Army missed recruiting goals, shrinks.

| September 22, 2018

New recruit cadets stand in line to be processed. The Army missed its 2018 recruiting goal by 6,500. (Bryan Ilyankoff/Army)

According to this Army Times article, recruiting is not going so well.

A year ago, Army officials were touting a plan to increase the force by 7,500 soldiers in fiscal year 2019. That didn’t happen.

Today’s active duty end strength stands at 476,000, the head of personnel management at Army headquarters told reporters on Friday. If that number sounds familiar, it’s because it’s last year’send strength goal.

This year’s end strength target was supposed to be 483.500 in the active Army.

“We did miss our accessions target, and we’re going to miss end strength,” Maj. Gen. Joseph Calloway said.

The Army started out fiscal year 2018 with an ambitious task: To bring in 80,000 new active duty soldiers, about 11,000 more than they netted the previous year, when the service made a 180-degree turn from a drawdown to a sharp build-up.

They left some recruits on the table?

“We honestly left some potential recruits on the table who completely met standards,” Calloway said ? 1,500 to 1,800, he added.

Still, the service issued about 7,600 waivers for recruits who had never served before but who, on paper, had a disqualifying medical condition or conduct issue. As of the end of August, that was 1,660 for behavioral or legal issues and 5,062 for physical issues like eyesight, hearing and so on.

The recruiting shortages came mostly in military occupational specialties that are already under-strength, like field artillery, air defense artillery, intelligence and satellite communications, he said.

Deaf, Dumb, and Blind with an attitude problem … but do they respect gender pronouns?

The Army is still offering up to $40,000 in bonuses, two-year enlistments and student loan repayment to get people in the door, but, Calloway said, the service is counting on some other metrics to help it get to that number this year.

See, this is where they are going wrong.  There are too many zeros in the numbers they are using.  It just confuses young recruits.  They need to go back to a simple less confusing time like this:

I got a nice room with 60 other new friends, a meal card to eat and during my second enlistment, they put AC in the barracks.   We didn’t need any stinking $40,000 in bonuses.   I checked into Camp Lejeune the first time and was going through the chow line and thought I had it made.  The kinda screened in windows and large slow moving fan blades gave the place that feel of comfort I was longing for.  When I got to the desserts in the chow line they had bread pudding just like Ma made when she was home on work release.  It looked so good, but when I picked up a plate the damn raisins all flew away.   No worries, I had to figure out what to do with all that $350.  Old timers used to tell me the entire Corps fought the Korean war with less money than I was being paid.  I felt guilty.

“We’re tossing away some of the old methods,” said Marshall Williams, the deputy assistant secretary of the Army for manpower and reserve affairs. “That person we’re going after today is so completely different.”

You got that right skippy.


Category: Military issues

Comments (84)

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  1. CCO says:

    “A biscuit rolled off the table and killed a friend of mine.”

    • Animal says:

      A chicken jumped off the table and started marking time.

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      The mashed potatoes at Bainbridge looked inviting until they started wiggling.

      • Green Thumb says:

        I was dug those nice little tasty packets of “Salad Dressing” to go with the “salad” that accompanied the chicken.


        Monday – Fried Chicken

        Tuesday – Chicken Nuggets (or something that looked close)

        Wednesday – “Baked” Chicken (Fried Chicken with the skin removed)

        Thursday – Chicken a la King (still unsure to this day what that was)

        Friday – Chicken Terrazzini (see above)

        Saturday – Chicken Pot Pie (with a side of attitude from the dudes that got Saturday KP)

        Sunday – Chicken Noodle Soup

        Next week: start over with a different “meat”.

        And if you were lucky, you could add Texas Pete to kill the flavor. I still will touch that stuff until this day.

        Boys – that is living!

        • Mason says:

          I also still wonder what chicken a la king was. The next day they’d have turkey a la king, which was surely just leftovers, right?

          Can’t forget the miscellaneous brown meat-like substance in gravy-like sauce I once heard referred to as Alpo.

    • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

      “The chow is mighty fine, mine jumped off the table and did the doubletime.”

    • Jon The Mechanic says:

      The women looked like Phyllis Diller and walked like Frankenstein.

  2. Comm Center Rat says:

    That 1976 pay chart really brings back memories. I remember eagerly retrieving my paper US Treasury paycheck from my APO mailbox then going to the finance office to stand in line at the pay cage. Being stationed in Turkey I then converted some of my dollars into lira. Then over to the mess hall where I flashed my meal card, signed the log sheet, and then sat down for cuisine prepared with a Turkish twist.

    I don’t remember having a checking account until I PCSd back to CONUS when I joined a local credit union. Less than $400 per month basic pay. For some workers today, that’s closer to an hourly or daily pay rate.

