By Dr. Mark T. Esper| Fox News
Published September 19, 2022 2:00am EDT
Reposted in part, under the Fair Use Doctrine;
Taken from the article linked above:
Long, slow decline of the US military’s all-volunteer force puts America in danger
The U.S. military’s all-volunteer force (AVF) is slowly dying. In the five decades since conscription ended, the AVF produced the high-quality force it promised. In conflict after conflict, the more-experienced, better-motivated, and professional U.S. troops dominated the battlefield.
Today, however, the armed services are struggling to meet their recruiting goals like rarely before. The Army is the most affected, projected to fall short by up to 15,000 soldiers, with a larger deficit expected next year. Experts point to a variety of reasons, such as insufficient pay and benefits, a difficult work-life environment, “culture war” issues, COVID-19, and a strong job market. Even if each were “fixed,” the core issues driving the AVF’s decline still won’t be reversed.
The fact is the pool of Americans aged 17-24 who are qualified and interested in serving continues to shrink. When I was secretary of the Army in 2018, 71% of these 34 million young people could not meet the military’s entry requirements due mostly to obesity, drug use, physical and mental health problems, and criminal misconduct. Four years later, that number is even higher. Further, of the 23% eligible to serve today, another 10% don’t meet the military’s academic standards. Worse, of the 3.5 million young Americans remaining, only 9% (~320,000) have a proclivity to serve. A nation of 332 million people should do better than that.
With the threats from China and elsewhere growing, we cannot risk our future by ignoring these issues. Most solutions will take years to bear fruit, and a return to conscription is not the answer. But if we are to deter war, be victorious if it comes, and win the 21st century, we will need to maintain a sizable, high-quality force of volunteers. That means today’s leaders must act now to educate and inspire the next great American generation to serve.
In the comments section, some of the comments were right on point with things like:
sic-semper… 2 days ago: “As an Army veteran I can say the reason for the decline is the priority went from defense of the nation, to social experimentation. It has been going on for quite some time, but it really picked up speed with the “don’t ask / don’t tell” of the clinton days. The majority of the members of the military don’t want to be part of all these social experiments. It doesn’t help that the majority of those making decisions in the DoD have never put on a uniform and have no idea what it really takes to wear one and train to defend the soldier next to you on the line”.
jr.. 2 days ago: “I retired from the Army after 25 years and still work as an Army civilian employee. I would not recommend a career in this Army. We spend too much time and energy on woke cultural stuff and diversity now means if you fit the color/ethnic category you will be promoted. Merit is still relevant, just not as much as it used to be. We have really set ourselves up for failure”.Reply”.
stone.. 2 days ago: “Dr. Rachel Levine, Transgender Health Secretary Made Four-Star Admiral, Is ‘First Ever Female’ To Hold Title — National File 10/19/21 Google a picture of this thing. This is what the Democrats have done to our military. China, Russia, and Iran, along with the Democrats love seeing our military weakened and demoralized”.
NewsRU…2 days ago: “It is this! My family has served for many generations up to and including my older brother. But he has been forced to read Anti-racist Baby and had/has to attend a number of these demeaning “equity trainings” that label him an evil “oppressor”. He literally had to wear an oppressor sign for day once. Nobody is safe from this. I’m looking for other ways to serve, I don’t want to join up to an organization where I’ll be viewed with suspicion and contempt”.
danie…2 days ago: “Nobody wants to serve in a woke military under woke leadership by a woke President who doesn’t support the troops in action or by speech. Nobody wants to serve in the military by joining while Democrats control the congress, senate and executive branch. Americans see how poorly Democrats mismanage our government and drive inflation so high that military members need food stamps to feed their families. Americans are better off working for McDonald’s than to join the military at the rank of Private E-1, E-2 or E-3 pay scales. Even E-4 and E-5 pay scales are at the poverty margins in high cost of living states and metropolitan areas”.
One thought on “Obesity, drug use, health problems, crime and academic issues jeopardize US military recruitment”
Good post, thank you.
“But he has been forced to read Anti-racist Baby…”, Gordon Bennett as they say over here! What a nonsense.
Mind you, it would be good not to have any soldiers required as long as the whole world lays down its arms and beats the swords into ploughshares, i.e. shares in the soil and grow food rather than maiming and killing each other.