In the recent times, especially since the horrible terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centers in 2001, the global scenario for retention and recruiting forces has changed dramatically specially with a vowed stance taken by the United States of America against the prevailing waves and effects of global terrorism. There is not a single country which is not concerned with the issue of terrorism both local and international.
AS such there is much attention being paid to the processes of retention and recruitment of armed forces across the globe. This is due to the fact that more security concerns have been raised throughout the world regarding the lives of common citizens as well as the security of national and international concerns. As the world sees with a critical eye the need for better security, the issues related to armed forces in recruitment and retention have raised a great deal of voice.
The present world specially the US faces a number of critical problems, challenges, and issues in this regard. The present paper closely examines the issues of recruitment and retention of armed forces in the US and brings forth recommendation and suggestions as the end of the paper in order to contribute to the existing literature of recruiting and retention-related matters not only for the US but also for any country of the world. Recruitment and Retention: and Overview
According to Kearl, Horne, and Gilroy (p. 68, 1990), the recruitment and retention processes have been “sensitive to fluctuation in labor market conditions” and there are a number of factors directly and/or indirectly related to retaining and recruiting of forces in a country. Budgetary considerations, declining youth population, and outside challenges all affect recruiting and retention process of forces. Throughout the 1980s, however, the quality of recruitment went high remarkably.
This was due to the fact that more and more high school graduates passed the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT). “By 1986, 92 percent of all the Army enlistments were high school graduates and 67 percent scored above the 50th percentile on the AFQT” (p. 68). When we switched back to the world war era, we find that the general public was eager to serve in the army and believed that the state had a constitutional right to bid the public to serve in the forces.
However, by the end of the Vietnam war this belief seemed to crack to hollow slogans which was a kind of catalyst to the number of issues to be faced by the authorities in the recruiting and retention process of forces (Burk, p. 48, 2001). On this very issue, Abrams and Bacevich (p. 18, 2001) state that now the tradition of citizen-soldier is long dead. It is because of the trends changing in nature and modern war, and US war strategies that have considerably changed since the end of Cold War. Cultural change also played a role in this process.