    • Green Thumb says:

      As a PVT I think I made about 350 bucks every two weeks.

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      You’re both wienies.

      As a mere E-1, I got $97.00 per month until I graduated. Then I got another $9.20 when I left RTC(w) as an E-2 Airman Apprentice (AA).

    • timactual says:

      My first couple of years I was paid in cash. Get in line, sign the form, salute the Company Commander, he counts out and gives you your money, move down to the 1st Sgt. who takes some of it back for Savings Bonds, etc. My first paychecks netted about $75, I believe. Base pay was less than $100 for E-1,2.

      When I was at Benning, checks were issued. There was a liquor store just off post (surprise!) that cashed them. They had at least a half dozen highly visible (and probably a few more not visible) well-armed guards. They probably sold more pints & half-pints in that one day than most liquor stores do in several months.

    • 5JC says:

      I joined after Reagan was President a couple of years, and went in as an E3. After the GI Bill deduction I brought home the princely sum of $815 a month. Some people live on less than that today.

    • desert says:

      Comm center rat………….’Poor baby” when I joined I got $60.00 a month!

  3. Claw says:

    Stark contrast:

    Buck Private Claw’s base pay on his first day in the Army: $134.40

    Claw’s Grandchild on their first day (in whichever service they choose effective 01 Jan 2019): $1,680.83

    What could go wrong?/smile

  4. Green Thumb says:

    You are in the Infantry so you obviously lack math skills.

    Simply move the decimal one slot over and you are good!

    Oh, and if a sum like that appears in your account on payday, do not spend it!

  5. Way back long ago I remember a Major who was going to retire and his wife was all panicky as to how him and her were going to survive on the $800 a month he was going to receive. Dang I thought he was gonna be rich, I had a wife and 3 kid’s and was living on around $400 a month as E-5 over 4 years.

    • Military pay scale on entry 1965 E-1 $87.90

      • Ex-PH2 says:

        I got $10 more than that in 1967.


        But it was the BENNIES, you know???

        • HMC Ret says:

          Base pay 1968 was $109.50. Seems the first several paychecks were reduced b/c uniform costs had to be paid back. I think I was bringing in about $35 each two weeks. I found a liquor store in San Diego that would sell underage and I bought a bottle of Sloe Gin every two weeks.

          • Deckie says:

            I’d kinda like to ask my uncle what he was making around that time, 1969-70 as an E-4 on the subs. Doubt he’d even remember though, think he only ever spoke about his service once or twice in the last 30 years.

  6. 26Limabeans says:

    $510. for an E5 under three yrs in 1976.
    I was getting $330 in 1970 not including HFP which was 69 bucks.
    Good thing I wasn’t doing it for the money.

    This recent deficit does not surprise me considering the leftist ideology being taught in public schools. Higher pay won’t change that.

    • Claw says:

      Don’t forget that whopping monthly 13 or 16 dollar Foreign Duty Pay we got.

      That’s what put me over the top for a “Boom Boom Long Time.” every once in a while/smile

      • desert says:

        claw..should have joined the Navy, you wouldn’t get the overseas money, and the cheap s.o.b.’s didn’t even give us the overseas ribbon lol 😉

  7. PFM says:

    Yeah, but you old timers were getting 4 marks to the dollar back then! 🙂

    • 26Limabeans says:

      Yeah, Germany’s economy was great for GI’s back in the sixties. Lots of guys stayed after AD.

      The better deal was $4 mpc for one dollar “greenback” on the Da Nang market just outside the PX.
      Do the exchange, go inside and order stereo s, cameras etc to be shipped to your CONUS address. Tax and duty free. When you get home it is like Christmas with all the gifts piled up in your old bedroom. You become the coolest guy in town with a massive stereo system and photography studio.
      Then it all goes to hell.

      • timactual says:

        I was amazed at the PXs in RVN. The one in An Khe looked like a WalMart. Appliances, hair spray and makeup, etc. Strangely enough, the US female population was quite small. The one in Phuoc Vinh, even sold cars. For some reason the few PXs in more remote (smaller civilian populations) areas were not as well stocked.

        I lost my ration card shortly after I arrived so I was not able to buy my allotment of refrigerators, air conditioners, fans, stereos, tape decks, etc. Just as well, I couldn’t find an extension cord long enough, anyway.

        • 26Limabeans says:

          “allotment of refrigerators”

          They had to ration them because we were trading them to the dinks for all kinds of stuff.
          Each month we ran a deuce an a half down to Da Nang with three guys and everyones ration card. Load up with beer, booze, cigarettes and various other valuable stock in trade.

