July was a boom month for military recruiting, with more than 15,000 young men and women entering the active-duty force, defense officials reported yesterday.
July recruiting and retention numbers released today show across-the-board successes, with a new high school graduation class among the recruitment-age population seeking career opportunities.
"In tougher economic times, youth are simply more willing to discuss options with recruiters," said Bill Carr, deputy undersecretary of defense for military personnel policy. "And when they learn the facts, they see the advantages."
All four services met or exceeded their July active-duty recruiting goals, officials reported. Meanwhile, the reserve components signed on almost 8,000 new members, with six components meeting or exceeding their monthly goals.
Only the Army National Guard and Air National Guard fell short of their initial July projections. Officials called this an intentional measure designed to help them manage their end strength, because they're already on track to meet their annual goals.
The ground forces demonstrated the strongest recruiting showings. The Army, with 6,199 active-duty accessions, topped its July goal by 2 percent. The Marine Corps exceeded its active-duty goal by 15 percent, with 3,451 new members.
Both services showed solid successes in reserve-component recruiting, too. The Army Reserve signed on 1,628 soldiers, 123 percent of its monthly goal. The Marine Corps recruited 1,135 members -- 201 percent of its goal.
The Army Guard added 2,562 members to its ranks, and is on a steady track to meet its annual goals, officials said.
Meanwhile, both the Navy and Air Force met their July active-duty goals, signing on 3,421 and 2,654 new members, respectively.
Both services' reserve components met their July goals, with 688 accessions in the Navy Reserve and 907 in the Air Force Reserve.
The Air Guard signed on 832 airmen, 97 percent of its goal.
By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service
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