ARLINGTON, Va. — Halting a four-month slide, the Army achieved its recruiting goals for both the active duty and Army Reserve in June, Pentagon officials said.
Since January, the end of each month has been marked with bad news for the Army regarding the recruiting shortfalls.
In May, the Army met only 75 percent of its recruiting goal, even after making a rare midmonth reduction to its monthly goals.
But that trend came to a stop in June for at least two of the Army’s three components. And the June goals were met without such an adjustment, a Pentagon official said.
Army recruiters signed up 6,157 recruits for the active component in June, beating the goal of 5,650, the official said.
Army Reserve recruiters, meanwhile, signed up 3,651 recruits, just barely making their June goal of 3,610 recruits.
The official did not have immediate access to the numbers for the National Guard.
The official could not speak on the record because Pentagon officials announced in May that from that point forward, the services would no longer be allowed to independently release their recruiting numbers.
Instead, the numbers for all services would be released on the 10th of the following month, Pentagon officials said.
But on Wednesday, Air Force Gen. Richard Myers let the cat out of the bag during a “town hall” meeting for Pentagon employees.
Pentagon workers broke out in cheers as Myers, about to depart the stage, announced that “by the way,” the Army made its June recruiting numbers.
But the Pentagon official offering the detailed numbers — while welcoming the news as a positive development — said it’s still too early for the Army to declare victory over the fiscal 2005 recruiting slump.
“We’re not jumping up and down,” the official said. “This is the summer surge. We predicted it.”
Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker said Thursday that recruiters did expect to see their numbers increase in the summer months because of graduations. Spring is a more difficult time for recruiting, he said, but he acknowledged that recruiters fell short of meeting even reduced goals for the spring.
The boost, recruiters say, is produced after high schoolers graduate and try their hand at the job market.
The active Army is still behind its year to date goal by 7,800 recruits, while the Army Reserve is short by 2,350, the official said.
On Thursday, members of the Senate Armed Services Committee congratulated Army officials for reaching their June goal but questioned if they’re doing enough to reach that year-end target.
Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., questioned why the Army’s recruiting goal for June is only 7,450 new soldiers when the force still needs to average more than 11,000 applicants a month to reach its goal for the year.
Schoomaker said only that recruiters will work diligently to reach that year-end goal.
Congressmen also raised concerns about a drop in the number of incoming students for fall classes at the three service academies. But David Chu, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, said this year’s classes are still comparable to the 2000 and 2001 classes, and that in recent years the student numbers have surged past expected levels.
June numbers for the other services were not yet available.