          I think RVN PX’s were better stocked because of the proximity to Japan where most goods were made. Nothing was made in China back then except rockets and dinks.

        • desert says:

          On our westpac cruise, on the return trip, one of the voids in the ship had a brand new Sunbeam Alpine Roadster, some officer had bought in Japan….I got a lighter LOL

          • timactual says:

            My father returned from westpac one time and I got to go on board to help carry the stuff he brought back. There was a whole compartment (incinerator room?) filled with bicycles. Probably more stowed in other spaces.

            I heard once about a carrier that came back with a flight deck full of cars. Halfway back there was a change of orders, and all those cars had to go over the side. Probably a sea story.

  8. Ex-PH2 says:

    Hey, if the Army needs warm bodies to fill the space, I could use the extra cash.

    I’ll go sign up, as long as I don’t have to leave my neighborhood living space, and my cat can come, too. She could be employed in the chow hall. She’s a fierce and proven mouser, comes and tells you when she’s made an enemy kill, too. She’ll drag it along with her.

  9. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    It didn’t matter what I was paid way back when. Invariably, two days after payday, I was broke.

    • Green Thumb says:

      Between the booze, tits and “Fast Jack’s Used Cars” layaway payment plan(with maxed out insurance payment as well), it can go quick!

    • cc senor says:

      Which didn’t really seem to matter with the 3AD in Germany. Seemed like we were always in the field. Maneuvers in Germany always beat the stateside version on any military reservation because of the interaction with the locals, who were a lot friendlier back then.

      • timactual says:

        As long as you didn’t mess with the trees. Kamerad was very fond of his trees, as I recall. For years I thought that German trees grew no limbs lower than 20 feet off the ground, and they never fell off and littered the grass covered ground. Diggng holes in the ground was also frowned upon.

    • desert says:

      Air Cav….2 days? hell when we came back off liberty we were broke lol…!

  10. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    Look at that line. First, a few people didn’t read the memo. Second, two guys have collared shirts on with their shorts. Third, one chick is wearing white socks when everyone else has black. Lastly, the lone black male is last in line. I thought those days were long gone.

  11. 5th/77thFA says:

    Big goal in ’71 was to try & make Pvt E-2 out of basic and PFC E-3 out of AIT (I did it) Got you a whopping 150.00 a month. Plus the 3 hots and a cot. Free smokes in the C & K Rats pak, or $1.25 a cartoon @ PX. 3.2 cold beer (cold /s/) $1.10 6 pak. Hit the fat money in ’72/73 E4 $ got up to 414.00 a month. Pick up a dependapotumus for an extry 120.00 housing allowance. They’d give you the 120, take 40 out of yours and send a separate check for 160 to the dependapotomous. They had just implemented the JUMPS (Joint Uniform Military Pay System) all computer controlled. A real cluster/SNAFU/FUBAR. They started taking the 160 out twice a month, didn’t put in the 120 at all, and didn’t send anything to the dependapotomus. Each month I went deeper in debt to Uncle Sugar. Took the intervention of Sen Sam Nunn (Armed Services Committee) and a 2 Star to get the F&A Boys to get it straight. When they finally paid me off, 6 months later, had a real nice pile of green backs. Felt down right rich. If I’d of known that the 1st EX Mrs. 5/77 was gonna divorce me anyway a coupla years later, I woulda kept my happy ass in the Green Machine soes I coulda had that REALLY fat money. The ignorant bliss of youth.

  12. AnotherPat says:

    I recognize those shoes and black socks (minus one pair of white socks) in the photo.

    The photo shows new United States Military Acadamy Cadets standing in line to be processed in Thayer Hall at West Point on July 2, 2018.

    Our future West Point Class of 2022.

    Best of luck to them.

    Go Army! Beat Navy!


    • 2/17 Air Cav says:

      Cool. Check Cadet White Socks out. She knows that the camera is clicking, knows that she is the only one wearing white socks, figures that’s what the pic is about and is commenting with her left hand, middle finger. Check it out. Love it.

      • SFC D says:

        That’s a future Signal Officer, Cable Platoon leader. She’s got the proper attitude.

      • 26Limabeans says:

        Blondie in the back with the yellow peasant blouse is in the wrong line.
        Just wait until she gets to the counter and realizes her flight left ten minutes ago.

        • 2/17 Air Cav says:

          “Just wait until she gets to the counter and realizes her flight left ten minutes ago.” Dammit, man, you have a warehouse full of make-me-laughs.

          • HMC Ret says:

            I noticed each seems to have almost/exactly the same watch. I’m thinking they are issued? Is it so? Nice pick up on the short girl with the middle finger salute. Ballsy check. I like her already.

