As of Sept. 27 (2004) , the command brought in 77,587 active Army recruits against a Department of the Army mission of 77,000, and 21,278 Reserve recruits against a 21,000 requirement.
Recruiting Command has served the nation well for the past 40 years and I am positive it will continue to serve well for the next 40 years at least, said Maj. Gen. Michael E. Rochelle, Recruiting Command commanding general, during a media briefing at the commands Fort Knox, Ky. headquarters.
Rochelle acknowledged that current operations in Iraq and Afghanistan may be seen as a drawback by some young people who would otherwise serve. However, he said, those operations are seen by others as a call to serve a nation in need.
There are hundreds in the training base that will tell you they want to make a difference, Rochelle said.
The current generation of young Soldiers is about as close to the Greatest Generation of the World War II era as you can get, Rochelle said. They are not asking, Whats in it for me? like some recent generations and the nation is lucky to have them, he said.
Speaking about a recent news article that claimed the Army had relaxed its entry standards in order to get recruits, Rochelle said the article was very misleading. The Army standard for the past five years has been for at least 90 percent of all recruits to be high school graduates. The lowest acceptable score of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, known as Category IV, to no more than two percent of all recruits, he said. Recruiting Command met those standards each of the past five years.
The confusion comes in with an intermediate headquarters requiring tougher recruiting standards than the requirements issued by Department of the Army, Rochelle said.
On the active Army side, 92.4 percent of FY 2004 recruits had high school diplomas and only .6 percent fell into Category IV. On the Reserve side, 92.4 percent of recruits had high school diplomas and .78 fell into Category IV.
Recruiting Commands mission for FY 2005 is 80,000 active Army and 21,175 Reserve recruits.
Recruiters are facing the new mission with less recruits in the Delayed Entry Program than in recent years, Rochelle said. The program allows recruits to enlist and then finish school or do other things for several months up to a year before shipping to basic training. The command likes to have about 35 percent of the next years mission already signed up for delayed entry, Rochelle said.
As of Oct. 1, the DEP pool only had about 18 percent of the new 80,000 active Army recruiting goal. Rochelle explained that a change in the FY 2004 mission, from a 72,500 requirement a year ago to 77,000 in March, forced the command to ship more recruits to training earlier than might have otherwise been the case.
However, Rochelle said he wasnt worried about Recruiting Command making its new mission with a smaller pool of DEP recruits.
I am confident the Army will resource us for any mission we receive, Rochelle said.
Additional resources for the FY 2005 mission includes the command getting an additional 1,000 recruiters and a budget $12 million larger than in FY 2004.
Recruits cost the Army approximately $15,000 per head, according to Recruiting Command statistics. That cost includes advertising, incentive giveaways, command overhead, civilian payroll and office leases for recruiting stations.