Since this tragic war kicked off in March 2003, the United States has evacuated an estimated 50,000 KIA, WIA and non-battle casualties from Iraq back to the States -- leaving 50,000 slots that have had to be filled.Hackworth concludes his column with a warning: "Unless a miracle happens and the new Iraqi security force decides to stop running and start fighting, we'll be in Iraq for a long time. Most likely with a draftee force" (December 6, 2004). While both civilian and military leaders would be reluctant to resume the draft, remembering the collapse of discipline and soldiers' revolt during the Vietnam War, the math is certainly pointing in the direction of conscription.
The job of finding fresh bodies to keep our units topped off falls mainly to the Army Recruiting Command. But the "making-quota" jazz put out by the Recruiting Command and the Pentagon to hype their billion-dollar recruiting effort, with its huge TV expenditure and big expansion of recruiters during the past year, is pure unadulterated spin. Not that this is anything new. The Command has a sorry reputation for using smoke and mirrors to cover up poor performance.
"Hack, here's a snapshot of how little of our 1st Quarter mission has been achieved," says an Army recruiter. "Look at it from a perspective of a business releasing quarterly earnings information. To keep unit manning levels up out in the field, especially in Iraq, there's no question our recruiting mission is in serious trouble."
"These are totals for the 41 USAREC (Recruiting Command) Battalions, so these stats represent the USAREC mission accomplishment:
Regular Army Volume (all RA contracts):Mission: 25,322Army Reserve Volume:
Achieved: 12,703 (50.17 percent)Mission: 7,373The Army National Guard is faring no better. A Guard retention NCO says: "The word is out on the streets of Washington, D.C. 'Do not join the Guard.' I see these words echoing right across the U.S.A."
Achieved: 3,206 (43.48 percent)."
By the end of this recruiting year, the Regular Army, Reserves and Guard could fall short more than 50 percent of its projected requirement, or about 60,000 new soldiers. And according to many recruiters, quality recruits are giving way to mental midgets who have a hard time telling their left foot from their right.
Shades of our last years in Vietnam. (emphasis added, "Uncle Sam Wants Your Kids -- Now!" DefenseWatch, December 6, 2004)
Monday, December 06, 2004
Army Recruitment: Missions Unaccomplished
David H. Hackworth has received intelligence from the front line of the regular Army, Army Reserve, and Army National Guard recruitment: