Friday, May 1, 2009

Guarding the Pass

It hasn't been in the news lately (for various reasons), but the Military is doing phenomenally well in terms of retention. My battalion is only a few soldiers away from completing its mission for retention for the entire fiscal year, and April isn't even over yet. So far my Brigade has had over one thousand soldiers re-enlist. In a Brigade of around 4500 soldiers, that is a phenomenally successful retention rate.

The 172 SBCT retained 1200 soldiers last deployment (in and of itself, a significant number), a number my current brigade will likely pass. While less than 1% of the United States population serves in the US Armed Forces (at any one time) and at most 10-15% have served, that population is certainly incredibly dedicated. I am personally impressed by the strength that enables some individuals to serve their third or fourth deployment in the GWOT, while I'm tuckered out at 2. The re-enlistment in the military has been going strong since 2001, even if recruitment did not always follow suit.

Recruitment is picking up as well and the military is tightening up restrictions to slow the numbers entering the military. I am definitely impressed by the numbers who are willing to re-sign to do this again, because even as Iraq winds down, Afghanistan will spin up and they will be back in the field again.

Military Service is essential to the survival of any nation. Our Republic is built on the sacrifice of those who have gone before and worn the uniform. Our nation's proud tradition of Citizen Soldiering is part of the very fabric of our past.

It is certainly a blessing that this country has so many young men and women who are willing to stand up and serve their country. It would be nice if there were still more.

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