Army Recruiting FY 05 Wrap up and reconciliationThe Army recruiting year ends with the federal fiscal year, more or less, and therefore a wrap-up of recruiting can be achieved. Right now, Fox News is reporting that the Army ended up roughly 6,600 recruits short for the year with the final year end numbers to come out shortly. This shortfall has come despite a relatively good summer of recruiting with massive incentives and a far lower yield per recruiter expected due to a singificant increase in the number of recruiters assigned to this mission. The September numbers have not come out yet, but it is extremely likely that the Army hit between 97-103% of their objective that month.
Last May was the last month in which the Army was short. At that time, the cumulative shortfall was roughly 7,800 recruits for the fiscal year. The three summer months were positive months, therefore we should expect the recruiting shortfall to be lessened.
In August, 2005 the Army was a plus 205
In July 2005 the Army was a plus 635
In June 2005 the Army was up plus 507
Summer produced a seasonal surplus of 1347 which would lead to a cumulative deficit of roughly 6,400-6,500 depending on exactly how much of a rounding effect was in place for the May -7,800. So if the year end deficit is 6,600 as Fox reports, it is extremely likely that the goal was barely if at all met in September despite higher cash incentives, lowering standards and more recruiters.
Going into FY 06, the Army faces an even tougher recruiting challenge. There is an extremely low probability of a significant (division or more) withdrawal from the current Iraq baseline of 135,000 troops in 16 or 17 brigades. Furthermore the Army has eaten its future capital in trying to minimize this year's deficit in that the Delayed Entry Pool of enlistees is almost empty. According to USA Today the Army had roughly 3,100 recruits signed up but not shipping out to bootcamp in August and had a goal of 7,200 DEP recruits by October 1. In FY-05 the Army started with more than twice that number in DEP, and in FY-04, 45% of all recruits were already recruited through the DEP program. This allows for recruiters to focus on the spot market instead of the futures market for new recruits. This year the Army will actually need to recruit between 73,000 and 77,000 individuals on the spot market while last year the Army needed to recruit roughly 66,000 individuals on the spot market and was able to achieve 60,000 enlistments.