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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Military enrollment is down nationwide, including in Utah, as the Army misses its recruiting goal for the third month in a row.
Until this February, the Army had consistently met its monthly goal since May 2000. However, Army spokesman Paul Boyce said, last month the Army fell 42-percent short of its monthly national goal. Recruiters missed their goal by 32-percent in March, and in February missed a goal by 27-percent.
Utah recruiters aren't doing any better. In February, recruiters fell 39-percent short of their goal. In March and April there was a 21 and 25-percent shortfall.
Combat in Iraq and Afghanistan isn't helping with recruitment. Sergeant Major Jess Adamson, who leads recruitment for the Utah National Guard said it's difficult to get people to join the military in the thick of a war.
The lower recruitment also follows several complaints across the country that recruiters are breaking the rules in order to get people to join. C-B-S News reported that one recruiter allegedly told a potential recruit he would be arrested if he didn't show up for his appointment.
The Army started several new programs to reverse the poor recruiting trend including:
- Adding specialties that will receive the maximum 20-thousand dollar enlistment bonus for signing up for three to six years.
- The Army expanded the student loan repayment program to all military occupational specialties.
- The number of recruiters has been increased.
(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)