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Last updated 11:52PM ET
March 8, 2021
Alabama Guard Exceeds Troop Goals
(APR - Alabama Public Radio ) - The Alabama Army National Guard paid $20 million last year in bonuses. Now that investment apparently is showing results. The Guard has exceeded its troop strength goal for the current fiscal year.

For the current fiscal year, which began October First, the Guard's goal was to have 11,350 soldiers in its ranks. By March 31st, it had 11,384, according to Colonel Glenn Cottles, head of the state Army Guard's 22nd Recruitment and Retention Battalion.

It's the first time since fiscal 1993 that the Guard has exceeded what the military calls its "end strength" goal.

From October First through March 31st, the Guard added 1,019 soldiers and lost 871.

Cottles also says the Guard is continuing to bring in first-time soldiers and is on a pace to sign up about 2,000 this year. And, he says, four of five soldiers who have completed their first Guard term are re-enlisting.

Financial incentives for new soldiers and those Guard members who bring them are some of the keys behind the recruiting surge.

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