Pretty Picture, But

Enlisted recruiting and retention continues to be successful, according to the data for February just released by the Pentagon. All made or bettered their goals for the month, except the Marine Corps, which the Pentagon said had “purposefully missed” its goal to keep its end strength at the authorized level. Despite the glad tidings, the Air Force’s top personnel official, Lt. Gen. Richard Newton cautioned lawmakers last week that the service’s “27 stressed career fields—11 in our officer ranks and 16 in our enlisted ranks”—still need bonus support. As he explained to the House Armed Services military personnel panel, “In a broad sense, we’ve met our recruiting goals writ large and our retention goals, but the challenge is within those specialties, those high demand [fields], those stressed career fields, those enablers, if you will, that are required downrange in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.” (Written testimony) (January results)