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Corps Exceeds '07 Recruiting Goal
Stars and Stripes  |  October 08, 2007
ARLINGTON, Va. - The Marine Corps ended fiscal 2007 with more than 186,000 Marines, surpassing its goal of 184,000, Corps officials said.

That means the Corps is on track to grow to 202,000 Marines by fiscal 2011, which will help give Marines two months at home for every month in combat, officials told reporters on Thursday.

The Corps' plan calls for the Corps increasing to 189,000 Marines by the end of fiscal 2008; 194,000 Marines by fiscal 2009; 199,000 Marines by fiscal 2010; and 202,000 Marines by fiscal 2011.

Asked if the Corps might reach 202,000 before fiscal 2011, a Corps official said the Corps is facing an "unprecedented" recruiting challenge.

"To suggest that we do it faster scares us even more," the official said. "We had a very successful year. We made our recruiting goals; we exceeded [them] by a small amount. ... But we think we are pushing the maximum of our capability."

For fiscal 2007, the Corps signed up 35,603 recruits, which is 27 more than the Corps' fiscal 2007 goal, the official said.

The official stressed that the Corps did not lower its standards to get more recruits.

"Quality begets quality; that's one of the mantras of our recruiters," the official said.

Also in fiscal 2007, the Corps reenlisted 7,668 Marines who faced their first re-enlistment opportunity, known as first-term Marines, and 10,027 Marines who have already re-enlisted at least once , officials said. Friday.

That translates into 31 percent of eligible first-term Marines and 70 percent of eligible Marines who have already re-enlisted at least once, compared with 22 percent and 65 percent respectively in fiscal 2006, officials said Thursday.

Several retention incentives announced for fiscal 2007 will continue into this fiscal year, including eliminating restrictions on how many Marines approaching their first re-enlistment can stay with the Corps - known as "boat spaces," officials said.

Selective re-enlistment bonuses will continue to be offered on a flat rate with a $10,000 re-enlistment incentive rolled into the bonus itself, officials said.

Any further re-enlistment incentives would be announced in forthcoming Marine corps administrative Messages, an official said.

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