Military Recruiting

By: Jason Davis
By: Jason Davis

Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are making many young people think twice about a military career.

This time last year the Army was struggling to make recruitment goals, but the Army says it's reached its national target, and then some.

Nineteen-year-old Torey Griffin is checking in with his recruiter one last time. He leaves for basic in three days. Despite the war in Iraq, Griffin says his family supports the decision.

Torey said, "They're excited for me. They know it's the right move, but still scared about what's going on overseas and stuff."

The Department of Defense set the Army's 2006 recruitment goal at 80,000 active duty soldiers and 25,500 for the Army Reserve. The Army was ahead of schedule through June, with over 51,000 active duty and another 18,000 for the reserves.

Recruiters say their job is a challenging one. Only three out of ten 17-to-24-year-olds actually qualify for Army enlistment.

SFC Scott Steele said, "You have to be mentally qualified. You have to be morally qualified and you have to be physically qualified. I mean, it's tough to find somebody that's all three of them at one time."

There's also one more major concern of going to war.

"Of course, moms and dads are worrying about their sons and daughters going to Iraq. I mean, I can't guarantee that they're not going to go."

But war is a reality of wearing the uniform, and new recruits like Torey Griffin are aware of that.

"Someone's gotta do it. I feel like if it wasn't being done right now there would be more problems."

There are over 8,000 recruiters trying to fill the Army's needs. Other military branches have also reported meeting or exceeding their recruiting goals for the month of July.


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