Who will lead FY-2006's 80,000 new soldiers?
Our Army may have made its annual recruiting quota of 80,000 new soldiers for FY-2006, but who is going to lead them?
According to IRR Soldier, our Army is short 3,500 officers in the active-duty force and about 10,550 lieutenants and captains in the Army Reserve. The selection rate for civilians to Army OCS has been 100% for the last 26 months. This is not a good sign of things to come.
Army Times just published an article (25SEP06, p. 20, not free) on difficulties in recruiting minority officers through West Point and ROTC. They didn't mention OCS. In the photo above, however, you see what appears to be a well-qualified, and minority/female, college graduate who wants to serve her country. [After all, the Public Affairs Officers even picked her to be FY-2006's 80,000th recruit.] However, we'd be just as concerned if this recruit were a white male.
We asked USAREC Public Affairs and the New York City area Recruiting Battalion October 1 whether Specialist (E-4) Shirley Salvi, a Rutgers University graduate, was qualified for OCS and, if so, whether her recruiter discussed OCS with her. They have not replied.
We agree with this blog that this is a tragedy. It's a short-term outlook of recruiting numbers rather than doing the right thing for the Army and this patriot.
UPDATE: Here are the final FY-2006 recruiting statistics.