National Guard Recruitment is down, what does this mean?


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Lone_Gunman
December 4, 2004, 01:11 PM
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=514&e=12&u=/ap/20041204/ap_on_re_us/national_guard_recruiting

That National Guard recruitment for 2004 was less than half what they expected. Apparently, the use of National Guardsmen since 9/11 has contributed to this.

It is my understanding that the Army is still getting enough recruits. But the people that join the Army probably join with the understanding that they will see duty in the Mid East, and probably want that.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the next four years. Bush can't continue the WoT without troops.

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NoHarmNoFAL
December 4, 2004, 01:23 PM
Last I heard was that the NG recruitment is down because of the Army/Marine guys are not coming out and going into the NG. The Mil. is starting to get more profitable, imminent danger pay, combat theater pay and I believe that these are tax free also. So guy stay in instead of going to the NG. Or not :scrutiny:

Chipperman
December 4, 2004, 02:26 PM
Multifactorial.

The average Joe is not joining the NG now b/c they know they will get sent over there, when they would never have seen action before this mess began.

The guys who actually are interested in getting shot at are joining active Military.

Fewer active guys are "retiring" into the NG, b/c they know they'll get shot at anyway. Might as well get better pay and equipment by staying in the active Military.

WT
December 4, 2004, 02:26 PM
We have too many national guardsmen as is, something like 500,000. They are poorly trained, poorly equipped and poorly led. It takes 6 or more months to bring them up to speed after call up.

Reduce the size of the guard. Find the hard chargers and get rid of the unproductive lifers (our local guard outfit has a PFC with 28 years in). Take the money saved and provide them with proper equipment and training.

PS: we also have 500,000 reservists sitting around.

Bob Locke
December 4, 2004, 02:40 PM
It means that the populace is paying attention.

What they're seeing is Guardsmen being activated and sent to Iraq, and those who are on active duty being "stop-lossed" and extended in their tours of duty, or routinely being recalled from the Inactive Ready Reserves and THEN stop-lossed on top of that.

Didn't Bush state during the 2000 presidential campaign that he would be examining our world-wide troop deployments and would then begin getting us out of places like Kosovo, Bosnia, and other spots across the globe that we have no business being in? So much for THAT. And now we're so short-handed due to those deployments that we can't fully staff the troops for Afghanistan and Iraq.

RevDisk
December 4, 2004, 03:42 PM
Hmm.

These days it's common to get deployed every other year or so in the Guard. I did it for a long time. Stay at year, deployed a year, stay a year, repeat length of career. I know dozens of fellow Guard folks that have been deployed again within weeks of returning. I was deployed to Europe for over a year on 1.5 days notice. It's not being meantioned often in the news, but a good number of employers are shying away from hiring people in the Guard. They don't want to deal with the issues of finding replacements for someone that will be gone on short notice for extended periods of time.

I know of people activated out of IRR to active duty units and being used for all the worst jobs the active duty units don't want. Plenty of them were extended past their IRR period. Most of them did it with a minimal of grumbling, but most of them are warning others against joining the Guard.



We have too many national guardsmen as is, something like 500,000. They are poorly trained, poorly equipped and poorly led. It takes 6 or more months to bring them up to speed after call up.


That's on average, 10k soldiers per state. Each State mostly pays for its own Guard. As for poorly trained, I disagree. Most of the major training is done at active duty bases. The majority of the time, if you switch MOS, you go to an active duty school to get trained.

Poorly equipped, I'll agree with that. Active duty folks routinely send us their worst equipment, and charge us the rates for new equipment. Poorly led... Eh... That's a tough call. Careerism is just as common in the Guard as it is the active duty. There are plenty of poor officers, and a shortage of good ones everywhere in the military.

Not sure where you got the 6 months of trainup time.


It's not easy for the Guard folks. Soldiers have to deal with their family wanting them out of the Guard, their employers wanting them out of the Guard and looking at extreme financial difficulties as their reward for staying in. Many put up with the hardships and stay in. Others do their best, but can't afford to stay in. For the Guard soldiers' hardship, the active duty folks often love to give us the worst equipment and missions. When we succeed, and we often do, they do their best to throw as many obstacles in our path as possible.

big poppa
December 4, 2004, 04:57 PM
28 years and still a pfc??!! thats gotta be a record!

Steve in PA
December 4, 2004, 05:10 PM
It mainly has to do with the war.

