As of March 31 — halfway through the Army’s fiscal year — 28,406 soldiers had re-enlisted, topping the six-month goal of 28,377. The Army’s goal is to re-enlist 56,100 soldiers by the end of September.
“It’s a very positive retention picture at this point,” said Lt. Col. Franklin Childress, an Army public affairs officer. The Army had nearly a half-million active-duty soldiers.
However, Childress cautioned that factors such as an improved economy and the Pentagon’s decision to keep about 20,000 troops in Iraq for longer than a year to help quell the violence could change the picture.
The Marines, which along with the Army have borne the brunt of combat in Iraq, said they have already fulfilled 90 percent of their retention goal for the fiscal year for getting Marines to re-up after their initial commitment. The Air Force and the Navy said they, too, are exceeding goals for getting airmen and sailors to re-enlist.