but the Army still has a long way to go before reaching the FY 2005 goal of 80,000 recruits. The Army, As of July 25, has achieved only 55,207 of that objective, a shortfall of 24,793.
The Army Reserve goal for FY 2005 is 22,175 and, as of July 25, the Army Reserve has recruited 15,334. The Army Reserve lacks 6,841 to reach their FY 2005 goal.
The Army has taken several steps to increase the numbers of recruits. First, recruiting incentives have increased, some to the highest levels ever.

Compare the 25k shortage in recruits to the 4k surplus of re-enlists, and that doesn't paint an optimistic picture. Maybe this will turn around, but if it doesn't do we really want to be sending troops back to Iraq on their 3rd, 4th, or even 5th tours over the next few years? Will that help recruiting? Shall we just ignore this problem? Or should we believe Ralph Peters' assertion that there is no problem? Where does he get those numbers? Why doesn't he tell the Army or Fox news about them?

[WHAT was the big "Iraq" st... (Below threshold)

[WHAT was the big "Iraq" story in August?]

What was #2? Well a very quick look at some stories seems to bring up the word 'draft' over and over again.

Let's harp on how recruiting is down and if it goes back up, ignore it!

Yeah, but it did go back up.

Ok, now we go to step 2 of the plan! Ignore the change and start rumors again of a draft!

I'm still waiting for Bush to cancel the '04 election (Hi, Ted Rall!) and for the draft to be implemented (Hi, Jeff Danziger!).

Using the July numbers the ... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

Using the July numbers the Army still met 80 to 89% of their goals. The last couple months will increase those percentages. They met the last five-year goals plus more. Links below. I have been hearing that there has been a recruiting crisis since almost the outbreak of the Iraq conflict. Sort of like the situation on the ground has been getting horribly worst for years now. It’s simply not true.

It would also help if the Army would suspend some of its policies for retention and recruitment during this conflict. It’s hard to take military schools and stay qualified when one is deployed.

http://www.usarec.army.mil/hq/apa/goals.htm
http://www.usarec.army.mil/hq/apa/goals.htm

According to this story at ... (Below threshold)
Pug:

According to this story at the liberal, MSM Fox News posted today, the Army won't meet its recruiting goals this year:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,166490,00.html

And if you want to see a real recruiting disaster check out how the Army Reserve and National Guard are doing. In addition, I believe the monthly goals that the Army has been "meeting" have been scaled back from their original goals because they knew they'd never make it.

Peters is just blowing smoke up your ass. Telling you what you want to hear. It's not good that recruiting is falling short, but at least deal with it. Quit denying reality. There's been too much of that already.

Good luck to the gentleman whose son joined and is in boot camp.

"soldiers are re-enlisting ... (Below threshold)
judgement day cometh:

"soldiers are re-enlisting at record levels"

WOW, How utterly sad for kool-aid drinkers to buy into this bs.

First, It's been well reported on how the armed services have forced soliders to reenlist ( aka, reenlist or be deployded in the worst place possible).

Second, It's been well reported on how the expected enlistment numbers were severely lowered so talking points could be made that enlistment numbers did in fact make quota.

Now, we have a right-wing loon newspaper playing it's part in pushing more of this sickening propaganda.

Remember something, enlistment quotas wouldn't be an issue at all if all of these 18 to 40 year old chest beaters who sit safely state-side were to enlist today.

There comes a time in a persons life when they must face themselves in the mirror and the actions they participated in through out their life time. I hope many of these right-wing "false patriots" of America face this day sooner rather than later.

GOD Bless

I believe the mo... (Below threshold)
Lin:

I believe the monthly goals that the Army has been "meeting" have been scaled back from their original goals because they knew they'd never make it.

Sure you believe it, because you want to. What are the FACTS.

I don't know the answer to this but why don't you find out for sure and post links if it is so? If you don't know why use it in your comments? Unless your just "telling us what you want to believe".

First, It's been well re... (Below threshold)
Lin:

First, It's been well reported......

Second, It's been well reported.....

And OF COURSE the anti war, anti Bush media wouldn't put any spin on this would they?

Yea Right.

Pug and especially JDC<br /... (Below threshold)
Lin:

Pug and especially JDC
You both are disingenuous. The left doesn't want the military to meet their goals. Anytime the military tries to recruit at schools, fairs etc they try and often succeed in stopping them. Despite the talk, many on the left are antimilitary. It's only if they gain some immediate goal that the left is "pro military" and "support the troops". Such as the anti war protest and Cindy Sheehan, or when a liberal campaigns for a political office.

Then when supposedly the recruitment goals aren't met then some gleefully announce it and illogically say that anyone who supports the war should enlist.

We'll start listening to you when you go to Iraq or Iran as a human shield.

That argument shows that the left cannot think logically and anything the say should be and often is discounted. You are gaining short term gleeful one-up-mans-ship for long-term rejection of your party. You don't gain votes by the kind or rhetoric you spout. You only make people go further to the right, and less likely to vote for a democrat. You probably scoff at this but it is true.

