Recruiting is still up across the board, according to the latest Pentagon figures that cover the month of July. Staying way ahead, for the sixth month in a row, is the Air National Guard, which achieved 129 percent of accessions compared to its goal. Next closest is the active Marine Corps at 117 percent. In July, each active and reserve component met or exceeded its recruiting goal. The gone-south economy has trumped predictions by defense officials earlier this fiscal year that it would be a tough year.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.