Armed Forces News

To aid in recruiting for fiscal 2005, the Army National Guard is seeking permission from the Defense Department to “stabilize” prior-service enlistees for a year after they join a unit, said Guard deputy director Brig. Gen. Frank Grass. “(Prior service personnel) have tremendous combat experience, and we need them in the National Guard,” said Grass. Other enticements to join may be needed, he noted. For example, the states, which recruit their Guard members, are examining the possibility of bigger enlistment bonuses and a more generous college tuition program. The Guard also will add 500 recruiters to the rolls and shift advertising money from attracting prior-service personnel to the non-prior service effort. These steps will come too late to help the shortage this fiscal year, which ends September 30. Guard officials said any shortfall will be added to the recruiting goal for fiscal 2005.