[Marxism] Army: Low Morale and Reenlistment Problems

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at osu.edu
Tue Apr 6 06:08:49 MDT 2004


*****   In Army Survey, Troops in Iraq Report Low Morale
By Thomas E. Ricks
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, March 26, 2004; Page A18

A slim majority of Army soldiers in Iraq -- 52 percent -- reported 
that their morale was low, and three-fourths of them said they felt 
poorly led by their officers, according to a survey taken at the end 
of the summer and released yesterday by the Army.

In addition, seven in 10 of those surveyed characterized the morale 
of their fellow soldiers as low or very low. The problems were most 
pronounced among lower-ranking troops and those in reserve units.

"Nearly 75% of the groups reported that their battalion-level command 
leadership was poor" and showed "a lack of concern" for their 
soldiers, said an Army report accompanying the data. "Unit cohesion 
was also reported to be low."  . . .

<http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A25127-2004Mar25.html>   *****

*****   Army Spouses Expect Reenlistment Problems
By Thomas E. Ricks
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, March 28, 2004; Page A01

. . . This change [to extended, or repeated, deployments] is 
reflected in a recent poll conducted by The Washington Post, the 
Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard University, and in 
dozens of supplemental interviews. The poll, the first 
nongovernmental survey of military spouses conducted since the 
terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, included more than 1,000 spouses 
living on or near the 10 heaviest-deploying Army bases.  . . .

The strain on troops and their families has led some in Congress to 
advocate a big boost in the size of the active-duty Army, which 
stands at about 485,000 troops.

The Pentagon is planning to add 30,000 soldiers over the next several 
years, but before agreeing to further expansion, it wants to see 
whether the other steps it is taking will ease the strain. Most 
notably, the Pentagon is reorganizing divisions to expand the number 
of the Army's deployable brigades from 33 to 48. In addition, the 
Army has announced a new policy under which troops will serve longer 
tours at bases, permitting their families to put down deeper roots.

The question is whether those steps will be sufficient. "There's no 
way to know for sure," said Tom Donnelly, a former staff member of 
the House Armed Services Committee. Donnelly said he expects that 
2005 will be "the make-or-break year," as some soldiers who have 
already served in Iraq for a year are sent back for a second tour. . 
. .

About 76 percent of those polled said they believe the Army is 
heading for personnel problems as soldiers and their families tire of 
the post-9/11 pace and leave the service.

And yet, the same percentage said that, knowing what they know now 
about the Army, they would do it all over again. . . .

A strong minority of military wives want no part of that frequent-flier life.

About half of those polled said they expect their spouses to 
reenlist, and that they will support the decision. But about three in 
10 said that they are certain their spouses will get out -- and that 
they want that to happen.

. . . Currently, he said, about 50 percent of soldiers leave at the 
end of their first term. . . .

<http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A28977-2004Mar27.html>   *****

Coping at Home: Select Poll Questions: 
<http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/nation/daily/graphics/militaryPoll_032704.html>
Full Post/Kaiser/Harvard Poll (PDF): 
<http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/polls/vault/stories/poll_militaryfamilies.pdf>
Methodology: 
<http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/polls/vault/stories/militaryfamilies_methodology.pdf>
-- 
Yoshie

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