The Defense Department announced recruiting and retention numbers for the 2011 fiscal year recently, stating that the Army National Guard intentionally achieved only 95 percent of its recruiting goal in order to stay within its authorized end strength.
“We missed our accessions mission last year due to better-than-anticipated retention and a little bit of an economy factor, but it was an intentional miss and not due to a lack of accessions,” said Col. Rob Porter, chief of the Army National Guard strength directorate.
Because of better-than-anticipated retention rates, “and a very low attrition rate, we were forced to have to cut back on our accessions in order to stay within our congressionally mandated end strength,” he said.
This means that the Army National Guard has more first-time recruits wanting to join and serve than it has slots for them to fill — and more of them want to stay in once they put on the uniform.
Porter said that 10 years ago there was a pretty even split between recruits coming into the Guard with prior military service and those without it.