For the first time in more than 35 years, the U.S. military has met all of its annual recruiting goals. The economic downturn and rising joblessness, as well as bonuses and other factors, had led more qualified youths to enlist.

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WASHINGTON — For the first time in more than 35 years, the U.S. military has met all of its annual recruiting goals, as hundreds of thousands of young people have enlisted despite the near certainty they will go to war.

The Pentagon, which made the announcement Tuesday, said the economic downturn and rising joblessness, as well as bonuses and other factors, had led more qualified youths to enlist.

The military has not seen such across-the-board successes since the all-volunteer force was established in 1973, after Congress ended the draft toward the end of the Vietnam War.

Just a few years ago, the military routinely fell short of its recruiting targets. The Army, in particular, has struggled to fill its ranks, admitting more high-school dropouts, overweight youth and even felons.

Yet during the current budget year, which ended Sept. 30, recruiters met their targets in both numbers and quality for all components of active-duty and reserve forces.

“We delivered beyond anything the framers of the all-volunteer force would have anticipated,” Bill Carr, deputy undersecretary of defense for military personnel policy, said at a news conference.

Overall, the Pentagon brought in 168,900 active-duty troops, or 103 percent of the goal for the fiscal year, officials said. It reached 104 percent of the goal for recruitment of National Guard and reserve forces.

The quality of recruits also improved, with about 95 percent reporting they had received high-school diplomas. The active-duty Army admitted only 1.5 percent of recruits who had the lowest acceptable score on the standard qualification test. In recent years, that figure had reached nearly 4 percent.

Carr said strong recruitment was driven by the recession and other factors, such as pay increases and bigger recruiting budgets.

He also credited hefty enlistment bonuses for the military’s success, saying 40 percent of recruits received an average bonus of $14,000, up from $12,000 in 2008.