August 25, 2005

"High Re-Enlistment Rates in Combat Units"

Army chief says re-enlistment strong, force not broken.

WASHINGTON (AFP) - High re-enlistment rates in combat units that have served in Iraq shows the army is far from being a broken force despite a likely shortfall in recruiting, the army’s chief of staff said.

“I think we’re a heck of a long way away from the breaking the army. It is a lot more resilient than people believe,” General Peter Schoomaker told reporters here.

His comments came amid a chorus of criticism from members of Congress and retired military leaders that the longer than expected war in Iraq has strained the army to the breaking point, putting in question the viability of the all-volunteer force created after the Vietnam War.

Schoomaker said the army probably will fall short of the active duty forces recruitment goal this year by about 2,000, and he acknowledged that the recruiting climate is likely to remain tough next year as well.

But he said re-enlistment rates in the active duty force are exceeding requirements.

And a reorganization of the army’s active duty divisions and the national guard and reserve forces have generated more deployable units, he said.

“The negative drumbeat that we hear is not helpful,” Schoomaker said. “The overemphasis on the negative is not helpful.”

Charles: "A master of understatement, is General Schoomaker."

Posted by Kyer at August 25, 2005 02:30 PM | TrackBack