Army, Air Guard meet end strength
Army Maj. Gen. Allen Tackett, the adjutant general of the West Virginia National Guard, swears in 20 Soldiers from the 150th Armored Reconnaissance Squadron of the 30th Heavy Brigade Combat Team during a re-enlistment ceremony at the al-Faw Palace, June 17, 2009.

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Oct. 8, 2010) -- During the 2010 fiscal year, the Army and Air National Guard met their end strength goals, National Guard officials announced here today.

The Army Guard finished the year with an end strength of 362,015 Soldiers -- one percent higher than their congressional limit of 359,200, said Army Lt. Col. Ronald Walls, chief of the Army Guard's strength maintenance division.

He attributes the success to a 105 percent retention rate and an intentional effort to limit the number of accessions in the last two months of the fiscal year.

"Simply put, fiscal year 2010 has proved to be the year of improved readiness through significant reduction of vacant (junior enlisted) positions and will continue to be one of the primary focal points in FY11," Walls said.

In September, the Army Guard met 66.3 percent of its recruiting mission with 4,061 recruits. For the fiscal year, 57,204 recruits were accessed for a total of 95.3 percent. The officer gains were 4,925 of 5,500, for 89.5 percent.

The Army Guard's retention rate for September was 101.1 percent, which resulted in a year-end total of 105.5 percent.

The Air Guard surpassed its end strength goal by less than one percent finishing at 107,676 Airmen, said Air Force Col. Mary Salcido, the director of recruiting and retention for the Air Guard.

"With changes to the Air Guard mission, we focused on precision recruiting," she said. "Career fields in high need, such as medical, intelligence, engineers and special forces were what we targeted for recruiting this year."

In September, the Air Guard accessed 451 of 617 recruits for 73.1 percent. For the fiscal year, 6,983 Airmen were recruited for a total of 73.5 percent. The officer gains were 1,101 of 3,907 for 35.6 percent.

The Air Guard's retention rate for September was 91 percent, and the re-enlistment rate for the end of the fiscal year was 120 percent.

Salcido said the Air Guard anticipates recruiting for fiscal year 2011 to be targeted at the new Cyber Command, the base realignment and closure decisions to realign some Air Guard missions and the growing unmanned aerial vehicle mission.

"We are an evolving force and with that evolution, recruiting has to evolve," she said.

(Tech. Sgt. John Orrell writes for the National Guard Bureau public affairs office)

Page last updated Fri October 8th, 2010 at 13:07