They say all the whiners who are in now, complaining about being called up. It was all right for Uncle Sam to give them big $$$$$$$ for college and bonuses, but they forgot that when they signed (freely) on the dotted line, that their butt belonged to Uncle Sam. Guess mommy and daddy didn't explain life to them very well.

So now, no one wants to go in because after their first year (boot camp, MOS school, etc) they stand a very good chance of being shipped overseas.

Waitone
December 4, 2004, 05:34 PM
Reality is dawning on segments of the population. That reality is we have cut too far into our military to deal with current geopolitical demands. Rather than go to congress and 'fess up to being short handed for the war on islamofascist terrormongers, Bush does it on the cheap. People who signed up for the Guard did not sign up for a war of indefinite duration. Meanwhile, pork spending reaches new levels even by congressional standards. So much for fiscal restraint.

Bankruptcy is at an all-time high. I wonder how much of that is driven by parttime service members unable to pay the bills while they are on extended deployments.

RevDisk
December 4, 2004, 06:02 PM
It mainly has to do with the war.

They say all the whiners who are in now, complaining about being called up. It was all right for Uncle Sam to give them big $$$$$$$ for college and bonuses, but they forgot that when they signed (freely) on the dotted line, that their butt belonged to Uncle Sam. Guess mommy and daddy didn't explain life to them very well.

So now, no one wants to go in because after their first year (boot camp, MOS school, etc) they stand a very good chance of being shipped overseas.

Heh, wow. Very nice of you to assume soldiers are cowards.

It's very true that plenty of soldiers don't want to go to Iraq. Why? Because it sucks to spend a lot time in a third world country that's too hot, has too much sand and has a shortage of women. We go anyways. Do soldiers whine and grumble a lot? Yep. It's always been that way too, as long as there's been standing Armies. As one of my Sergeant Major's said, "It's when they stop grumbling that you gotta worry."

Basically, a large number of people are putting up with a situation they don't like, and when they have a chance, are voting with their feet. It's called "service", not "slavery". When our contract is up, we have the right to leave. A lot of people are honorably serving their time, and leaving when their contract is up. What's the problem?

Jeff White
December 4, 2004, 06:41 PM
The man who is breaking the United States Army is being given more time in office to finish the job. Rumsfeld has to go before he completely destroys the United States Army.

That said; this isn't a republican or democratic problem. Both parties gleefully dismantled the US military in order to spend the so called peace dividend on domestic programs. Starting in 1990, the first Bush administration began planning to decrease the size of our military. All of the think tanks, both liberal and conservative were convinced that there would never be another large war after the fall of the Soviet Union. Wars were going to be short and swift. Right after the initial drawdown plans were published, Saddam invaded Kuwait. The cold war vintage Reagan military that Bush inherited performed superbly. But instead of learning the lessons of Gulf War 1 our strategic planners considered it an anomoly and moved right on down the road that was mapped out before Gulf war 1. The Clinton administration simply followed the Bush defense department's blueprint for the drawdown. Of course they added insult to injury by cutting funding for training and equipment. We spent defense money on programs like breast cancer research in those days. While the armored vehicles we still had, sat in their motor pools and soldiers did busy work around the barracks because there was little money to train with. Bases were closed and the real property sold or given away to local government entities. The main focus of a lot of those bases was to provide a place for mobilized troops to train before deployment. Suffice it to say that we sold off the troops and equipment we need to fight a war and along with it, the ability to rapidly expand our military to meet the needs of a national emergency.

That is the situation our defense establishment found itself in on 11 Sep 2001. Instead of believing it's own public statements about the world being fundamentally changed, the administration charged blindly down the road to transformation, the mythical state at which technology replaces soldiers and takes and holds ground. Emboldened by the spectacular success of this new doctrine against the Taliban, a military scarecly worth being considered a military, we plunged headlong into planning the next step, the liberation of Iraq. Rumsfeld ignored the advice of the CSA about the number of troops needed to liberate Iraq because that would not have validated the concept of transformation. The Iraqi military fell in a few weeks. The secretary of defense was overjoyed, because a concept that the think tanks said would defeat a determined force in a high intensity conflict managed to beat a fifth rate army that barely fought and an air force that refused to fly. The secretary told the president we were finished in Iraq, it was time to declare victory and move on to other things. There was just one problem with this, the enemy hadn't yet had his say.

