The Army recruiting numbers game

Recruiters met their goal for June -- but only if you forget what happened in February, March, April and May. Jenna, Barbara, where are you?

By Tim Grieve
Published June 30, 2005 2:06PM (EDT)

Great news, Americans!

The Army has met its recruiting goal for June. After missing their targets for four straight months, Army recruiters say they've brought in 6,150 new recruits in June, nine percent more than their goal of 5,650. It's wonderful news -- especially for all those young Bush supporters who now have one more reason not to sign up for the war they believe others should fight. But as Markos Moulitsas Zúniga notes this morning, it's not quite as wonderful as it seems at first blush.

Yes, the Army pulled in 6,150 new men and women in June. But just a month ago, when the Army was reducing -- and then missing -- its May goal, Army officials were saying that they'd need to pick up the slack in the summer months when new high school graduates might be ripe for the picking.

How much slack? The Army's goal for the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30 is 80,000 new recruits. To meet that annual goal after falling short so many times earlier in the year, the Army would have to pull in an average of 9,760 new recruits a month from June through September. So it's great, Jenna and Barbara, that 6,150 is above the Army's original goal for June, but it's about 3,600 recruits short of what the Army actually needs.

Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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