(by Rowan Scarborough, WashingtonTimes.com) – The U.S. Armed Forces will meet wartime recruiting goals for the
fiscal year that ends in two weeks, military officials said yesterday.
Despite Washington’s heated political debate on the worthiness of the
Iraq war, frequent overseas war deployments and daily casualties,
officials say a sufficient number of young men and women are signing up
with the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps in fiscal 2006 to
maintain an active-duty force of about 1.4 million.
    The Army,
which has suffered the largest death toll as the chief provider of
troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, reports that it has exceeded a goal of
70,200 recruits by signing up 72,997 as of August. Officials say they
expect to meet a Sept. 30 goal of 80,000 for the fiscal year.
The Army missed its goal two years ago for the first time since 1999,
sparking fears that the stress of the global war on terrorism and daily
reports of soldier deaths were discouraging high school graduates from
    Hitting the mark in a time of war has cost the Army
more money — and style. In June, it raised the maximum age for
recruits from 38 to 42, and says it has attracted scores of veterans.
And it relaxed tattoo rules. Now, body art can extend above the neck.
“We learned more and more teenagers have tattoos, so we relaxed the
tattoo policy,” said Maj. Nathan Banks, an Army spokesman at the
    The Army also is offering increased college tuition reimbursement and sign-up bonuses up to $40,000.
    Of exceeding the recruiting goal, Maj. Banks said, “It’s always better to have more than less. We don’t stop.”
The Marine Corps, which has troops in the restive and deadly Anbar
province in Iraq, also will meet its goal this fiscal year of 32,701
active-duty recruits and 5,930 reservists, said Maj. Wes Hayes, a
spokesman for Marine Corps Recruiting Command. He said the Corps has
not increased incentives.
    “Our success is all attributed to
those 2,650 Marine Corps recruiters, their tireless efforts, their
professionalism at informing and educating young men and women about
the Marine Corps,” he said.
    The Pentagon reports that the Navy and Air Force also are meeting recruitment goals.
The Army is still encountering shortfalls in Reserve recruiting. It
stands at 94 percent of a targeted 33,124 by the end of August. The
Army National Guard is a few tenths of a percent below its goal.

Copyright 2006 News World Communications, Inc.  Reprinted
with permission of the Washington Times.  This reprint does not
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1. What is the total number of active-duty troops in the U.S. Military?

2. a) What is the Army’s sign-up goal for this year? 
b) How many new recruits have signed up as of August? 
c) What 2 reasons were believed to be the cause of the Army not meeting its recruitment goal two years ago?

3. a) What 2 changes did the Army make in requirements for new recruits this year? 
b) Why have they changed the tattoo rule? 
c) What 2 incentives is the Army now offering to new recruits? 
d) Why do you think a veteran would sign up for the Army?

4. Why won’t the Army end recruitment efforts this year once it meets its goal?

5. a) Define incentive. 
b) Why do you think the Marine Corps has not increased its incentives?

6.  Why do you think that the Army Reserve is the only branch not quite meeting its recruitment goal?

7. Would you consider joining the U.S. Military after high school/college?  Why or why not?

OPTIONAL: Look at the recruitment webpages for the Army, Navy, AirForce and Marines.  Which do you think is the most interesting branch of the military? Why?

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