But looks like the world is sometimes more complicated than we think. From industry newsletter Inside the Pentagon [sub required]:
The Army’s most junior enlisted ranks have been shrinking in number since Sept. 11, 2001, despite service reports that the terrorist attacks prompted an initial surge in recruiting and re-enlistment, according to Defense Department data obtained by Inside the Pentagon.
Army leaders have acknowledged problems this year in achieving their recruiting goals, with many defense analysts blaming the ongoing turmoil in Iraq as a significant disincentive for many contemplating military service. But the defense data show serious drops in new recruits and privates not only predating the war in Iraq but going back as far as fall 2001.
[B]etween Oct. 1, 2001, and Oct. 1, 2002, the lowest-ranking grade -- those designated E-1 recruits -- shrank by 32 percent, dropping from 31,220 strong shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks to 21,246 just one year later. The body of newly recruited active-duty Army soldiers dropped again the following year, with the service losing another 7.6 percent for a total of 19,629 new recruits at the outset of fiscal year 2004.