Pentagon says 2008 military recruiting best since 1973

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WASHINGTON — The Pentagon's personnel chief said Tuesday the military has completed its best recruiting year since 1973, meeting all its goals and bringing in a better educated group of young people.

The Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps met goals for active duty and reserve recruiting during the budget year ended Sept. 30 — the first time that has happened since the all-volunteer force was established, said Defense Department head of personnel Bill Carr...

... He said studies show that those born between 1978 and 1996 "are more inclined toward service to society. That's a good thing, because that means we start off stronger with a given group of young people."

There also are factors that limit the pool from which the military must draw roughly 300,000 recruits each year. Some 70 percent of American high school students go on to college now, compared with only half in the 1980s. And one in four in the prime recruiting age of 17 to 24 are obese, raising fitness questions, compared with one in 20 in the 1980s, Carr said.

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