Combine more military job opportunities and rising enlisted pay with cost of living support like Basic Allowance for Housing and health care programs from the VA and Tricare.
Before they were famous, many truly influential men and women started by serving their country in the US military or grew up in military families.

Military Enlistment Goals Decrease, Military Applications Rise

Combine more military job opportunities and rising enlisted pay with cost of living support like Basic Allowance for Housing and health care programs from the VA and Tricare; top it off with expanded education programs despite rising college costs, thanks to the Post 9-11 GI Bill; and you can see why joining the military in the 21st century is so desirable.

Increasing demand to enlist coupled with decreasing military recruitment goals have made entering the military harder, especially when it comes to joining the armed forces using an enlistment waiver.


Throughout military history, acceptance of enlistment waivers was a common practice, especially for Army recruits. With enlistment waivers, certain army disqualifications were often excused, on a case-by-base basis, in order to meet monthly military recruitment goals. In the past, standard disqualifications such as low ASVAB scores, age, even criminal history, would be set aside in order to enlist more recruits, as needed.

Characterizing a new era in military recruitment, recruitment exceptions are becoming fewer and less commonplace. In response to consistently increasing applicants to join the U.S. military, waiver candidates are being put on a back burner by recruitment officers.


As the primary source of funds for the military, Congress is responsible for setting the maximum size of each military branch in conjunction with the annual military budget. The number of military personnel is directly related to the budget which supports military salaries, benefits, and accommodations.

Congress adjusts the maximum military personnel number in accordance with the needs of U.S. military operations. For example, in 2006 Congress increased the size of our active duty Army and Marine Corps in order to create a short-term rise in retention goals. However, retention of military personnel is a problem of the past: for 2010, both Army and Marine Corps services have reached their maximum authorized personnel requirements, and years ahead of schedule.


By March 2010, the Reserve recruited 1,898 new enlistees, which is 111 percent of its annual goal of 1,714. The Reserve reduced its annual goal from 20,000 new recruits to 17,000 overall. The Army Reserve is working to balance recruiting and retention rates while keeping within the Congress-authorized personnel numbers, reducing its recruiting goal by 3,000. The Navy and Air Force however, have increased their recruit numbers. The Army, Marine Corps and Coast Guard have also decreased their limit for activated reserve recruits, resulting in a 1,323 Reservist decrease.
The US military traditionally presents a viable option for strong, able bodied men and women who wish to serve their country and leverage the advantages of being part of a stable, well-cared for family of military servicemembers. If you've been considering enlisting, it now may be time to make that choice a reality; for the future, it may be first come, first served.


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