WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Feb. 13, 2007) - The active Army exceeded its recruiting goals for January, the Defense Department announced yesterday.

The Army achieved 111 percent of its goal with 9,306 troops. The National Guard achieved more than 100 percent of its goal, and the Army Reserve lagged slightly at 99 percent.

The active and reserve components also met 109 percent their year-to-date retention missions.

The Army's recruiting numbers may get an added boost in March after the Army launches a traveling, virtual reality exhibit. The Virtual Army Experience is a high-tech, team-based experience designed to immerse visitors in the operational roles of Soldiers.

The 10,000-square-foot interactive exhibit brings the Army's exceptionally popular computer game, "America's Army: Special Forces (Overmatch)," to a life-size networked world. In the Virtual Army Experience, participants employ teamwork, leadership and high-tech equipment as they take part in a hands-on virtual mission to capture a terrorist leader. The Virtual Army Experience debuts this week at Speedweek in Daytona, Fla., and will deploy to 35 events around the nation.

"The Virtual Army Experience provides visitors with unparalleled insight into today's high-tech Army, in which smart, capable Soldiers work within elite teams to master the most complex and demanding situations," said Col. Casey Wardynski, project director for America's Army and originator of the concept for the Virtual Army Experience.

"Upon entering the Virtual Army Experience, visitors meet virtual members of their team - skilled professionals in fields ranging from aviation to communications. From this point forward, visitors gain an appreciation of the degree to which the Army prepares young adults to be confident, skilled and trusted," he said.

(Sgt. Sara Wood writes for the American Forces Press Service.)