A U.S. Marine with Task Force Southwest patrols through a village near Bost Kalay, Afghanistan (U.S. Marine Corps photo)

The top sergeant major in charge of troops in Afghanistan said recently that troops serving there have a "108% retention rate," which sounds as plausible as a peace deal with the Taliban that won't result in the collapse of the Afghan government.

But if someone can explain what 108% retention actually means, I'd love to hear it.

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U.S. Marine Corps/Cpl. Alexander Sturdivant

Tom note: Here is the third entry in our  10 Long March posts for 2018, the 8th most-read item of the year, which originally ran on September 26,  2018. These posts are selected based on what’s called ‘total engaged minutes’ (the total number of time spent reading and commenting on an article) rather than page views, which the T&P; editors see as a better reflection of Long March reader interest and community. Thanks to all of you for reading, and for commenting–which is an important part of this column. 

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Master Sgt. Christine Polvorosa/US Marine Corps

A former Marine captain has written about a common behavior among senior leaders that often leads to a bad taste in the mouth of those who leave the Corps: Being treated like a leper before the end of enlistment.

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Department of Defense

The Army won’t make its goal of 80,000 recruits this year. So far, six months into the recruiting year, it has brought in just 28,000.

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As Russian aggression in recent years has prompted Sweden to ramp up military capacity, the country’s widely praised welfare system has begun to pose a surprising problem in the recruitment of soldiers.  

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U.S. Navy

The Navy has a new message for tens of thousands of sailors who’ve struggled to work on their fitness:

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