LINCOLN (AP) - The Nebraska Army National Guard is working to retain more of its soldiers as the war in Afghanistan winds to a close and deployment opportunities dwindle.
Maj. General Daryl Bohac, the Guard's adjutant general, raised the issue as a priority for the Guard in July, when Gov. Dave Heineman appointed him as the top uniformed commander for more than 4,800 Guard personnel throughout Nebraska. Retention rates have hovered between 70 percent and 80 percent annually in recent years. That's a higher turnover than in previous years. Bohac says the Guard is taking a series of steps to improve retention. The Guard is having two sergeants talk one-on-one with members, to try to address their concerns. The Guard is also offering signing bonuses and a "battle buddy" program to maintain morale.