My Nominee for the No Shit Sherlock Award

From Holden:

The Guard can’t seem to convince enough people to sign up as cannon fodder:

In the latest signs of strains on the military from the war in Iraq, the Army National Guard announced on Thursday that it had fallen 30 percent below its recruiting goals in the last two months and would offer new incentives, including enlistment bonuses of up to $15,000.

In addition, the head of the National Guard Bureau, Lt. Gen. H Steven Blum, said on Thursday that he needed $20 billion to replace arms and equipment destroyed in Iraq and Afghanistan or left there for other Army and Air Guard units to use, so that returning reservists will have enough equipment to deal with emergencies at home.

The sharp decline in recruiting is significant because National Guard and Army Reserve soldiers now make up nearly 40 percent of the 148,000 troops in Iraq, and are a vital source for filling the ranks, particularly those who perform essential support tasks, like truck drivers and military police.


General Blum’s remarks come just a few days after the chief of the Army Reserve, Lt. Gen. James R. Helmly, told The Dallas Morning News that the Army Reserve recruiting was in a “precipitous decline” that if unchecked could inspire renewed debate over the draft. General Helmly told the newspaper that he personally opposed reviving the draft.

For the first two months of the fiscal year 2005, which started Oct. 1, the Army Reserve has also stumbled, falling 315 recruits short of its goal of 3,170 soldiers, a drop of 10 percent.

In November, the Guard recruited 2,902 enlistees, about 26 percent below its target of 3,925 recruits. In October and November combined, the Guard recruited 5,448 enlistees, nearly 30 percent below its goal of 7,600. At full strength, the Guard has 350,000 soldiers.

In the 2004 fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30, the Guard missed its overall recruiting target of 56,000 soldiers by more than 5,000, the first time it had missed its yearly goal since 1994.

And tacked onto the end of the Guard article in the Times I found this gem:

A soldier on leave has been accused of having his cousin shoot him so he would not have to return to Iraq, the police say.

The soldier, Specialist Marquise J. Roberts, 23, of Hinesville, Ga., suffered a minor wound to his left leg from a .22-caliber pistol on Tuesday, the police said. Specialist Roberts was treated at a hospital, then arrested after he and his cousin admitted having made up a story about the shooting, the authorities said.

After giving differing accounts of the incident, “they just broke down and confessed that they concocted the whole story so he didn’t have to go back to the war,” Lt. James Clark of the Philadelphia police department said on Thursday.