The "progressives" say they are in the majority, and that they can win elections, yet they consistanty insult swing or soft Republican voters.

GW Bush is the first time I voted Republican. The kind of rhetoric the left is spouting as far as the "conservatives are dumb" bashing Christians, and complete obstructionism without having a coherent message is why it is unlikely that I will vote for a Democrat anytime soon. I read many of the liberal blogs thinking I might change my mind, but instead it has only confirmed my belief that liberals have no message other than what they have been doing the past 4 1/2 years. You cannot effectively run a country on what the liberal’s message is today.

Sure you believe it, bec... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Sure you believe it, because you want to. What are the FACTS.

After Lowering Goal, Army Falls Short on May Recruits

In addition to lowered goals, the Pentagon has been trying to raise the maximum age limit on new recruits.

Here are the numbers from the DOD. Where is Peters getting his numbers? The Army is at 89% of its goal-to-date of 62k. The Army National Guard hit 77% for the year (who knows where Peters gets his 102%, or any of his numbers for that matter).

Anyway, I see that a lot of bloggers have jumped on this opinion column without checking the numbers apparently. Whatever makes them feel good is most important I guess, facts be damned.

I saw this with my own eyes... (Below threshold)
stan25:

I saw this with my own eyes just today. Went to the local Pizza Hut and there in full living color was a Navy recruiter treating a new prospect to a pizza lunch. No-one even mentioned it or even bothered them. I think that this kid was a slacker and most of the people in the store were inwardly applauding.

mantis:Yeah, the m... (Below threshold)
Inquiring:

mantis:

Yeah, the maximum age for enlistment has been raised, and your point is what, exactly? That in our all volunteer military there is a group of citizens within the United States that would like to enlist, but they just so happen to (have) be(een) over the age limit? Accomodating the wishes of this groups is somehow bad? Killing two birds with one stone is not a good idea suddenly?

Given the movement within the US to bar recruiters from highschools and universities, combined with the stream of doom provided by the news the Pentagon's willingness to adapt to meet its goals should be applauded. I guess giving people who want to volunteer a chance to join the military is a bad thing. Cannot have any of those people volunteering to serve their country in that wasteland of blood and bombs called Iraq, can we? Keeping people from volunteering through dishonest scare tactics, or outright bullying, is ok though, because, as we all know, only ignorant children would want to volunteer for the military.

True, the Army missed its recruitment goals for May, even after lowering, and they missed them three consecutive months before that; however, one case of lowering goals is hardly evidence of a trend. It does not say in that article that the Army had lowered its recruitment goals for every subsequent month after May. In fact, it actually specifically says the Army was going to shift the quota to the summer months.

As for the actual numbers, well, it looks like only the Army is having trouble, the Marines, Navy, and Air Force seem to be doing just fine (active duty that is). Amazing.

Even after reducing its ... (Below threshold)
Lin:

Even after reducing its recruiting target for May, the Army missed it by about 25 percent,

After Lowering Goal, Army Falls Short on May Recruits

So,they reduced it for May. What about for the yearly totals? Additionally the New York Times is hardly without bias. If they supposedly found the information, you should be as well.

stan25 I think that thi... (Below threshold)
Lin:

stan25 I think that this kid was a slacker and most of the people in the store were inwardly applauding

And you would think this because? Can you read peoples minds? Can you look at a person sitting across the room from you and just "know"?

People who join the military are hardly slackers. They know what kind of life they will have once they enlist and they know it won't be one of slacking.

Must be your bias showing through.

Yeah, the maximum age fo... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Yeah, the maximum age for enlistment has been raised, and your point is what, exactly?

Simply that, in addition to increasing incentives as I noted earlier, they have been loosening the restrictions for volunteers. I've also heard that they have loosened the guidelines on high school diplomas, but I'm not sure about that. These changes are put in place in response to the problems they are having with recruitment. In no way did I say or would I imply that people age 39-42 serving in the military is a bad idea.

I don't know about high schools, but as far as recruitment at universities goes, I have argued against my friends in support of military recruiters, if for no other reason than college students are old enough to think for themselves, that this is in fact the purpose of college, and they do not need to be protected from their choices (another reason being that it's a state university).

In any case the reason the recruitment problems concern me is twofold. First, if the problems persist more and more soldiers will serve 3rd and 4th tours of active duty in Iraq or Afghanistan, and second, if we don't have enough soldiers, those that are there are in even greater danger. I think that this is too much to ask of those serving, and that there is a certain point at which a war can not be maintained on an all-volunteer army. I hope we don't reach that point.

These are much more real dangers to those serving in Iraq than when the words of liberals "embolden the enemy" and all that crap. If you don't believe they exist, well, I hope you're right. But if you do, do you think they're going to get better, or worse?

ah but the left LOVES non-v... (Below threshold)

ah but the left LOVES non-volunteer armies. In drafted militaries is where you get "VETERANS AGAINST THE WAR" types. In volunteer armies, you run across people who actually care about the cause they are fighting for.

mantis:No doubt th... (Below threshold)
Inquiring:

mantis:

No doubt there is more endangering military personal in Iraq than just liberals offering wholesale support. There are entire governments of neighboring countries offering their support, albeit some of them more under the table.

