Thursday, June 30, 2005

ten bucks says someone is lying

(welcome Eschaton Magazine readers)
(there are updates at the bottom of the post)

here's the latest news on army recruiting:
" For the first time since January, the Army met its monthly recruiting goal in June, but still faces what some senior Army officials say is a nearly insurmountable shortfall to meet the service's annual quota.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Richard B. Myers, told a town-hall meeting at the Pentagon today that the Army had exceeded its June quota, but gave no details. Senior Army officials said in interviews earlier in the day that the Army had exceeded the goal of 5,650 recruits by about 500 people.

Recruiting woes plaguing the Army and the Marine Corps, partly over parental concerns about the war in Iraq, have raised such concerns among members of Congress that the Senate Armed Services Committee has summoned General Myers and the Army and Marine Corps chiefs to testify on Thursday." LINK
ok - so as always its a bit difficult to work through the spin - but does anyone actually believe this nonsense?

unless june is typically 30% worse than May for some seasonal reasons, then they are simply lying through their teeth again. we know from last month that the May target was 8050, and now we are expected to believe that the june target was always 5650? is there a journo on the planet with access to the internet and an abacus?

in fact, when they reduced the May target, they maintained the full year target and were just "re-allocating" the 1350 across the remaining months - June, July, August and Spetember - some of which were presumably stuffed into the June recruiting budget.

similarly, i'd have to think that if they really got 10% more than their budget they'd be shouting from the rooftops that they had turned the corner and that all is well in BushWorld and that we are winning the war and all that. the relative silence is deafening.

the latest reports say that recruiting is "7,800 recruits behind schedule to send 80,000 enlistees to boot camp with only three months to go in the recruiting year". last month we were told they were 8,300 behind schedule. if the 7800 number is correct, then i'm wrong in suggesting that they are diddling the figures again. more likely, it would seem to me, is that lazy journalists simply took the 8300 number and then took Myers' at face value when he said that they beat the June target by 500, and they assumed that means that they are now only 7800 behind. if we assume that the original June target was similar to the original May target, then recruiting is actually 10,200 behind schedule

According to this AP article, "The June target was not lowered, officials said." - what the official probably means is that the June target wasnt lowered since it was invisibly lowered last month.

And according to this AP article, "Pentagon officials attributed the increase in recruits to the end of the school year."

As i said, its difficult to work out the spin - but here's what we know, the May target was 8050, and the June target was apparently 30% lower at 5650, *despite* the end of the school year.

It'll be interesting to see what lies they tell i n front of SACS on Thursday, and whether they can keep a straight face.

ten bucks says someone is lying.

__________
update: thanks to a commentator for pointing out this graf from the nyt. pure fiction. apparently nobody signs up in december, and they give the 'revised' May target number, and they seem to be saying that they planned all along for June to be the worst month in the year (excl Dec, which is presumably a spreadsheet error), despite the school-leaver phenomenon



oh yeah, one other thing, they arent releasing the official numbers till july 11. if im not mistaken, the numbers have usually been available at the end of the month, except for the May numbers which they delayed for a couple of weeks till they worked out how to spin them. is that now a precedent ? and if so, why?
___________
update: from usatoday
" The June 2005 goal was more than 1,000 recruits lower than the June 2004 goal." this proves my point that there has been some number-diddling. the annual goal this year is a few percent higher than last year, yet we are expected to believe that the june target was somehow, magically, 20% lower than last year. unadulterated nonsense.

if the reduction in the target was legitimate, the DOD perception management gurus would have pre-announced the change, and explained it in advance. come to think of it, we know that the DOD actuallly does have brilliant perception management (zarqawi, anyone?) - ill happily bet another ten bux that when the official numbers are released in a couple of weeks, they are worse than the 6150 number they are currently touting - 'minor adjustments' and all - maybe they'll release the official numbers late on a friday... in the meantime, the AP headline writers will be screaming about how they beat expectations, and the bend-over journos in the rest of the media will repeat the nonsense. it'd be funny, except...

check back here, then, and ill have the gory details. i can almost promise.

they lie. people die. bastards.
_______
update: a commentor asked "WTF is a "town-hall meeting at the Pentagon?" - its the first one theyve ever had... General Quag Myers must think he has a "PR problem".

________
update - since atrios mentioned Operation Yellow Elephant, you might remember that everyone was recently pointing to a Knight Ridder article about the College Repuglican conference from september last year quoting some of the junior chickenhawks - eg: "Vivian Lee says "Frankly, I want to be a politician. I'd like to survive to see that."

i wrote this post a few days ago noting that the KR article, which had been alive for 9 months, suddenly went silent with a "The requested article was not found." Such is the power of College Repugs. the future looks grim. (and KR was supposed to be the best of a bad bunch)
__________

update: kos noticed the same thing. one of the commentors had this to say: "I'm a librarian and I pride myself on the ability to find information and I have not been able to find any numbers by month for previous years. I also haven't been able to find this year's monthly goals."
i spent much of yesterday looking for these figures and found *nothing* - i thought i was going crazy.

brad delong is also on the story - he linked to me. thanks brad.

needlenose also pointed to me. thnx.
________

btw - does the Recruiting Office have the MinuteMan mailing list? surely they are all patriots...
______

actually, ive just noticed this quaint phrasing from Eric Schmitt's june8 NYT article: "Two recruiters in the New York area... said their mission for June had not been changed, nor had the goals for July, August and September." read that again. the june *mission* hadnt changed, *and* the july/sug/sep quotas hadnt changed. So when he wrote yesterdays article, he *knew* that the goalposts had moved.

