Challenges Surface for the Department of Defense

Challenges surface for the Department of Defense Tuesday.

Army recruitment numbers nationwide fell short for the third straight month. As of the end of April, recruiters enlisted 16% fewer than their goal.

In Wisconsin it's much the same story.

The Milwaukee Recruiting Battalion put in about 1250 new soldiers last year, compared to only 1100 this year.

But Madison's story is different.

"Things have been pretty good for us," says Sergeant First Class Brett Fischer, "We get a lot of traffic in and out on a regular basis. I'd say compared to last year traffic is up."

Fischer has been recruiting for 11 years. He says while statewide numbers are down, Madison numbers are up.

He says, "We're given a goal to achieve monthly and we do everything we can to legally and morally achieve those goals."

But the New York Times is reporting a different story in different states.

In an article published Tuesday some recruiters were accused of resorting to unethical and illegal methods of recruitment.

Military officials in Wisconsin say that doesn't happen here.

"Recruiting as a whole has always been a challenge especially in this area in Wisconsin," says Fischer, "But right now it's no more difficult than it had been 10 years ago for me."

The accusations come as Joint Chiefs Chairman Richard Myers warns Congress that military forces may be unable to meet expectations in fighting another war.

"Our ground combat power, the Army and Marine Corps are at their limit," says NBC news analyst Barry McCaffrey, "We cannot sustain another operation."

Back at home, the somber new of both military risk and recruitment doesn't affect Fischer's goal of making the Army all it can be.

"Anytime a recruiter would see a reduction in the numbers nationwide it might trigger some alarms and some concerns," he says, "But we're just going to keep doing what we can do to put quality men and women in the United States Army."

Recruitment numbers for the Army Reserve are also down. The Army reports enlisting 21% fewer than it's goal.

Currently Wisconsin's National Guard is at 94% strength.

All say the numbers are climbing.

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