Not Dismal at All

Last year defense and service officials were pessimistic about the recruiting picture, but that was before the economy began its nosedive. As it turns out, the 2008 enlisted recruiting season was a smash hit across the board, especially for the Air National Guard, which bested all others by achieving 126 percent of its goal. Last year, the Air Guard fell short and was the bottom of the heap. According to year-end data just released by the Pentagon, all the services and their reserve components either made or bettered their goals for the year. On a sour note, the Air Force did not meet its enlisted retention goals. We have reported on some of the hard-hit career fields, such as explosive ordnance disposal, recently given increased pay incentives, and security forces, which has retained only about 35 percent of its first-termers.