Marines Meet FY-2007 Recruiting Goals, See Challenges Ahead
The Mideast Stars and Stripes [pdf, not page-linkable] reported October 6 that U.S. Marine Corps end strength as of 30 September was 186,000, surpassing the overall recruiting and retention goal of 184,000.
This means that the Marine Corps remains on track to grow to 202,000 Marines by FY-2011. However, because Marines turn over quite frequently, especially at the lower ranks, it still means that the Marine Corps is facing an "unprecedented" recruiting challenge.
Marine Corps in FY-2007
The Marine Corps signed up 35,603 recruits in FY-2007, 27 more than its goal of 35,576. [We understand that the Army also exceeded its FY-2007 goal, by "several hundred."]
In the past, the Marine Corps' intentionally high turnover means that it has set limits on the number of first-term Marines to be allowed to re-enlist and stay in - known as "boat spaces." [Many other first-term Marines also choose, honorably, to return to civilian life at this point.]
No more. Elimination of these numerical limits on first-term re-enlistments will help the Marine Corps to grow in the coming years. It will also help the Marine Corps to retain more combat-experienced Marines, who will be joined by the standard annual quota of new recruits.