July 22, 2004

Are Enough Recruits Entering the Armed Forces?

IraqNow has an article on troop recruitment where Jason Van Steenwyk ends up with "My baloney detectors are singing these days." Mine are too but I'm not quite sure who's dishing out the baloney or is everybody doing it.

The Washington Post article on the Army's Delayed Entry program notes that we're at a 3 year low with 23%. The 2001 number was 22% and the 2000 number was 19%. The Army's goal is 35%. Would it have killed the Post to put in a graph showing the historical numbers since the system was started (most likely with the volunteer Army in the 70s)? How common is it to have a 23% number or lower? We don't know from the story and I have no idea where to find such information.

This is the kind of grunt work that makes professional reporting a real job that will survive blogging. It's worth paying for that information because with the data, you can judge how bad things are. If we were hitting 35% for most of the 80s and the first half of the 90s, that says one thing. If we've hit 35% once or twice in the entire history of the program with low-to-mid 20% levels being the norm, I'm a whole lot less excited about our impending manpower crisis.

Posted by TMLutas at July 22, 2004 12:54 PM