Final numbers are in from the Department of Defense, and as expected, the Army missed its fiscal 2005 recruiting goal by a wide margin, falling short by more than 6,600 soldiers. The Army National Guard, Army Reserve, Navy Reserve and Air National Guard also all missed their recruiting goals, each pulling in less than 90 percent of their targets.
While some divisions of the armed forces did meet their year-end goals, even some in the military admit the situation is worse than it may appear. An article in Stars and Stripes notes:
But the active-duty Army shortfall — they recruited about 4,000 fewer soldiers than in fiscal 2004 — is especially troubling because the service has already widened its recruit pool to accept older candidates and those with lower test scores, according to Mike Reilly, vice president of operations at the Center for Security Policy.
“You can’t compare these numbers to the ones from last year, because you have to understand what they did to get these new numbers,” he said. “They’ve really gone down more than just what the difference is.”