Army, Told to Grow, Focuses on Retention

With new recruits ever-harder to come by, keeping soldiers is key
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 8, 2007 6:20 PM CST
From left, Airman Basics Gregory Beckham, from Antioch, Tenn., Cory Howard, from Marion, Ohio., Latasha Gaynor, from Louisville, Ga. and Ashley Cundiff, from Canton, Ohio., make their way through the...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Ordered to expand its forces, the US Army is shifting its strategy from recruitment to keeping the soldiers it already has. One reason is the decreasing number of suitable applicants. "We have to retain more soldiers if we're going to grow the Army [in full] by 65,000," a recruitment overseer tells the Christian Science Monitor.

The Army is increasing bonuses for certain skills, adding more options for specialized schooling, and giving recruits more of a choice on where he or she will be placed. But it's harder to compete with the perks offered by the civilian world. "To retain the best, the Army must recognize their competitive worth in corporate America," an Army document states.