The Army announced it beat its hiring goal for the year ended Sept 30 (2006). It ended up signing up 80,636 recruits, including 70,000 first time soldiers. So after falling 6,700 short last year, it increased signing bonuses. To make doubly sure it met its goals, it lowered education and aptitude standards too. In fact, about 17 percent of new recruits this year were admitted under waivers for various "medical, moral or criminal problems," including misdemeanor arrests and drunken driving.