Thursday, February 03, 2005

Marines Failing at Recruiting?

Yeah, for the first time in ten years the Marines, that elite of fighting forces, has missed their recruiting targets. Folks, this is a service that turns folks away normally. At least in comparison to US Army or Navy recruiting, this would be like Yale or Harvard not hitting their targets. Why? Well, it must be obvious to all of us that the war is not going so well. But I don't put this on the media being effective.

Marine recruits likely come from a culture where they are interested in combat. That's what their assumptions say.

Richard Kohn, a military historian at the University of North Carolina, said, "It's most troubling because the Marines tend to attract people who are the most macho, seek the most danger and are attracted by the service most likely to put them into combat."

It's the casualties that are the problem, and even though the Bush Administration allows no pictures of caskets coming home, the guys are getting the information. My suspicion is that potential recruits often know a Marine who is serving or has already served, and those potential recruits are hearing the truth about the hell they are being put through for zero WMD and zero connection to Osama. But that's speculation. One thing is for sure, the Air Force and the Navy, where the casualty rates are far lower, are booming in their recruiting:

Although the Marine Corps is straining to meet its recruiting targets, the Air Force and Navy are flush with recruits and are actually shrinking their overall ranks. Military personnel experts say there are indications that young people interested in joining the military may be turning to the Air Force and Navy, which have suffered relatively few casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan. In contrast, the Marines make up about 21 percent of the fighting force in Iraq but have suffered 31 percent of the military deaths there, according to Pentagon statistics.