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Will It Last?

Nov. 16, 2006—The numbers of young people who say they probably or definitely will serve in the military rose following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, dipped slightly the following year, and spiked by November 2003, as the euphoria over Saddam Hussein’s downfall ended and the US settled into what has become the “long war.” The data from a recent report by the Congressional Budget Office also indicates that through December 2005, the propensity of youth to serve is leveling off although it is still slightly higher than before 9/11. As CBO points out, “For the first time, the military is recruiting and retaining an all-volunteer force during a drawn-out war.” With that in mind, the recruiting market actually looks fairly healthy, but will it last?

Source: “Recruiting, Retention, and Future Levels of Military Personnel,” Congressional Budget Office, October 2006.