Tuesday, July 12, 2005

National Guard misses recruiting goal for 9th straight month

As a former Guardsman, I can tell you that the #1 reason I joined was to find a way to pay for college. I didn't want to be in the Active Duty military; I had my schooling and my music to consider. But also, I wasn't actively lobbying President Reagan to invade and occupy any Middle Eastern countries at the time, either.

The idea of a weekend a month and two weeks a year in service to my country was just the right level of commitment for me at that time. I also liked that I would be stationed in my own state and could remain close to friends and family.

Finally, it was philosophically easier to accept that I was more likely to be filling sandbags during a flood or providing support for a forest fire and not shooting at other people and trying not to get blown up. After all, the Guard would only be mobilized for real, active duty warfare on the slim chance that we were invaded or some other national emergency. This was back in the late-1980's when we still believed in the Guard as only a support force of last resort.

So it is no big surprise that the National Guard has missed its recruiting goal for the ninth straight month. If potential Guardsmen wanted a full-time job shooting people in the desert, they would have joined the regular Army -- and apparently, not many people want that job, either.
The Army Guard was seeking 5,032 new soldiers in June but signed up only 4,337, a 14 percent shortfall, according to statistics released Monday by the Pentagon. It is more than 10,000 soldiers behind its year-to-date goal of almost 45,000 recruits, and has missed its recruiting target during at least 17 of the last 18 months.

Some governors have complained about shortages of troops and equipment in their Guard units, prompting the Guard to set a goal of keeping half of each state's Guard forces at home at any given time.

Guard troops make up more than one-third of the soldiers in Iraq, numbering six brigades plus a division headquarters. In the next rotation of troops, to take place over the next two years, the Guard's portion of the total force in Iraq is expected to drop substantially as newly reorganized active-duty Army units come on-line and take up more duties there, officials said.

The entire Army is suffering from recruiting problems, but the other components of the service -- the active-duty force and the Reserve -- made their goals for June. Both, however, remain well behind their annual goals, which they measure from October 2004 to September 2005.

The regular Army has recruited 47,121 soldiers, or 86 percent of its goal of 54,935 for this point in the year. It is trying to reach 80,000 by the end of September. Officials are becoming less hopeful they will make it, even though the summer is considered the high season for recruiting, as recent high school graduates look for jobs.

The Army Reserve has recruited 15,540 soldiers, or 79 percent of its goal of 19,753 at this point in the year.
With the tremendous shortfall of new recruits for the President's Glorious Mission to Democratize the Middle East by Blowing The Hell Out Of It, now is the time, more than ever, to encourage those young College Republican war supporters to visit their National Guard Recruiter. If the plan to keep half the Guard forces stateside proves true, then our Yellow Elephants have a fifty/fifty chance of spending their Guard service stateside, as did President Bush and I. Then they can serve their weekend-a-month, two-weeks-a-year and cheerlead for the war with a clear conscience.


At 12 July, 2005 14:39, Blogger Karl said...

Radical Russ-

Is that you, way back when?


At 12 July, 2005 15:22, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone should call the army recruters and tell them to go to Republican Events.

At 12 July, 2005 15:47, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's the latest spin:



At 12 July, 2005 16:30, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let me add - they're now spinning that being a National Guardsman killed in Iraq is roughly equivalent to being killed joyriding a Kawasaki.

More unbelieveable spins and lies here.

Bottom line - if you're a national guardsman in Iraq, you're TEN TIMES as likely to be killed than a guardsman who served in Vietnam.

At 12 July, 2005 21:09, Blogger "Radical" Russ said...

Yup, that's me... June 1985. I enlisted literally on my 17th birthday (with parents' permission, natch.) I was a member of the Idaho National Guard, 25th Army Band, where my MOS was 02K (bassoon player). I also played clarinet, electric bass, and sousaphone, performing in parades, military events, and community concerts for recruiting purposes. I did my Basic and Advanced training at Fort Dix, NJ. I was my unit's 1985 Soldier of the Year. I was in the Guard for almost six full years, attaining the rank of SGT and becoming squad leader of my own rock combo called Jamouflage.

My dad liked to joke that as an Army musician, I was busy keeping Idaho safe from marauding hordes of Soviet musicians. True enough; not once from 1985-1990 was Idaho ever attacked by a Russian with a trombone.

I've had people try to discount my service -- "oh, you were in the BAND" -- which, I'll admit, is not even close to the toughest assignment in the military. But still, I had to go through Basic and qualify yearly in physical training, nuclear/bio/chem preparedness, and rifle marksmanship. Also, the secondary function of the military bands during wartime is backup support for the military police.

Most importantly, though, is the fact that I volunteered to serve my country, and my service could have just as easily landed me in a war zone (maybe as an MP at Gitmo, who knows?). I was lucky to serve during a time of relative peace and I was never called up. But I could have been called up, which is more than I can say for all these Yellow Elephants.

At 13 July, 2005 03:40, Blogger BadTux said...

Oh come on now, Ronald Reagan already showed our Dear Leader how to meet recruiting quotas. See, when the Great Father was elected President, our Army was in a horrible state. That big meaney Jimmy Carter had cut it down to almost as small as it is today. But our brave Great Father Reagan knew we needed 20 divisions in arms in order to take on them godless Commies. now, how can you recruit 20 divisions worth of soldiers if you're barely recruiting enough to staff 12 divisions worth of soldiers?

Well, our Great Father knew how to do this: Simply *DESTROY THE ECONOMY!*. Yessiree, during our Great Father Reagan's time in office, U.S. manufacturing went from being over 25% of the U.S. economy to being only 15% of the U.S. economy. Where did those extra 10% of workers go? Why, we recruited the cream of the crop into the U.S. Army!

So how is our glorious Dear Leader going to top this? Well, I suggest that he destroy *another* industry. Let's say, health insurance. All he has to do is nationalize health insurance by extending Medicare to all Americans not just old wrinkled prune Americans, and think of all the insurance examiners, acturials, call center workers, etc. that would be put out of work! A *huge* pool of workers, my friend, just ripe for the picking, albeit somewhat flabby compared to the industrial workers that Great Father Reagan put out of business.

So there we are, a picture-perfect plan for meeting recruiting goals! So who's going to present it to Dear Leader?!

- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

At 13 July, 2005 13:29, Anonymous Anonymous said...

a flat tax would free up a lot of useless people all the accountants tax lawyers irs people state tax people etc. instead of counting beans they cand count sand.

At 14 July, 2005 23:07, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the national guard should be abolished it is involuntary servitude becaseut ehy should be fighting firest and stuff but instead have to go to wars over and overagain

At 15 July, 2005 16:53, Anonymous Anonymous said...



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