The active-duty Army has met its fiscal 2007 recruiting goal of bringing in at least 80,000 new soldiers for the year, Lt. Gen. Ben Freakley, commander of the U.S. Army Accessions Command, told defense reporters at a breakfast meeting in Washington on Tuesday.

But Freakley declined to give specifics about the accessions numbers, saying that the Pentagon will release detailed recruiting numbers for all the services on Oct. 10, including the Army.

Freakley said that the fiscal 2008 recruiting goal for the active-duty Army also will be 80,000, unless the service is given permission to accelerate its five-year plan to increase the size of the force.

Army Secretary Pete Geren said last week that he would like to shave 12 months off that plan.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Friday he is inclined to let the Army try to do it, although he is concerned that the service might have problems finding enough quality recruits.

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