Americans offer shorter tour of duty to combat recruitment crisis

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The Independent US

The US Army, which has been failing to sign sufficient recruits, is to offer a reduced tour of duty lasting just 15 months rather than the usual four years.

The US Army, which has been failing to sign sufficient recruits, is to offer a reduced tour of duty lasting just 15 months rather than the usual four years.

Maj-Gen Michael Rochelle, in charge of army recruitment, said the war in Iraq had helped to create the "toughest recruiting climate ever faced by the all-volunteer army". In addition to the concern about the almost 1,600 US troops killed in Iraq, the economy is strong enough to offer other job prospects.

Maj-Gen Rochelle said some young people might want to serve the country but did not want to dedicate the amount of time required by the normal four-year active-duty enlistment. They will be offered the option of serving 15 months on active duty after completing their training, then two years in the Army Reserve or National Guard.

America abolished the draft in 1973 during the tumult of the Vietnam War era. The army has missed recruiting targets the past three months, falling short by 42 per cent in April.

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