This article comes from “zerohedge.com”
The U.S. Army is expected to fall nearly 40,000 troops short of its recruiting goals over the next two years. Fiscal year 2022 is expected to miss the mark by 10,000 troops, while the number in fiscal year 2023 could reach 28,000. These figures mean that this year is on track to be the Army’s worst recruiting year in almost 50 years.
The Army plans to circumvent the problem by offering $1 billion for its recruiting program and placing more emphasis on the use of its reserve units.
The Epoch Times reached out to the U.S. Army Recruiting Command for comment, and Maj. Charles Spears of the Combined Arms Center replied to various inquiries about the state of recruiting. Spears offered several reasons for the Army’s recruiting challenges in the years ahead.
First, he said, “only 23 percent of American youth are qualified to serve without a waiver, [noting that] obesity, addiction, medical, and behavioral health are the top disqualifiers for service.”
The Army is also competing with corporate America, he said, adding that “social media’s virtual public square shapes the values and perceptions of American youth, which is increasingly unfamiliar with the benefits of Army service.”
According to Spears, the American population is “increasingly disconnected” from serving in the Army and military service, Spears said. “Oftentimes, influencers [like parents, teachers, and coaches] do not recommend military service.” He also added that “the share of youth who have seriously considered military service is at a historic low of nine percent.”
Finally, Spears said, “the COVID-19 pandemic severely limited the ability of recruiters to interact with prospects in person, [and] also exacerbated academic and physical fitness challenges, limiting the pool of qualified applicants.” As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, he said, there has been a nine percent decrease in Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) scores as well as increased applicate obesity.
In addition to these factors, servicemembers have expressed other concerns that they say have contributed to the recruitment crisis.
Army Boots on the Ground
The Epoch Times spoke to an active-duty Army soldier with over 15 years of service on the condition of anonymity, fearing reprisals. He is gravely alarmed about the Army falling short on recruitment numbers.
“In the past,” he said, “the Army targeted a specific demographic of people based on their values, [and these recruits] were patriots and loved America.” In today’s general population, he doesn’t see the same interest in patriotism. “Much of the country doesn’t love America like it use to,” he said. “And with a military no longer upholding the values, the oaths, or the creeds it once did, what kind of new recruits should we expect [to join the Army]?” he asked.
“From a macro perspective, we had a significant breach of trust in the last election.” By oath, he said, the military swears to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” But the U.S. military has said nothing about the previous election, according to the soldier. “I’m not saying there is a final answer, but as defenders of the Constitution, they owed open and transparent conversation to the force and to the American people,” he said.
Instead, he said, “they happily encourage mandated vaccines, back the transgender issue, and speak out in opposition to the Supreme Court of the United States in regard to Roe v. Wade—all of which are very political.”
In his opinion, “we now have a Department of Defense [DoD] that has taken various political positions that are very much opposed to the heart of America.”
All the while, he said, the size of battalions is shrinking. “Some are less than two-thirds of where they need to be,” he said. And many of those who remain are not “usable deployables.”
He said, “Much of America is missing the fact that the Army is intentionally kicking people out in a precarious way that it knows is unnecessary, because the data shows that it’s unnecessary.” He is under the impression that “our military is intentionally being weakened.”
Rather than watching the military “decay,” he said, “military leadership needs to take action for the good of the America people.” But he’s not convinced this will happen, because “for the most part, the higher-ups are cowards and they lack the personal courage to take the actions needed to put an end to this sad state of affairs.”
As recruiting woes mount and solutions appear scant for the U.S. Army, service members of the nation’s other military branches are equally concerned.
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