Islamic radicals flooded into Iraq for the chance to kill Americans. The leaders of their movement knew that if we were allowed to succeed in Iraq, it would spell the end of their movement. Personal and economic freedom tend to cause tyrants to fall and radical movements to die.

The American forces left in Iraq were hard pressed to contol the borders to keep them out. Stockpiles of weapons and munitions were left unguarded because there were insufficient American forces or enough coalition or Iraqi forces to secure them.

Soldiers are can do type people. If an order comes down the chain of command they do it. So Rumsfeld can honestly tell the president that the commanders on the ground aren't asking for any more forces. Our system breeds leaders like this. Professionals don't usually speak out about what the civilian leadership in the Pentagon wants until after retirement. When Gen. Shinseki spoke out in a newspaper interview about the number of soldiers he thought the Iraqi war might require, he was immediately corrected by Rumsfeld. The secretary then took the unusual step of publically humiliating the General by announcing his replacement months before his term as Chief of Staff of the Army was over. Do you really think another flag officer will publically disagree with the secretary, even if he or she knows he's right?

So here we sit at the end of 2004. Things are going as well as can be expected in Iraq. End strength was a big issue during the presidential campaign. But the truth of the matter is, we have no way of rapidly expanding our forces to give us the troops we need to do the job right. A draft would not only be politically unacceptable, but would not give us the increased troop strength we need in time to make a difference. We no longer have the facilities to accept the new soldier, nor do we have the NCOs to train them or the officers and NCOs to cadre the new units. Our industrial base is not capable of producing the rifles, radios, trucks and hundreds of other items we would need to equip our forces.

This brings us to the problem with the Guard being unable to meet it's recruiting goals. The administration has followed the Clinton defense department model of mobilizing units for a period of time and then standing them down. This was already starting to take it's toll in some units before 9-11. What they should have done, was a general mobilization after 9-11, expanded the Army to a reasonable size for the demands they were about to place on it and prosecuted the Global War on Terror (GWOT). Instead they chose to do things piecemeal. During the buildup for the Iraq war units were alerted and then stood down, and then alerted again. This cycle went on continually. Naturally this has quite an effect on the citizen soldiers in the Guard and Reserve. Imagine getting alerted, going through all the processes to change your life from civilan centric to military, then told to stand down, then alerted again. Imagine this happening 3 times in a year. This kind of BS not only affects the soldier and his/her family, but the employer as well. Large corporations can often absorb this turmoil with their employees and even score PR points by making a big show of their support for the soldiers. The problem is, that most guardsmen don't work for large corporations, they work in small businesses, or in public service. It's harder for a businessman who employs 10 people to deal with this turmoil. He still has to keep the business running. He has to hire and then train a replacement for the soldier, then lay off the replacement when the soldier returns from deployment, then start the process again wwhen the soldier is called up again. Think about the police chief who still has to cover shifts 24-7.

We aren't doing our reservists any favors by calling them up for a period, sending them home for a few months, then doing it again. It would be better to expand the Army to the size it needs to be, by calling up the reserves and guard and using them to cadre new units, like we did in 1940.

The Army is too small. There isn't an easy way to expand it any more. We've broken the Guard and Reserve and if we aren't careful we will break the Army....All so we can prove transformation works and the Rand Corporation is right.....

Jeff

Fred Fuller
December 4, 2004, 09:29 PM
Way, way back a long time ago- oh, late 1980s or so- the powers that be decided we needed to downsize the active military, so we could save money. There weren't any real wars going on and there was no turrist threat so it was easy to make the case. Anyway, the reasoning went, the reserve component could fill in the gap if anything happened. So they did it, they downsized more of the military than a lot of countries had by comparison from the getgo. (We still spend more on defense than the next 20 or so nations combined, but who's counting?)

Anyway, here we are a couple decades later. Now who was that who was supposed to tighten up the slack in the active military again? Yup. Reserve component.

It's a volunteer military. People can vote with their feet ('cept when they get stoplossed etc). And a lot of them are doing it too, since Sandbox II kicked off.

lpl(nc) -who can still hear the echoes of the downsizing catchphrase "No More Task Force Smiths!" ringing off the walls of the JFK auditorium where he sat for the briefing... good thing there ain't no North Koreans and Chicoms around in the desert.