While I do believe liberal support does help to increase the aggression of terrorists I believe it is only minor; the worst harm is that it gives the terrorists talking points to repeat continuing a cycle of declining support, while simultaneously reducing the morale of the troops over there. Afterall, the terrorists just need to get enough Americans to agree with them that the US is the bad guy and we pull out throwing Iraq to the wolves.

Not the only danger, but it definitely adds enough tension to be worrisome.

I agree that it is far from desirable to have the same people continually rotating into Iraq for another tour, but how close we are to the worry mark is anyone's guess. The US military has been involved in far bloodier conflicts for longer periods of time, without the modern benefits of all that can be brought to bear (conveniences, therapy, etc).

RE: mantis' post (August 23... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

RE: mantis' post (August 23, 2005 11:48 PM)

Yippee! The first cogent and reasonable response (regarding troop levels and participation) from the left side of the aisle I've read since the Sheehan imbroglio came to fore. I don't know that there is any crisis in recruitment since the number will fluctuate considerably depending on many factors, but your comments are entirely thoughtful and your points relevant. It's a breath of fresh air that I didn't think the anti-Bush league had in them.

I don't mean to sound patronizing so I hope it doesn't come across that way. Seriously, an earlier post had pretty much pushed me over the edge, and I just quit responding since it was so recycled and vapid.


Inquiring,

Good points. I worry less about troop morale being lowered by the Left-driven media reports than I do about Congresspersons and department officials backtracking on their positions. I suspect soldiers have come to expect the cynicism and contempt of their work from certain quarters so their effect on the soldier is tempered. These elected (and I suppose some appointed) members, however, play a dangerous game when they vacillate due to dynamic polling at home after voting and sending troops to war. Politicos can afford to wiggle to try and appease a fickle public; but those serving cannot. If the soldier doesn't feel that they will receive strong government backing with the concomitant advocacy for funds, materials, and stability, then they will question the mission. They should not have to do that.

That is one thing that burns me up about politicians who act like a hawk one day and then a dove the next due to political climate. When engaging others in war or mission, you must finish the job since you should not advocate it if you don't believe in the cause initially. I hold a special critique of C. Hagel for his weakened knees. Perhaps it's unfair to heap too much scorn on him alone, but the Vietnam reference was especially moronic. That's speech that emboldens the enemy and lowers morale.

You're right AnonymousDrive... (Below threshold)

You're right AnonymousDrivel, especially considering the normal sarcastic "drivel" that mantis has thrown on this blog every now and then.

Lin,You are an ass... (Below threshold)
Pug:

Lin,

You are an ass. Nothing personal, OK?

The Ralph Peters op-ed has been totally discredited and he has apologized for it. All I said was he was blowing smoke up your ass, and he was. That was one of the most disgraceful editorials you will ever see in any publication, yet you believed it because you wanted to. I have no intention of "serving as a human shield". What a stupid-ass remark.

I said I "believe" they lowered their goals because I wasn't absolutely certain and didn't want to look it up. You know, a weasel word in case I was wrong. Turns out I wasn't wrong, they did lower their recruiting goals.

Why don't you go to the New York Post and read Mr. Peters abject apology, which he blames on a "mix-up", Lin? Instead, you'd rather make stupid generalizations about "The Left" while smoke is being blown up your ass. I guess you're probably used to it by now, though.

My article above contain... (Below threshold)
mantis:

My article above contained a substantial error: The new-enlistment rates I cited were wrong. The Army is still falling short on new enlistments. I deeply regret the mistake. But the numbers on the inspiring re-enlistment rates of our combat soldiers - the central issue of the column - were correct. I stand behind every word I wrote about the patriotism, commitment and valor of our troops. - RALPH PETERS

I happened to read Peters' ... (Below threshold)
pacorodriguez:

I happened to read Peters' commentary last week and fired off an email to the NY Post asking them to check his numbers. Although he's now acknowledged hid numbers were wrong, anyone can go to DefenseLink.mil and read the DOD's press release and see how the numbers differ. You can also see that the military routinely "corrects" their goals as the fiscal year goes on. People took Ralph Peters at his word because that's what they wanted to hear- that the liberal media is lying and misleading the public. There are MAJOR problems in the military, whether you want to believe it or not. How do I know? I'm in the Army myself and I hate seeing BOTH liberals and conservatives fudging facts, exagerrating numbers and telling outright lies just to further their agenda. I hate to break the news to y'all but both sides will lie in order to achieve their goal. By the same token, not everything the mainstream media says is wrong. Don't take conservatives' word for everything. Do you own research and get your own facts before sipping the Kool Aid from either side.

Pallazzo




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