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    Army National Guard Can’t Retain Enough Soldiers, Even as Active Duty Meets Goals

    Army National Guard Can't Retain Enough Soldiers, Even as Active Duty Meets Goals

    It was a celebratory moment for the in April when it hit its retention goal for the fourth year in a row. The achievement signaled that, despite a historic recruiting slump, once soldiers are in, they like the service and tend to stay.

    “I do love our soldiers. They joined a great team, and I can say for the last four years, every time they've joined the team, they stayed on the team,” Sergeant Major of the Army Michael Grinston, the service's top enlisted leader, said at a recent ceremony.

    But the reality is the opposite in the Army National Guard, which is optimistic about hitting its recruiting goals this year but is struggling to retain talent.

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    The active-duty part of the Army retained 55,000 soldiers who were otherwise scheduled to leave the service. The Army National Guard seeks to retain 37,000 soldiers and has hit only about 63% of that goal, according to data provided to .com. Last year, the Army Guard was short 14% of its retention goal.

    The fiscal year doesn't end until October. In some cases, troops on the fence about continuing their service might hold out for reenlistment incentives.

    But Guard soldiers may have different factors to weigh than their active-duty counterparts, such as how they juggle their part-time service with their full-time civilian careers. The demands in recent years have gotten…

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