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A brigade's worth of win, and then some

Army and Marines both hit their recruiting targets for November, according to this AP story; in fact, the Army enlisted 105% of its goal while the Marines weren't far behind at 104%. The story's author doesn't miss the opportunity to shovel in the obligatory talking points about how polls show people are pissed off at the President and don't think the business in Iraq will end well, but hey, she's with the AP, big surprise there, right? One point worth noting is that recruiting for the Army and Navy Reserve didn't go so well, with the Army signing up only 79% of the 2,376 troops they were looking for and the Navy only 91% of the desired 755 part-time swabbies. That doesn't surprise me, frankly; a lot of the recruits for the USAR (and I would assume the USNR as well) come from prior-service folks who are on the back end of their eight-year obligation and decide to spend it with a reserve unit for the extra cash. These days that isn't happening because a lot of troops are choosing to re-enlist. In Fiscal Year 2005 the Regular Army retained 108% of the troops it was looking for (69,512 of the 64,162 goal), the Reserve 102% (16,485 of 16,248) and the Army National Guard 104% (33,804 of 32,571). That's about a brigade's worth of Regulars (5350) and a battalion's worth of Guardsmen (1233), considering that a battalion has about 1000 men in it and a brigade is made up of roughly 5000 men. Considering that the combat troops in Iraq are coming from the Regulars and Guard (the Reserve is composed almost exclusively of service & support units) this would certainly support the notion that the troops on the ground support the mission, even if the press and the poll respondents don't.

(Spook86)