WASHINGTON (Reuters) - All branches of the U.S. military met or exceeded recruiting goals in October, including the Army which has struggled in recent months to meet its targets, the Pentagon said on Tuesday.
The largest wing of the military, the Army has had to use bonuses and other incentives to lure recruits as casualties have mounted in Iraq and Afghanistan. But in October, it signed up 4,564 new soldiers, beating its goal of 4,500 for the month.
The Marine Corps, also strained by the wars, recruited 2,788 service members, above its October goal of 2,720.
Most part-time reserve forces significantly exceeded their goals for October. The Army National Guard, for example, recruited 5,305 soldiers last month, almost 1,000 above target.
The Pentagon, praising the results, said recruiting is normally easier at other times of the year, particularly around June when high schools in the United States let out.
But recruiters also delay signing recruits after meeting monthly goals, so that those numbers can apply to the next month.
October was the first month of the government’s 2008 fiscal year. After meeting targets in September and for fiscal 2007, recruiters likely held some recruits to help October’s numbers, according to defense officials.
Reporting by Kristin Roberts, Editing by Cynthia Osterman