    • desert says:

      Another Pat is dyslectic…he meant, go Navy, Beat Army! lol 😉

  13. NHSparky says:

    I guess you don’t want to hear about my monster $2000 enlistment bonus, or the $43,000 I got for reenlisting twice.

    Of course, nowadays, baby nukes get $30k enlistment bonus, and if they time it right, can reenlist for 3-4 years and max out at $100k.

    But even that saves the Navy a boatload of money over training new baby nukes.

    • cc senor says:

      Forgive my lack of sympathy, but $2000 was the cumulative cap for all my re-enlistment bonuses. A younger brother did qualify for a VRB and got a little over 8K, which beat the $600 I got on my first re-enlistment. I didn’t begrudge him, though; Viet Nam was going strong and he was an 11B and Sam wanted all of those he could get.

      Seems like I was always in the group getting left out when it came to pay. I got to Germany a couple of months after overseas pay was cancelled for all but a few remote areas. Those already drawing it kept it until they got an increase in pay by promotion or TIS. That was also when those of us with less tan 2 years service didn’t get pay raises. Ah, well, knew when I enlisted I wasn’t going to get rich.

      • HMC Ret says:

        I got $6,000 in 71 for reenlisting for six years under the STAR Program. Selective Training and Retention. For 8416 NEC, a critical NEC. Paid out over six years, after taxes, and I was happy to get it. Also got a school that can pay $100K/year in civilian world. Got paid more moonlighting that I made on AD. Different worlds, though. Absolutely no camaraderie in the civilian world. Working in a civilian hospital sucks compared with working in a military environment. No comparison.

      • timactual says:

        ” a few remote areas.”

        I believe Wildflecken was one of those. Spent some time there. They earned it. 70 degrees one day, a foot of snow the next. In April. Genuine WWII army surplus barracks, with all the amenities you would expect, including coal burning stoves in every room. Fire watch was a serious job in those buildings.

  14. AnotherPat says:

    😆Hmmmm…possibly a defiant Cadet, i.e.a future Rapone…Or a future Leader that will refuse to conform to PC standards?

    We shall see…


    • AnotherPat says:

      This a response to 2/17 Air Cav above post about Cadet White Sox…🤗

    • Claw says:

      And eight persons back in the line from her (in a grey T-Shirt and feminine hairstyle) is another allegedly possible future Rapone commenting with the middle finger of their left hand.


  15. Roh-Dog says:

    Its hard to convince some teenage puke that taking the cheddar and toting steel is a kickass choice with an economy in upswing.
    Oh, if USAREC is looking for a 38 year young, retired E-5 to get back in uni and take some gotdang names, give me a ring.
    I’m bored and never got that Afghan ribbon I was promised

  16. HMC Ret says:

    Base pay was $679.80 but I also moonlighted at Washington Hospital Center and made more than that on that moonlighting gig. Daughter was born that year, 1976, and we got by quite nicely on the money we had coming in. I also got BAQ and BAS. Don’t recall those amounts, but housing, including utilities, was less that $400 and that was for a 4BR, 2BA single house in Millington. Old house but quite nice with good neighbors. As far as chow, I stopped eating in the chow hall in 71 when I got married and only ate there when I had duty. I never had any complaints about military chow … never. It was good and plentiful. What wasn’t to like? Good times all around. Happy days.

  17. MSG Eric says:

    As an E-2 in Basic Training I was getting like 150 bucks more a month than an E-1 and they were all pissed off at me for making more. Then, I turned to my buddy who was an E-1 with a wife and kid and said, “why are you looking at me, that dude’s paycheck is almost twice what mine is!”

    I know of a few thousand Army personnel who were kicked to the curb, many for one bad piece of paper in their file, just a few years ago because the previous King Barry wanted to reduce the force. I guess it didn’t need to be as big as it was to deal with climate change, oh and the 8 different countries we were operating in for GWOT/OCO functions.

    Perhaps if, during that same timeframe, service members weren’t being treated like dog shit and kicked to the curb, more recruits would be wanting to join up not having heard the immense amount of stories (even some in the news) about good Soldiers being bent over and shown the door. Ironically, a friend of mine told me for the last couple years he’s been getting treated better by the VA than he was by the Army in 2013-2015. You know you done fucked up when the VA is treating service members better than the military services.

    • desert says:

      MSG eric Fairy Barry wanted them out so he would have more money to waste, remember the “Trillions” the a.h. wasted?

    • timactual says:

      Bad treatment of the military did not begin with, and was not exclusive to, Obama. And much of the mistreatment was at the hands of the military itself, without any political influence at all.