Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Sometimes, you can't even put good spin on it.

Everyone else is linking to it; why not me? Apparently, the U.S. Army is going to fall just a touch short of its recruiting goals:

Even after reducing its recruiting target for May, the Army missed it by about 25 percent, Army officials said on Tuesday. The shortfall would have been even bigger had the Army stuck to its original goal for the month.

On Friday, the Army is expected to announce that it met only 75 percent of its recruiting goal for May, the fourth consecutive monthly shortfall in the number of new recruits sent to basic training. Just over 5,000 new recruits entered boot camp in May.

But the news could have appeared worse. Early last month, the Army, with no public notice, lowered its long-stated May goal to 6,700 recruits from 8,050. Compared with the original target, the Army achieved only 62.6 percent of its goal for the month.

Ah, but here's the best part, where the Army tries to rationalize lowering their target number:

Army officials defended the shift on Tuesday, saying it was not uncommon to change monthly goals at midyear. They said that the latest change reflected the reality that the Army was not going to meet its May goal, and that it made more sense to shift some of that quota to the summer months, traditionally a better season for recruiters to attract new high school graduates.

Translation: we lowered our goal because we knew we weren't going to achieve it. Sometimes, it really is that simple, isn't it? And then there's this:

The Army's figures for May put the service about 8,300 soldiers behind its projected year-to-date number of enlistees sent to basic training by now. "The trend line is going against them," said Senator Jack Reed, a Rhode Island Democrat on the Armed Services Committee.

The Army has tried to reverse the trend by adding 1,000 recruiters since last September ...

Here's a suggestion: if those recruiters are doing such a pathetic job signing up new volunteers, just ship them off to Iraq. Hey, that's another 1,000 warm bodies right there, no?

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