Nearly 12 percent of Army recruits who entered basic training this year needed a special waiver for those with criminal records, a dramatic increase over last year and 2 1/2 times the percentage four years ago, according to new Army statistics obtained by the Globe.
With less than three months left in the fiscal year, 11.6 percent of new active-duty and Army Reserve troops in 2007 have received a so-called "moral waiver," up from 7.9 percent in fiscal year 2006, according to figures from the US Army Recruiting Command. In fiscal 2003 and 2004, soldiers granted waivers accounted for 4.6 percent of new recruits; in 2005, it was 6.2 percent.
With the new and improved plan for progress in Iraq projecting magical ponies allowing for a unified, pro-US, pro-Isreali, anti-OPEC by 2009
, this recruiting problem will probably continue. The Army's response right now is to throw more resources at the problem. Former recruiters are being re-attached to recruiting duty in the hope that they can push the army over the top for this fiscal year.
More than 1,100 former Army recruiters have been ordered to report back to duty immediately, Army Times is reporting.
The military came well short of recruiting goals in May and June, which officials acknowledge is attributable to the unpopularity of the Iraq war..... Recruiters have also been caught using deceptive tactics in an attempt to meet their goals. Most recently, four Nashville-area recruiters were caught telling a potential recruit to lie about his mental health history. They were reprimanded but remain in the Army.
At the same time, pressure to hit their numbers is intense. Some recruiters report being threatened by their superiors.
Assuming the economy does not tank massively, the Army does not drop standards to accepting AARP eligible privates, and there is not a veto proof Senate and House majority for withdrawal in the next three months, these short term fixes will not change the impending trend.