The established Active Army non-prior service accession mission for June 2007 was 8,400 - we achieved 7,030 (83.7%). We are still ahead of our year to date mission of 80,000 by 741 accessions (101.4%).

There are a number of factors that point to the Nation's current recruiting challenges. These include: the strong economy leading to low unemployment; effects of the war on decisions to enlist; the decreasing support of influencers for those prospects who want to serve; a high college attendance rate among graduating high school seniors. All of this has resulted in fewer contracts this year. But we continue to see young men and women stepping forward to be a part of the Army team -- and we are ahead of our accessions mission year to date.

Compared to last year at this time, the accession mission for June 2006 was 8,600, and we recruited 8,756 against that mission. Year to date, we have achieved 51,891 accessions for Fiscal Year 2007. Last year at this point we achieved 51,615. We have 276 more accessions so far this year than we had for the same time last year.

We are continually amazed at the number of young Americans who want to serve their country and who join the Army. We closed out our Fiscal Year 2006 recruiting year with 80,635 active duty accessions, 635 more than the 80K accession goal. We opted to miss the September 2006 monthly accession mission to position the Army Recruiting Command with a larger entry pool to start the Fiscal Year 2007 recruiting year. In September 2006, our established accession mission was 9,800, and we achieved 7,666.

At the end of May 2007, we were ahead of our year to date goal by 2,110 (105%) accessions, despite falling short of the monthly accession mission of 5,500 (achieved 5,101, or 92.7% of mission).

It's important to note the value of setting monthly missions as we work toward the yearly mission. The monthly missions are a management tool to help us achieve the larger yearly mission requirement. In the end the most important goal is the yearly mission of 80,000 active Army accessions. The yearly mission is what determines the overall planning factors for end strength requirements and future recruiting year goals.

Congress has given the Army the resources to help man the force, and we continually look for ways to maximize the funding for the greatest return on investment. The Army has a wide variety of tools to ensure the 80,000 accession goal is achieved.
Aca,!Ac We've added $30 million in recruiting advertising to reach potential recruits and their influencers
Aca,!Ac We continue to promote our $2K Referral Bonus program
Aca,!Ac We continue to emphasize lead refinement, and are increasing the number of contract recruiters in the field to follow-up on 300,000 leads Aca,!Ac We are boosting incentives
Aca,!Ac We are offering flexible contract options

Specifically we are pursuing the 2-year enlistment option as part of our fourth-quarter mission (Note: Normally 2 year enlistments produce 36 accessions per month: achieved 291 in June. Historically, 35% of 2-year enlistments reenlist.) We expanded the number of Military Occupational Specialties that offer the two-year option and enhanced the incentives that accompany the two-year enlistment. We also will continue to promote the $2,000 referral bonus available to Soldiers, Army retirees and Army Civilians who refer an applicant who enlists and successfully completes basic and advanced individual training.

We see no evidence to back assertions made by some that recent events in the Global War on Terrorism - such as the 15-month deployment announcement - are causing us to miss our goals for two consecutive months. In fact, the Army is nearly 277 accessions ahead of where we were last year at this same time, as well as ahead of our FY 07 year to date mission. We think this is a strong testament to the fact that young men and women throughout the country are still answering the nations call to service.

We exceeded our monthly missions in May and June for Army Reserve non-prior service recruiting, and we continue to close the gap in our year-to-date mission.

The quality of new recruits is high. Our commitment is that every individual recruited is qualified to serve our Nation. In fact, our attrition rate during initial entry training has dropped from 18% in May 2005 to 7.1% in May 2007.