The Army, which expects to miss its 2005 recruiting goal by about 12,000, already is falling behind for next year.
The pool of recruits who sign up as much as a year before they report for training is dwindling. So far, 3,100 have signed up for 2006, according to Army Recruiting Command at Fort Knox, Ky. The Army says it hopes to have 7,200 recruits in the pool by Oct. 1, when the 2006 recruiting year begins. By comparison:
- The Army started the 2005 recruiting year with about 14,700 recruits in the delayed entry pool. It is making up some of the shortfall in recruiting by re-enlisting soldiers at a higher-than-expected rate. But the Army also has tried to trim this year's shortfall by rushing many delayed entry enlistees into basic training.
- In 2004, the Army had more than 33,000 enlistees signed up ahead of time. It met its recruiting goals.
Note that the 12,000 shortfall is based on reduced recruitment targets, yet still represents the equivalent of a combat division. And the Pentagon conitnues to fail its recruiting goals despite continuously raising the age ceiling for recruits and jacking up enlistment incentives.
The war cheerleaders still can't match words with deeds. The war preachers, war pundits, war politicians, and 101st Fighting Keyboardists all talk a good game, but they're not rushing to enlist, and very, very few are urging their followers and readers to enlist (lest it expose their own personal hypocrisies).
They want their war, they should pay the price. Or, they can accept the folly of Bush's Iraq adventure and admit that the time for withdrawl has arrived.