WASHINGTON (AP) -- All four of the main military services are having trouble attracting recruits to their reserve forces, though only the Army is falling short in attracting people for its active-duty ranks.
The shortfall is significant because more than ever, the part-timers of the National Guard and Reserve are crucial to the overall military. They provide nearly half of the U.S. force in Iraq and most of the U.S. peacekeeping contingent in Kosovo.
The Army National Guard is 24 percent behind its recruiting target through May, the Army Reserve and the Air National Guard 20 percent each and the Navy Reserve 12 percent, according to Pentagon figures released Friday.
Only the Air Force Reserve is significantly ahead of its goal, at 117 percent of the total it expected through May. The Marine Corps Reserve, which fell short in May, is at 100 percent of its year-to-date goal.
The slippage in Air National Guard and Navy Reserve recruiting has been largely overshadowed by the more serious struggles of the Army's active and reserve forces.