Yahoo! Mail -

A Question:

Reader M.N. writes:

I read your article regarding Women In Combat. I heard an ABC radio news article on this subject yesterday, but the gist of the entire article (per ABC) was that the Army is having trouble meeting enlistment quotas and that women are going to be encouraged to enlist to fill those slots. Would you comment on this view, please?

SECDEF Rumsfeld spoke to the issue of recruitment, and retention, as recently as August.
Q: Well, it wasn’t. So, pleasure to have you on the air today, sir. I appreciate your time. If I could just get right to it and ask you a couple of questions. One of them that has been on my mind. I seem to remember a couple of months ago – maybe eight, 12 weeks ago, some reports that recruitment, Armed Forces recruitment, was running very, very high. The various branches were having no trouble at all attracting the recruits that they needed. Then in more recent weeks, I hear the opposite, that recruitment is not running that high and, in fact, some of the branches may be having a little bit of a problem fulfilling their manpower requirements. What is the status there?

SEC. RUMSFELD: Well, the facts are these, that the Navy and the Air Force are having no issues whatsoever. With respect to the Army, recruiting in the active component is doing quite well. It’s 101 percent of their target for fiscal year ’04. The Reserve recruiting is at 102 percent, so that’s going well also. And then the National Guard is somewhat below their target. They’re at 88 percent, but seem confident that they’re going to eventually make the numbers they need. That’s recruiting. On retention, things are going well, also. The retention in the active component’s over 100 percent of target, and Reserve retention’s about 99 percent. And in the National Guard, interestingly, it’s almost 101 percent. So across the board, it’s going very well. And we’ve got a terrific group of people in men and women in the service and they’re doing a great job. And the Army, of course, has an awful lot of people around the world, something like 12 percent of their forces is deployed. They’ve got 123,000 possibly in Iraq and Afghanistan together and maybe 270,000 deployed all over. So needless to say, that does pose some stress on the force. On the other hand, when you think they’re drawing off a million people, and we’re only using 270,000 deployed, it’s pretty clear that the problem is not a shortage of people; the problem is that they’re malorganized.
So: it's not true that the Army is having trouble making its goals. The National Guard is, to some degree, but not the Army.

All that said, the Army loves women recruits for other reasons. It has diversity task forces which "encourage," in the military fashion, a certain participation by various groups. Here is one such.

The diversity racket is a hindrance outside the military, but downright dangerous inside it. The military needs the best soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines it can get. If those are women, fine. If not, fine. Trying to play at percentages is unwise, as it means setting the participation goals above the fitness standards.

What the military needs to do is to set standards high, and keep them high. If you can meet the standards, you should find a place. If not -- well, then you'll be just like me, who is too old to be of use any more. :)

No comments: