The National Priorities Project has released the first half of its annual review of Army recruiting. The initial review looks at data by state, county, and zip code. It finds that the Army has once again missed its quality benchmarks:
“The Iraq War began to have an impact on recruiting in 2005 when the Army missed its goal for the number of recruits. Despite increases in spending on recruitment and advertising such as new arcade games designed to draw more youth into the Army, the Army has failed to meet its benchmark for the level of educational attainment of recruits for the fourth year in a row. The percentage of recruits with high school diplomas reported in early October by the Department of Defense was considerably greater than what the data actually show. This difference is due to the Army’s reporting on the number of “contracts” rather than the number of “accessions” with high school diplomas. Contracts are recorded at the time of sign-up, whereas accessions are those who actually enlist. Each year there are losses of individuals who, despite signing the contract, do not end up enlisting.”
As in previous years (2006, 2008), the data provides information specific to Michigan. The National Priorities Project reports that Michigan ranked 29th for Army Recruits Per Thousand Youth at 1.52 (down from 1.79 in 2006). However, Michigan did have the county with the second highest recruitment rate in the country–Luce County. Other counties including Arenec, Kalkaska, and Clare also ranked in the top 100.
Here in West Michigan, Kent County had 146 Active-Duty Army recruits and 25 Reserve Army recruits.
MediaMouse.org will have a more complete look at the numbers in the coming weeks when the National Priorities Project released information based on race and income.