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Army, Navy Fell Short of Recruit Goals in Late 1995

February 16, 1996

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Army and Navy fell slightly short of their recruiting targets for the final quarter of 1995, but the overall quality of military recruits remained high, the Pentagon said Thursday.

Fred Pang, the assistant secretary of defense for force management policy, said recruiting efforts were hurt a bit by the partial government shutdown in November and by the holiday season. The second partial shutdown, in December, was not a factor because the Pentagon was on its 1996 budget by then.

The Army signed up 12,200 recruits in the October-December period, or 99 percent of its goal. The Navy signed up 12,300, or 97 percent of its objective.

The Marine Corps exceeded its goal, signing up 7,800 compared with its goal of 7,500, and the Air Force added 6,900 compared, with the 6,800 it aimed for.

Pang said the Pentagon’s 1995 tracking study of youth attitudes toward serving in the military indicated that a downward trend earlier this decade in youths’ propensity to enlist seems to have been arrested. He said attitudes seem to have been influenced by heavier recruitment advertising in 1995.

In a related development, the Pentagon said the total strength of the active-duty military as of Nov. 30, 1995, stood at 1.51 million, a decrease of 80,802 from the same date a year earlier.

Defense Secretary William Perry said Wednesday the Air Force, with about 400,000 people, and the Navy, with about 435,000, have essentially completed their cuts. Within a year the Army, which now has 500,000, will be done, too, he said.

``We are entering now a period of stability (in troop numbers) for many years ahead,″ Perry said.