Friday, March 25, 2005

Isle Army recruiters
miss goal by 127 soldiers

The Army continues to have problems recruiting soldiers for the war in Iraq.

Army recruiters were only able to sign 126 soldiers between Oct. 1 and March 15 -- 50 percent below its goal of 253 for the current fiscal year.

Army recruiters reported that their recruitment effort for the Army Reserve is down by 43 percent for the same time period. Army recruiters missed their goal of 151 new soldiers and were only able to bring in 65.

The Hawaii Army National Guard, which has a brigade combat team with 2,200 soldiers from Hawaii in Iraq, also is having recruiting problems.

Army Secretary Francis Harvey said this week his service would not meet its recruiting goals for this month and next. Those forecasts follow the official release of statistics for February, when the active-duty Army was 27 percent below its recruiting goal of 7,050.

Nationally, the Army Reserve is at 90 percent of its recruiting goal, and the National Guard has met only 75 percent of its goal for this year to date, Harvey said.

Peter DeLauzon, spokesman for Army recruiters in Hawaii, said monthly enlistment totals are recorded differently by the Army and the recruiters. "The Army Recruiting Command uses a calendar month," DeLauzon said, "while subordinates use midmonth-to-midmonth calendar."

The downward trend for recruitment is reflected in recent figures: For January, Army recruiters missed their goal of 39 new recruits by 32 percent. In February the shortfall was 30 percent below the goal of 40.

Between Feb. 15 and March 15, only 53 percent of the goal of 60 recruits was reached.

In the first five months of this federal fiscal year, the Army has met 94 percent of its goal of 29,185 new soldiers in basic training. The Army plans to bring in 80,000 recruits this year -- 3,000 more than last year -- to replace those who retire or do not re-enlist.

Hawaii Army National Guard

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