In the four months since Iraq invaded Kuwait, the Utah Air National Guard has seen a drop in re-enlistments, while the Utah Army National Guard is signing fewer high school students.
"The number of people choosing to leave the Utah Air National Guard at the end of their enlistments is higher than normal, but it hasn't been a hemorrhage by any stretch of the imagination," Maj. Roger Gillespie said.Lt. Col. Don Spradling of the Army National Guard said, "We've seen a change in enlistments. The people we have in here are sticking with us."
And, while fewer high school seniors and new graduates are signing up, Spradling said, "we're seeing more people with previous experience. The veterans are coming back in."
The Utah National Guard has about 6,200 members; the Air Guard about 1,600. Of those, nearly 560 have been activated this fall as part of Operation Desert Shield.
Members of the Utah Air National Guard's 151st Air Refueling Group volunteered for service and have been rotating in and out of the Persian Gulf area.
Since August, Gillespie said, the number of people leaving the Utah Air National Guard has averaged about 22 per month, up from the historic average of 16.