The U.S. Army met its recruiting goals for fiscal year 2007, but had to pay recruiting bonuses and lower its standards. The Army also dipped into recruits from its Delayed Entry Program. It faces an even tougher challenge in 2008 as it seeks to expand enlistment.
The Army has been offering recruits bonuses of up to $20,000. It also brought in more recruits without high school diplomas, who scored low on aptitude tests, and who had to get waivers for criminal offenses. Many defense analysts say this policy is lowering the military's standards, but the Army rejects that claim.
The Army acknowledges that these measures have made their recruitment job more difficult for 2008. They'll likely have to accept more recruits without diplomas and hand out more waivers for criminal records.
In the meantime, the Army is losing captains at an alarming rate due, in part, to extended deployments in Iraq.