Making the world safe for transgenderism and mandatory vaccinations don’t seem to be drawing them in like honor, patriotism, and tradition used to. From P. Michael Phillips, Ph.D. at brownstone.org:
Replenishing the military ranks with qualified personnel is a perennial challenge. It’s no secret, though, that this year our armed forces are fighting uphill to recruit and retain talent.
Most of the services are well behind their quotas. But the Army, our largest service, is having the hardest time enticing young Americans. That service will fall short, nearly 20,000 troops from its original target end strength of 485,000 for FY ’22, and next year could be worse.
To manage, Army officials have slashed end strength and enlistment goals, while recruiters are offering fat stacks of cash and generous service terms as inducements.
So far, nothing is working.
The Army’s Chief of Staff, General James McConville, blames the shortfall on competition with the private sector. Others blame upwardly mobile families who would rather their children attend college than wear a uniform.
Both are old saws. And this year, they ring hollow.
Some civilian jobs do pay more. But for an 18-year-old with only a high school diploma, military compensation is nothing to sneeze at. Indeed, recruits most often cite generous pay and benefits as the reason for signing papers.
Meanwhile, undergraduate enrollments are down over 600,000 from last year. So, it appears our missing recruits aren’t trading rifles for books, either.
Instead of blaming their competition, the Pentagon brass might dwell on their tarnished image as the reason fewer young Americans want to join up.
Public trust in the military institution has plunged steeply since 2018, according to one poll. Respondents cite politicized leaders, scandals, and the bungled withdrawal from Afghanistan for their loss in confidence.