____________

i have an update in a new post, here

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

does anyone know if there is a record for Army recruiting goals for the past couple of years or so?
Or longer?

Seems to me there's a lot of fuzzy math/Enron Accounting going on here.

lukery said...

actually im trying to find the may and june 04 numbers, for starters. can anyone help?

itd be nice to see if there was a bump.

Anonymous said...

New York Times has a chart in an article on their homepage with numbers. They don't match up with yours.

Your numbers are what I remember reading last month. How in the hell could a paper like the NYT get snookered? never mind....

Anonymous said...

before they changed the numbers i remember reading that some recruiter saying it would pick up in the summer because of the reason given in the article - kids graduating. interesting that they still had to lower the number despite that...

Anonymous said...

here is the link to the NYT article with the chart.

http://nytimes.com/2005/06/30/national/30recruit.html

SherAn said...

I am not alone! I am not alone! Ha! Earlier when I first heard the report I thought "it stinks." Yep, they're lying. They were short, what, some 42 percent last month as I recall, but suddenly they're only about 1700 below target for the entire fiscal year (because they're 500 over target for June) and that coming after four stinkingly poor months of recruiting deficits? No way, Jose. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to puzzle that one out, or a alumus of Mensa.

Anonymous said...

yeah.. this is some pretty sad goings-on, i must agree. there was a post about all this news over at PowerLine and as soon as i read it i sent John Hinderaker (the poster) a letter about how ridiculous he was being. i am also interested in getting the real numbers on the past few months as well as some historical perspective. if you're interested in my letter, see relavent post at my blog: http://galexkeene.wornpath.net

- galexkeene

nova silverpill said...

the google cache does not lie.

http://64.233.179.104/search?q=cache:Pa84fs2jlt4J:www.realcities.com/mld/krwashington/9556221.htm+&hl=en&start=1&client=safari

fucking morons. you'd think college republicans would have heard of a company whose stock price is over $300.

Ron said...

Well, if Myers said it, it has to be an outright lie. this is the Army equivalent of Bush, just a fucking liar every time he opens his stupid yap. Benedict Arnold Myers.

Anonymous said...

Huh?

"The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Richard B. Myers, told a town-hall meeting at the Pentagon"

WTF is a "town-hall meeting at the Pentagon?"

Anonymous said...

I noted the missing article on the KR website and emailed them with a copy to post again, in case they've lost it. I reminded them that maintaining regular backups is a good policy.

Jonathan Kelley said...

Well, if the article posted by Atrios is right, the army is basically going to have to make it 11,000 per month for the next 3 months, regardless of what their "official" goals are. The article points out that 9,250 is the top goal for any month. So they're gonna have to beat their top-maximum goal by 20% each month. And Myers is crowing about going over this month by less than 10%?

Whatever, I don't care, I don't major in math.

Arcane said...

Look at this DoD page that has the numbers for Oct 1 2004 - May 31 2005.

Says for Army,
Actual = 40964
Target = 49285

If June is
Actual = 6150
Target = 5650

Then Year To Date is
Actual = 47114
Target = 54935

But they're still promising to get to 80,000 by end of year, which is Sept. 30.

So, their target level has to be 8,355 per month for the remaining 3 months and to hit that plus make up for the shortfall, it does come to the 11,000 per month figure (10962 to be more precise).

Obviously, that ain't gonna happen.

Gadfly said...

Hey, how do we know the Army isn't also double dipping on deferred recruitments???

You know, some kid signs up in December but doesn't actually start his hitch in May. How do we know this isn't being counted twice?

According to my sister, who's Army Reserve, this shit happens all the time when people request and are granted unit transfers. The old unit keeps them on the books to keep unit strength numbers up.

Liberalpalooza said...

CNN Article

The above article from June 9th mentions they had lowered their MAY goal 1350 to 6700. It also mentions remaining goals for the year range from 5,650 to 9,250 a month. But they would need to get more than 9760 each month to reach 80,000 by end of September.

So it appears they've lowered monthly goals (and probably lowered June early in the month or last month) but not their annual goal. So even reaching monthly goals won't make their annual goal. Creative accounting.

The Big Hit said...

nice post...

Anonymous said...

Would an Army general lie? (Of course he would!) The Army and USMC have developed an new brand of math, where they simply declare that their recruiting goal was about 500 bodies less than what ever low-lying fruit ends up on their doorstep. Since the SCLM ask no questions--recruiting dilemma solved!

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