Sodbuster
December 4, 2004, 09:38 PM
Bush promised during the campaign that there would be no draft. So, that leaves (1)IRR, (2)those recently out of IRR who have already fulfilled their obligations, and (3)those far-removed from IRR who are now 50, 60 and 70-year olds. Only being partly sarcastic.

lbmii
December 4, 2004, 09:52 PM
After much thought I decided that if I had a high probability of going to Iraq and allowed to contribute in a meaningful way, I would go into the National Guard and take a leave from my 75K job.
But at age 36 the National Guard does not want me.

What we need is a Teddy Roosevelt Rough Riders type of organization made up of civilians of various backgrounds (maybe a few from the NYFD and maybe a few High Roaders could get in on it) to go over to the uncontrolled area of Pakistan and root out Bin Lauden and friends. I would join that type of group.

spartacus2002
December 4, 2004, 11:02 PM
What we need is a Teddy Roosevelt Rough Riders type of organization made up of civilians of various backgrounds (maybe a few from the NYFD and maybe a few High Roaders could get in on it) to go over to the uncontrolled area of Pakistan and root out Bin Lauden and friends. I would join that type of group.

Can be done by issuing letters of marque and reprisal, still authorized by the Constitution. Except instead of sending them overseas, put them on the southern border.

Steve in PA
December 5, 2004, 12:21 AM
"People who signed up for the Guard did not sign up for a war of indefinite duration."

What part of joining a military service, didn't they get? Its not the boy scouts. Agreed, none of the people in the NG joined expecting to go to war, however, if they didn't forsee somewhere in their enlistment they might be called up due to a war, natural disaster or civil unrest, then they didn't think things throught before they signed on the dotted line, did they? Who's fault is that?

I did my time in the service, serving in the USMC right after highschool. I went active duty and spent most of my time overseas, including Beirut. I joined knowing that the crap may hit the fan while I'm in. I also understood, than if I'm still in the military, in the middle of a conflict, I might not be going home even though my enlistment is up. Thats life in the military. Doesn't matter if your in the reserves, the National Guard or active duty.

Life in the military, especially overseas bites. Sure everyone grumbles, that expected. Its the ones griping about going that I have issues with. What did they think they were doing, joining a social club?

"But at age 36 the National Guard does not want me."

You must not be prior service then, because I did 4 years in the PA National Guard, joining when I was 38. I'm sure they don't think alot of people over 30 will make it through boot camp.

Hawkmoon
December 5, 2004, 11:50 AM
The National Guard was intended to be the "National" guard -- not the "International" guard. Guard units are supposed to be primarily state emergency forces. Yes, in times of "national emergency" they can be federalized, but until very recently it was never the intention (or the fact) to use National Guard forces for what should be active duty military functions in anything other than an all-out wartime situation.

For those who haven't been paying attention, the last legally declared war involving the United States was WW2. I think people who enlist in the Guard do so with the understanding that if submarines suddenly start landing commandos on the beaches of California, Florida and North Carolina they would be activated and do what their name implies -- guard the nation.

Sending them off to Iraq for extended periods because we don't have enough troops to do a job we got ourselves into intentionally and unilaterally (no, Iraq did not ask us to attck them) is not what the National Guard is supposed to be about. The only surprise here is that the big-wigs in Washington seem to be surprised that Guardsmen don't like being fooled and lied to.

lostone1413
December 5, 2004, 12:17 PM
I think allot of them aren't joining because they are looking at the war different then what they did. I know I am. I see up to 4 million illegals a year just walk into are country and GWB could care less. Maybe they look at it that if are country isn't in enough danger that we need to close the borders maybe we aren't in enough danger to die in Iraq. Then when they look at it that way they wonder if their are other reasons that we are their.

Average Guy
December 5, 2004, 12:34 PM
There's that "unilateral" word again. You know that saying about "if you tell a lie often enough..."? (I can't help it; I'm compelled to respond when people casually toss off untruths as accepted fact.)

Main Entry: uni·lat·er·al
Pronunciation: "yü-ni-'la-t&-r&l, -'la-tr&l
Function: adjective
1 a : done or undertaken by one person or party b : of, relating to, or affecting one side of a subject : ONE-SIDED c : constituting or relating to a contract or engagement by which an express obligation to do or forbear is imposed on only one party

Well, I suppose if you consider that Republicans mostly support the war while Democrats mostly don't, you might call that "unilateral."

