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Paul Hayden

The Military Is Not Meeting Its Recruitment Goal

November 7, 2022

The Pentagon must take steps to reverse the dire situation of falling recruitment numbers - the security and stability of America are weighed in the balance.

Several weeks ago, I wrote about how woke standards, namely Critical Race Theory, anti-Christian and traditional values bias have infiltrated military academies. Young men and women, who hopefully will one day become officers and leaders among the rank and file in service to their country, are being indoctrinated with radical Marxist propaganda. 

The Heritage Foundation is a think tank that veers to the right of the political spectrum. It recently issued a report on military recruitment and readiness, and the results are dismal, worse than I first thought. Recruitment for the military service has declined precipitously, which presents a clear and present danger to the safety and security of the United States.

The Army’s projections for recruitment have steadily been revised downward over the years, and for the fiscal year ending 2022, projected a goal of 70,000 for an active force. That number has since been revised down to 55,400, which according to the report will not be achieved. Based on this information, the recruiting goal will fall short by more than 10,000 active military men and women and will be at its lowest numbers since 1939. 

According to the report recruiting is seeing historic challenges, with its worst turnover in an all-volunteer force since 1973. Vice Chief of Staff, Army General Joseph Martin, has revealed that “the Army will fall short of both its authorized end strength and recruiting goal by tens of thousands of soldiers by the end of fiscal year 2023.” The Navy has expressed its dismay, and called 2022 a year that has been the most challenging since the inception of the all-volunteer service. 

This is not an academic problem, and this is where every American should take notice of the dangers we will face if this dire situation is not remedied. According to the report, “A recruiting shortfall translates directly to under-strength units with less combat capability. Without the necessary numbers of soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Space Force guardians, the most technologically advanced equipment is useless. Unless this trajectory is corrected, U.S. combat units will have diminished strength at a time when the world is increasingly presenting challenges to U.S. interests.”

The military believes there is a confluence of factors that contribute to the decrease in recruitment numbers; these include a poor economy and competition from major corporations that cannot find people to fill positions, so they are offering substantial starting salaries with generous benefits, healthcare, and education. There is also another significant factor that weighs heavily in the selection process, qualifications, and this can be a direct effect of lifestyle. The report mentions “obesity, poor vision, asthma, mental health issues, severe anxiety, low scores on qualification tests, and a history of crime.” For these reasons, exceptions to the qualification standard have been lowered over the years.

Other issue includes a candidate’s prescription drug history, and COVID-19 vaccination, which the military requires but according to NIH 36% of Americans between the ages of 18-24 have not been vaccinated, which is causing tremendous delays. And recently, within the last ten years, the military has entered the world of politics, and the introduction of “woke standards,” that has created a dilemma for those with traditional conservative views. 

For all the reasons mentioned in the report, there is now an “extended processing time that has held up over 7000 volunteers.” The report also says that there are fewer young people expressing a lack of confidence in the military and any desire to serve, and that many are unaware of the opportunities available in today’s military.

It goes without saying - the extent of low recruitment in the military is an issue of major importance, and demands a national dialogue that should involve all of us. But there appears to be another problem, perhaps not as pressing as the subject of this writing, but still a dangerous harbinger, and that is the reaction and response by the Biden administration and Congress.

The inaction by what appears to be all branches of the federal government is tantamount to a dereliction of duty. The report reveals “The Biden administration and Congress’ reaction has been underwhelming and unequal to the size of the challenge; both can and must do more.” General Martin believes the 2023 numbers will fall short of what is considered desirable; prospects are between 445,000 to 452,000. There have been other years where recruitment goals were not met, but the current shortfall is far greater. This dire situation must be addressed, for the good of all of us. 

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