Army Desertion Rate up 80% Since '03

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by firebird, Nov 16, 2007.

  1. firebird

    firebird New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2005
    Messages:
    1,233
    Location:
    In the recesses of my little mind...
    Army desertion rate up 80 pct. since '03
    By LOLITA C. BALDOR, Associated Press Writer
    16 November 2007


    Soldiers strained by six years at war are deserting their posts at the highest rate since 1980, with the number of Army deserters this year showing an 80 percent increase since the United States invaded Iraq in 2003.

    While the totals are still far lower than they were during the Vietnam War, when the draft was in effect, they show a steady increase over the past four years and a 42 percent jump since last year.

    "We're asking a lot of soldiers these days," said Roy Wallace, director of plans and resources for Army personnel. "They're humans. They have all sorts of issues back home and other places like that. So, I'm sure it has to do with the stress of being a soldier."

    The Army defines a deserter as someone who has been absent without leave for longer than 30 days. The soldier is then discharged as a deserter.

    According to the Army, about nine in every 1,000 soldiers deserted in fiscal year 2007, which ended Sept. 30, compared to nearly seven per 1,000 a year earlier. Overall, 4,698 soldiers deserted this year, compared to 3,301 last year.

    The increase comes as the Army continues to bear the brunt of the war demands with many soldiers serving repeated, lengthy tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Military leaders — including Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey — have acknowledged that the Army has been stretched nearly to the breaking point by the combat. Efforts are under way to increase the size of the Army and Marine Corps to lessen the burden and give troops more time off between deployments.

    "We have been concentrating on this," said Wallace. "The Army can't afford to throw away good people. We have got to work with those individuals and try to help them become good soldiers."

    Still, he noted that "the military is not for everybody, not everybody can be a soldier." And those who want to leave the service will find a way to do it, he said.

    While the Army does not have an up-to-date profile of deserters, more than 75 percent of them are soldiers in their first term of enlistment. And most are male.

    Soldiers can sign on initially for two to six years. Wallace said he did not know whether deserters were more likely to be those who enlisted for a short or long tour.

    At the same time, he said that even as desertions have increased, the Army has seen some overall success in keeping first-term soldiers in the service.

    There are four main ways that soldiers can leave the Army before their first enlistment contract is up:

    _They are determined unable to meet physical fitness requirements.

    _They are found to be unable to adapt to the military.

    _They say they are gay and are required to leave under the so-called "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

    _They go AWOL.

    According to Wallace, in the summer of 2005, more than 18 percent of the soldiers in their first six months of service left under one of those four provisions. In June 2007, that number had dropped to about 7 percent.

    The decline, he said, is largely due to a drop in the number of soldiers who leave due to physical fitness or health reasons.

    Army desertion rates have fluctuated since the Vietnam War — when they peaked at 5 percent. In the 1970s they hovered between 1 and 3 percent, which is up to three out of every 100 soldiers. Those rates plunged in the 1980s and early 1990s to between 2 and 3 out of every 1,000 soldiers.

    Desertions began to creep up in the late 1990s into the turn of the century, when the U.S. conducted an air war in Kosovo and later sent peacekeeping troops there.

    The numbers declined in 2003 and 2004, in the early years of the Iraq war, but then began to increase steadily.

    In contrast, the Navy has seen a steady decline in deserters since 2001, going from 3,665 that year to 1,129 in 2007.

    The Marine Corps, meanwhile, has seen the number of deserters stay fairly stable over that timeframe — with about 1,000 deserters a year. During 2003 and 2004 — the first two years of the Iraq war — the number of deserters fell to 877 and 744, respectively.

    The Air Force can tout the fewest number of deserters — with no more than 56 bolting in each of the past five years. The low was in fiscal 2007, with just 16 deserters.