Or you might say that the United States' spreading of democracy while other nations tried to block it was "unilateral."

But if you're trying to say that the United States went in "all alone," without the support of--what's that phrase? "A coalition of the willing"--well, that's just disingenuous. And ignorant. (Unilateral doesn't mean "without UN approval.)

nick89302
December 5, 2004, 12:36 PM
I leave active duty in January. I briefly considered the reserve/guard, but decided against it. I will not join so that I can bring 'democracy' to a people that cannot understand what it means.

FWIW, I've already been to Iraq.

why_me
December 5, 2004, 12:54 PM
life after the military isnt so bad
i remember going to college we had many people in the guard. My roomate flew copters for the guard and was a "career" student having been in college for "9" years. A girl i dated was in the gaurd that was 14 years ago she is probably still going to school. I was tempted to do it too. Free tuition and per diem isnt a bad deal for a weekend a month and 2 weeks a year. Guess its not like that anymore.
I know some are getting out of the military and going back to iraq with the private sector and making a whole lot of cash. Nothing different from when i was in except that when i was in people went into the private sector because of there security clearance and electronics knowledge.
now if you get out of a special forces unit you dont have to be a mercenary to make big bucks

there will never be a democracy in Iraq. We cant allow that to happen.
Democracy = Theocratic facist republic of Iran after a couple of elections

nick89302
December 5, 2004, 01:18 PM
life after the military isnt so bad
i remember going to college we had many people in the guard. My roomate flew copters for the guard and was a "career" student having been in college for "9" years. A girl i dated was in the gaurd that was 14 years ago she is probably still going to school. I was tempted to do it too. Free tuition and per diem isnt a bad deal for a weekend a month and 2 weeks a year. Guess its not like that anymore.
I know some are getting out of the military and going back to iraq with the private sector and making a whole lot of cash. Nothing different from when i was in except that when i was in people went into the private sector because of there security clearance and electronics knowledge.
now if you get out of a special forces unit you dont have to be a mercenary to make big bucks

there will never be a democracy in Iraq. We cant allow that to happen.
Democracy = Theocratic facist republic of Iran after a couple of elections

I plan on going to school. I'm leaning towards poly-sci/pre-law. I'd also like to perfect my French.

I had considered a contract job. I would have earned 150k the first year. Not bad for someone getting out as a 22yo SSGT. BTW, that's because of my security clearance and electonics knowledge/experience. It hasn't changed too much.

why_me
December 5, 2004, 01:26 PM
in the most positive way
you served you earned everything you can get.
A freind of mine used his security clearance to get a job with raytheon.
It saves raytheon money and my freind has a great job

nick89302
December 5, 2004, 01:50 PM
I didn't mean to sound offended. Thank you for wishing me luck, but I prefer to make my own ;) . I've found that method works best :D .

:)

lbmii
December 5, 2004, 03:28 PM
Hawkmoon has a very good point. When you have the main troops overseas in a fight you need to have the internal part of the nation protected.

lostone1413 also has a good point.

Greg L
December 5, 2004, 08:39 PM
I spent seven years in the "active" Guard (as opposed to the IRR) & my unit just barely missed getting called up for GW1 (we found out later that if the ground war had gone on one more day we would have been activated). Needless to say this whole topic was quite a bit of conversation fodder back then.

What we essentially boiled everything down to was that while we didn't mind getting called up to go fight in a war we didn't sign up to be active duty. If we had wanted to be in the army full time we would have signed up for that. If the National Guard is used then they need to be the first units sent home after the fighting is over. Back then (IIRC) the active duty units were cycled home generally before the Guard with the explanation given that they needed to get back to their families :scrutiny: . Huh? Excuse me? Families, hmm, yep we've got them too. More importantly, unlike people in the active army who's job is to be in the army full time, we've got jobs/careers waiting back home for us. If the need to suppliment the regular army is there then fine use the guard but don't take them away/keep them away from home for extended periods doing what the active army is paid to do. We were even told a couple of times to be ready to be activated to go to the Gulf to be involved in the cleanup because the regular units didn't want to stay there :scrutiny: .

These days it seems that if you join the guard you are essentially guaranteed to be activated for extended periods of time. Given that, if you want to be in the military you might as well be in the regular service.

I don't know what the solution is but it better be something along the lines of enticing people to join/stay in rather than pissing them off/keeping them past there service was supposed to have ended :fire: .

Greg

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