Fox News misrepresented general's statement on Army recruitment


On August 25, Fox News anchor Donna Fiducia declared that Army recruiting "is on the rebound" and reported a statement by Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, the Army's chief of staff, that the service expects to exceed its August recruiting goal, as it did in June and July. But Fiducia ignored the rest of Schoomaker's comments, which included a more dour announcement that the Army expects to miss its annual recruitment goal for the fiscal year that ends in September.

An August 26 Washington Post article by staff writer Josh White titled "Army Likely to Meet August's, But Not Year's Goal" reported -- as Fiducia did -- that re-enlistment numbers are up and that the Army expects to meet its recruitment goal for August. But the Post also noted that, in a meeting with reporters, Schoomaker said "he expects the Army to miss its annual goal of 80,000 new active-duty recruits by 'a couple thousand.' " The Post further reported Schoomaker's characterization of the current "recruiting environment" as the most difficult since the Army "became an all-volunteer force."

The anticipated recruitment deficit for the year owes to the Army's failures in February, March, and April to meet its recruitment goals. In early May, the Army realized it would likely fall short of its recruitment goal again and lowered its target for the month from 8,050 to 6,700 recruits, according to a June 8 New York Times article. After the Army failed to meet even the lowered recruitment goal by 25 percent, The Washington Post reported on June 11 that the Army had four months to attract 39,036 recruits (9,759 recruits per month) in order to meet the annual goal of 80,000 for fiscal year 2005. But the recruiting targets for the summer months have not corresponded with this need, so meeting those targets will not result in the Army's meeting its goals for the year. The July target was 7,450 recruits, while the June goal was a mere 5,650 recruits.

From the 11:12 p.m. ET Fox News Live newsbreak on August 25:

FIDUCIA: Recruiting on the rebound: The Army's top general says more soldiers are signing up for additional tours, rejecting suggestions that the stress of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is pushing the service to the breaking point. Army recruiting has exceeded its month goals for June and July, and he says it's looking relatively strong for August as well.

Posted In
National Security & Foreign Policy, War in Iraq
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