More money luring Army recruits

Hillary Wicai Jul 10, 2006


SCOTT JAGOW: Last year, the Army whiffed on its recruiting goals. So much so, there was talk of reinstating the draft. But this fiscal year is another story. The Army’s expected to announce today it signed up 8,700 recruits last month, beating its goal for June and that’ll put it ahead for the year as well. As Hillary Wicai reports, money is doing some of the talking.

HILLARY WICAI: Army spokesman Lt. Col. Brian Hilferty says the Army has added more than 1,000 new recruiters and they have more money to entice new soldiers.

BRIAN HILFERTY: “Congress has given us the authority for some larger bonuses, and Congress has given us the authority for some new programs such as a $1,000 bonus for soldiers and retirees who refer new recruits to us.”

About 50 percent of new recruits get a bonus which can range from $1,000 to $40,000 for specialists. The average bonus is just over $5,000. Michael O’Hanlon is a military analyst with the Brookings Institution.

MICHAEL O’HANLON:“The idea of increasing bonuses is perfectly reasonable and what any business-minded company would do under these kind of circumstances.”

Another way the Army’s boosted numbers: allowing in a few more recruits that score below the curve on the Army’s aptitude test.

In Washington, I’m Hillary Wicai for Marketplace.

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