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Luckey: Recruiting ‘On the Mark’ This Year

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U.S. Army
Friday, February 01, 2019

Targeted programs and incentives have helped the U.S. Army Reserve get on track to meet this year’s recruiting goal, and retention is “better than we’ve done in years,” said Lt. Gen. Charles D. Luckey, chief of the Army Reserve and commander of the U.S. Army Reserve Command.

At just under 190,000 soldiers, the U.S. Army Reserve is below its authorized strength of 199,500, but “doing better than we were four or five months ago,” he said, and “about right on the mark” with efforts to recruit new soldiers.

“From a retention perspective, we’re actually doing better than we’ve done in years. We’re at an all-time high,” Luckey said in remarks at a recent breakfast hosted by the Defense Writers Group, a program of George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs Project for Media and National Security.

As chief of the Army Reserve, Luckey faces the same challenges as the Army’s other two components, each of which missed recruiting missions in fiscal 2018. The Regular Army finished the year on Oct. 1 short by 6,528 from its goal of 76,500 accessions. The Army National Guard fell 9,713 short of its 44,342 goal. The Army Reserve was 4,273 short of its 15,600 goal.

Soldiers who enter the Army Reserve tend to come from the Regular Army and, as such, are more seasoned.

“We create opportunities for soldiers from the active component and the Guard to continue to develop and get promoted,” Luckey said, adding that it leads to a “slightly more mature force in terms of age and grade and that creates some opportunity for leaders and soldiers.”