More recruits go Army

Hillary Wicai Jul 10, 2006

KAI RYSSDAL: It’s been an unusually bloody few days in Iraq. As many as 40 people were killed over the weekend. Another 20 or so today. Mostly Iraqi civilians. You might think the danger would be hurting the Pentagon’s recruiting program. It did last year. But the Army announced today it is above its goal for this year. More now from Marketplace’s Hillary Wicai.

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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