    Despite the continued increase in Army desertions, however, an Associated Press examination of Pentagon figures earlier this year showed that the military does little to find those who bolt, and rarely prosecutes the ones they find. Some are allowed to simply return to their units, while most are given less-than-honorable discharges.

    "My personal opinion is the only way to stop desertions is to change the climate ... how they are living and doing what they need to do," said Wallace, adding that good officers and more attention from Army leaders could "go a long way to stemming desertions."

    Unlike those in the Vietnam era, deserters from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars may not find Canada a safe haven.

    Just this week, the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear the appeals of two Army deserters who sought refugee status to avoid the war in Iraq. The ruling left them without a legal basis to stay in Canada and dealt a blow to other Americans in similar circumstances.

    The court, as is usual, did not provide a reason for the decision.

    ___
  2. Bruce FLinch

    Bruce FLinch New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2005
    Messages:
    5,015
    Location:
    Bay Point, Kali..aka Gun Point
    Bummer. I also heard suicides were way up. It was blamed on not mentally screening recruits well enough. We are talking about hundreds of thousands of people total. So the percentage is still possibly acceptable? IMHO, maybe the attitude of the Congress, Media & Liberals is undermining the morale of the troops.
  3. lohki13

    lohki13 Former Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2006
    Messages:
    417
    Location:
    The Batcave
    A lot of my friends who are over seas say it is because the ones who come back needing help mentally aren't getting it.
  4. dcd_enterprises

    dcd_enterprises New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    Messages:
    1,311
    Location:
    Wheatland, Iowa

    This is still overall less than a 1% desertion rate. I am surprised it is ever that low. There are better than 1% of civilians in everyday America that go astray. I think this is a point to show that we do indeed have the best of the best.

    Well Duh...just in terms of percentage, most of those serving are male.

    This is more than 5 times the current rate. Those who deserved the most dishonor here were those who didn't present themselves for the draft in the first place...Hello Mr. Hillary Clinton...

    I can't imagine there would be any deserters under Clinton in the 90's, and who was it in the late 70's...oh yeah, that peanut farmer...Carter. They were nothing but supportive of the military:D... Why would anyone ever run out of great military cutters like these?

    Kinda funny they don't have any numbers from the '80's, When Regan had the largest and fastest military buildup since the Second World War, thereby winning the Cold War. Numbers probably didn't fit the press' template of Military...especially US Military=Focus of Evil in the World. If they had their way they would probably onor each and every man who deserted.

    Best news I heard all day.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2007
  5. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2003
    Messages:
    2,948
    Location:
    Depends on Uncle Sam's whim every 3 yrs.
    Those numbers are very very misleading.

    The Army includes initial entry Soldiers (IET/BCT) in their numbers. They technically aren't Soldiers yet until they graduate Basic Combat Training (for combat support MOS's) or One Station Unit Training (for combat arms).

    There are recruits who were in the Army a week or two, went AWOL over 30 days, and are now classified as deserters. This happens alot.

    People who joined but never even got training, not didn't deployed but never even did anything but get issued uniforms, desert for lots of reasons all the time (I've seen plenty go AWOL to try to get their girlfriend back lol) and their childish behavior fudges the actual number of real qualified fully trained fully capable Soldiers who have deserted.

    Don't let the media spin get ya twisted.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2007
  6. dcd_enterprises

    dcd_enterprises New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    Messages:
    1,311
    Location:
    Wheatland, Iowa
    Those low numbers that the media was forced to put out were low enough, and your fact here will make it even lower. Appreciate it, Delta.
  7. glocknut

    glocknut New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2003
    Messages:
    12,490
    Location:
    THE FORUM MASCOTT...
    Quote:
    "Despite the continued increase in Army desertions, however, an Associated Press examination of Pentagon figures earlier this year showed that the military does little to find those who bolt, and ......"


    That seems disturbing to me? What if there was foul play...and they don't look for them?? Sheesh.....

    mike
    gn
  8. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2003
    Messages:
    2,948
    Location:
    Depends on Uncle Sam's whim every 3 yrs.
    Another thing...

