Is the Army Playing a Shell Game?
The Army knew that it couldn't meet its goal of recruiting 8,050 new soldiers per month, so in May it lowered the goal to 6,700 recruits. Despite vigorous efforts to persuade high school seniors to enlist, the Army missed the new goal by 25 percent.
Because of a series of recent incidents in which Army recruiters were found to be breaking or bending rules to meet their monthly quotas, two senior Army officials acknowledged that the shift in May could leave the impression that the Army was playing "a shell game" with its recruiting figures, shifting its goals to make the numbers look better than they are.
The officials claim that impression would be "unjustified." Supporting that impression, however, is this:
The Pentagon has delayed until Friday the public release of May recruiting figures for all the armed services, a decision some military officials say is an effort to minimize what has become a drumbeat of bad news for the Army and the Marine Corps at the beginning of each month.
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