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ARLINGTON, Va. — All four military services met their active-duty recruiting goals in June, the 13th month in a row that recruiters have met or exceeded their goals, according to figures released Monday by the Pentagon.

All of the services are on target to meet their active-duty goals for fiscal 2006.

Five of the six reserve components also met or exceeded goals in June, the figures showed.

The only reserve component to fall short was the Navy Reserve, which met 95 percent of its goal for the month.

Two of the reserve components are lagging behind their year-end goals: the Navy Reserve, which has met only 83 percent of its year-to-date goal; and the Air National Guard, which is at 92 percent of its year-to-date goal.

But the Army Reserve and Army National Guard, which had struggled in previous months — falling behind their goals even as late as April — roared ahead in June.

The Army Reserve accessed 5,640 soldiers, or 121 percent of its monthly accession goal of 4,661.

With 25,004 soldiers accessed into the force so far this fiscal year, the Army Reserve is at 101 percent of year-to-date goal.

The Army National Guard, meanwhile, which missed its goal last year, accessed 5,823 soldiers in June, or 101 percent of the monthly goal of 5,743. The service is at 103 percent of its year-to-date mission, according to the statistics.

The June numbers are lending credence to Army leaders’ statements that unlike fiscal 2005, recruiting in fiscal 2006 will be successful — despite the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and growing the overall size of the force.

“I’m cautiously optimistic we’re going to make our [fiscal 2006] numbers,” Army Secretary Francis Harvey told C-SPAN on June 14.

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told reporters Monday that more recruiters, financial incentives and other “tools” have helped the active services to meet their goals.

Among those tools that have apparently paid off has been the Army’s controversial strategy of “backloading” its recruiting efforts.

Instead of spreading recruiting goals evenly over 12 months, as they did in the past, Army officials lowered monthly recruiting goals for the first eight months of the fiscal year, focusing on the more productive summer months.

Critics said that even with the “summer surge” in their favor, the resulting numbers would be too high for recruiters to meet.

But in June, Army recruiters brought in 8,756 accessions, more than the 8,600 goal they were set.

June’s recruiting efforts bring the active Army’s total to 51,612 recruits, leaving 28,388 slots on the roster left to fill between now and Sept. 30, the end of fiscal 2006.

But the bar for the next three months remains very high: more than 9,460 individuals will have to agree to join the active Army in July, August and September for the overall goal to be met.

Stars and Stripes reporter Jeff Schogol contributed to this report from the Pentagon.


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