Accession Number:



Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Director, The Impact of Recruiting and Retention on Future Army End Strength: An Interim Report.

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:


Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



The Armys ability to recruit and retain service members will directly affect its ability to maintain the force levels required to continue conducting operations in Iraq and Afghanistan while simultaneously converting to a new modular structure. In this analysis, the Congressional Budget Office CBO examines the recruiting and retention rates of the Army and the implications of those rates. The analysis concentrates on a single component of the U.S. military the active Army. CBO will prepare a follow-up report in the spring of 2006 that completes the analysis for the remaining Army components the Army Reserve and National Guard, as well as for the other corresponding service branches the Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps and their various components. CBO focuses on the active Army in this report because it is the only active component that did not achieve its recruiting goals in fiscal year 2005, falling short of its goal of 80,000 accessions by 6,600 accessions, or 8 percent. This report concentrates on attaining end-strength goals as a metric of the Army s ability to sustain operations and convert to a modular structure. In turn, there are two key determinants of future end-strength levels the number of soldiers accessed each year and the continuation rates of existing soldiers. Accessions and continuation are related in a complex way. A trained soldier who separates from the Army must be replaced by more than one accession to account for recruits who separate during training or during their first few years of service. CBO finds that if the accession levels and continuation rates from 2005 were to continue for the next five years, the Army s end strength would decline over that period. As discussed below, the Army has the authority to increase end strength to 512,400 service members.

Subject Categories:

  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations

Distribution Statement: