Recruiting an All-Volunteer Force
What is it? The Army has recruited an All-Volunteer Force since 1973. This All-Volunteer Force is the strength of the Army. Soldiers professionally execute their tasks because they volunteered to serve the nation and believe in what mission success achieves. The Army's recruiting mission remains larger than all of the other Services combined. The All-Volunteer Force is really an All-Recruited Force requiring National and Congressional support and significant Army effort. These Army efforts have yielded high quality Soldiers that are required to conduct operations in support of the Global War on Terrorism and to support the Army's transformation into a modular expeditionary force.
What has the Army done? The Army aggressively adjusted its resources to meet increased recruiting missions and overcome the market effects of an improving economy, increased alternatives to youth, decreased propensity to enlist, and a decreased willingness of influencers to recommend Military Service. These adjustments have included increases in quick ship bonuses, advertising, and the size of recruiting forces to 6,279 active component (currently increased to 6,452), 1,774 Army Reserve and 4,800 Army National Guard Non-commissioned Officers. The 2005 enlisted accessions achievements were:
- Active Army 92 percent (accession goal of 80,000),
- Army Reserve 88 percent (accession goal of 22,175) and
- Army National Guard 80 percent (accession goal of 63,002).
What efforts does the Army plan to continue in the future? The Army continues to adjust its recruiting action plan to overcome the current and anticipated future market conditions and operational tempo. The Army must provide recruiting resources (personnel, funding for incentives, advertising and operations) for all components to continue to maintain the ability to achieve their respective missions. The Army will pilot two new programs this year as enlistment incentives - the Army Home Ownership Fund and the Army Small Business Fund. Both of these programs align with Army Values and target high quality recruits and influencers. The key to 2006 and beyond is to increase recruiter productivity, to provide the resources necessary to meet the missions and to gain Congressional support to adapt its enlistment and incentive programs to the ever challenging recruiting market.
Why is this important to the Army? Recruiting an All-Volunteer Force provides the quality manpower required to support and defend the Army's Constitutional requirement without a draft, to continue to effectively support the Global War on Terrorism, and to transform the Army into the modular expeditionary force. With the support of Congress and the American people, we are confident that the Army will remain fully capable - today and into the future.