    The standards have changed as far as recruiting goes and a greater portion of the population has been made possible to join. A lot of old rules about tattoos, certain criminal records, certain drug use, single parents etc etc have been loosened to taylor to modern times. Some say this is very bad, but then again every American has the right to atleast volunteer to fight for America...and some people with a questionable past turn into great Soldiers, so I'd rather not argue the merit...but just state it is a fact that a different pool is being recruited from.

    What that means though is that a lot more people are joining who were not ready to do it. Once you're in...you're stuck 99% of the time because you made a contract with the American government and an oath to her people to defend the constitution. So some go AWOL and get dropped from rolls (DFR status) a.k.a. deserted.

    Of course when you are recruiting more people not up to the challenge then more are going to desert. The war has very little to do with it. These people fudging the stats usually don't even make it to week-3 of BCT so they never even fired a weapon in training!
  9. firebird

    firebird New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2005
    Messages:
    1,233
    Location:
    In the recesses of my little mind...
    I agree, the numbers are misleading
  10. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2003
    Messages:
    2,948
    Location:
    Depends on Uncle Sam's whim every 3 yrs.
    That is also misleading. Even laughable.

    If a crime occurs leading up to a desertion/AWOL...military CID investigates and US Marshals has jurisdiction to pursue them. Most are caught by local LE anyway though. They are turned over to the nearest military installation etc etc for processing and court martial etc etc.

    Those that just go AWOL and desert: "military does little to find those who bolt". Very funny.

    The military doesn't have to do anything but add their SSN to the national database!

    If a deserter opens a check account, applies for a job, files taxes, renews a license, applies for a loan, runs a credit check, files an insurance claim, goes to the doctor...well you get the picture! When their SSN pops up, they decide then when to go get them.

    Honestly most deserters I've seen busted and brought back were caught by being pulled over by police for traffic violations or turned in by their family.
  11. firebird

    firebird New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2005
    Messages:
    1,233
    Location:
    In the recesses of my little mind...
    That's why I post these articles: I obviously have my own thoughts and opinions, but I want to hear others'. :)
  12. Interesting information in your posts to this thread, Delta. There are always going to be some "mama's boys" who should never have joined the service in the first place. It is equally obvious, as you point out, that in wartime, when manpower demands are much higher, the standards are going to be relaxed to some extent and thus a greater number of less fit, or even unfit, recruits will end up in the ranks, at least temporarily. The beauty of the military system though, is that most of the time these types get weeded out fairly quickly. Either they desert (Article 85) and end up with BCDs and a prison term, or end up classified as UA (Article 86) and a general discharge. Either way, good riddance to them!
  13. firebird

    firebird New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2005
    Messages:
    1,233
    Location:
    In the recesses of my little mind...
    Back in the day, my dad was drafted into the Army. Now he's a Disabled Veteran. He always said the Army had a way of dealing with "issues" within the ranks. I imagine it isn't all that different today.
  14. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2003
    Messages:
    2,948
    Location:
    Depends on Uncle Sam's whim every 3 yrs.
    We say it's like making swords lol

    You only use the best steel...the rest is for nails.

    That old saying "The hottest fire forges the hardest steel" is part of the training doctrine. Things that look like iron, but aren't, tends to burn away lol
  15. firebird

    firebird New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2005
    Messages:
    1,233
    Location:
    In the recesses of my little mind...
    :D:D:D
Similar Threads
Forum Title Date
General Discussion The Biggest Army Aug 28, 2014
General Discussion Army Wants a Harder-Hitting Pistol Jul 3, 2014
General Discussion Inside The Army's Hidden Treasure Roon Feb 24, 2014
General Discussion ARMY-NAVY surplus stores, anyone go shopping there? Jan 5, 2014
General Discussion Best range day since the Army Jul 24, 2013

Share This Page