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Army Recruitment Numbers

By: Monica Bucanan
By: Monica Bucanan

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan appear to be taking a toll on the Army's recruiting efforts according to the latest official numbers, but not all recruitment stations are feeling that impact.

National reports show recruiters have fallen short of their goals for four straight months and will likely fall short of their 2005 recruiting goal.

Army recruiters in Tallahassee say that isn't the case for this area. Their numbers are right on track.

SGT Robert Leader has been recruiting for the Army in Tallahassee for the past nine months. As with all branches of the military, Leader says it takes work.

"The biggest challenge I would see with trying to get someone to join the Army is their family. Family is a very big influence on what the applicant wants to do, and I find that to be the biggest challenge, convincing mom and dad that the Army programs are good for their son or daughter," said Leader.

Despite the Army's declining recruitment numbers nationally, local recruiters say they are right on target and expect to exceed their 2005 goal, but other recruiting stations haven't been as fortunate.

Jonathan Kerr thinks he knows why.

"I think while we're at a war, where we're not sure when we're going to be able to leave and it's not the typical type of war where it's combat, you're fighting people who are hiding and you don't know who's the good guy and who's the bad guy. I think a lot of people are afraid of that," said Kerr.

And some like George Phillippy say the low numbers reflect the way the war is portrayed at home.

"More so now with the war in the living room and in atrocious color. I just think that it makes people not want to serve," said Phillippy.

But despite all that, local Army recruiters say their numbers have been solid so far this year. Recruiters say the financial and student loan incentives offered by the Army are a huge draw for all the college students right here in the Tallahassee regional area.


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