Pentagon falls short on recruitment goals

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By BRETT ROWLAND | THE CENTER SQUARE

The Defense Department’s senior officials testified last week about shortfalls in Army, Navy and Air Force recruiting in the fiscal year that ended in September at a hearing of the House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee.

The Marine Corps and Space Force made their recruiting goals.

The military services together missed goals by about 41,000 recruits in fiscal year 2023, said Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Ashish Vazirani.

“That number understates the challenge before us as the services lowered [their] end-strength goals in recent years, in part because of the difficult recruiting environment,” he said. “The all-volunteer force faces one of its greatest challenges since inception.”

The all-volunteer force was created after the draft ended in 1973.

Vazirani cited multiple reasons for the recruitment shortfall, which he called “complex and multifaceted.”

Among the reasons: A strong economy that means more options for young people, a smaller eligible population, Generation Z’s generally low trust in institutions and fewer young people with family members who have served in the military.

In 1995, 40% of young people had a parent who served in the military, Vazirani said. By 2022, 12% had a parent who had served.

“This has led to a disconnect between the military and a large share of society,” he said.

Vazirani said that “while the picture of the current recruiting environment is acutely difficult, the Defense Department and the military services are working together to resolve issues, improve processes, and expand awareness of the many opportunities military service offers.”

In September, the U.S. Government Accountability Office issued a report on military housing. It detailedsewage backups and inoperable fire systems are among the safety hazards that U.S. service members living in barracks face. The report found such conditions undermine quality of life and military readiness.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office report found that the Pentagon’s assessments of conditions at barracks “are unreliable” and “observed barracks that pose potentially serious health and safety risks – such as broken windows and inoperable fire systems – and that do not meet minimum [U.S. Department of Defense] standards for privacy and configuration.”

Conditions were so bad in some places that service members sometimes took “drastic action, such as getting married, just to leave the barracks,” according to the report. Hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops live in barracks, which are for the most junior-ranking unmarried service members without children or other dependents.

18 COMMENTS

  1. A strong economy ?!
    Highest interest rates ever and falsely inflated numbers on employment.
    No talk about the woke image the military has forced down recruits throats. People are actually tired of this crap and this push for diversity creates adversity and contention !

  2. Duh.
    – Villainize the primary segments of society recruits come from.
    -politicize the mission from defend America to worrying about “white rage”
    -promote the most incompetent people possible into leadership.
    -unhealthy obsession with the alphabet gang.
    -lowering of standards.
    -run off your best warfighters over a disputed shot.
    -abandon the veterans
    -sacrifice personnel and equipment for political brownie points.
    -insanely low pay.
    -rules of engagement almost guaranteed to make our people targets and get them killed.

    and the list goes on and on and on.

    Why should anyone join right now.

  3. I’m a 23 year Army Veteran and the strong economy they think we have is just not there for the last three years. The missed recruitment goals has all to do with the society that everyone is a winner mentality along with the woke policies being implemented in todays military. I have a daughter who has been in for 11 years and she see’s the effects of these policies along with the mentality of the recruit’s who think everything should be handed to them. Get back to the actual reason we have a military is to defend this country and fight to win wars not be part of the culture wars. I also need to mention I work for the Army a civilian and see this first hand with the training the troops go through all in the name of DEI. Stop it the military was never meant to be all inclusive it is not for everyone. .

  4. The conditions of the barracks is not the reason there is a shortage of volunteers. It is the attitude of the military due to the pressure from the Biden Admin. The target for the military is for gung ho males who exhibit type A personalities. They are catering to the feminized males the Democrats are creating. These feminized males have no inclination of joining the military. This turns off the targeted audience of kids, so their parents are against them joining and their children are avoiding serving in the military. As always, our RINO’s in Washington accept these new edicts without fighting, (certainly our Alaska delegation) in budget talks where this can do some good. The few Republicans who do say something get shamed by their own party leaders. There is nothing going to change until there is a change of Administration.

    Of course, like my liberal sister who always says, “It’s not that bad”.

  5. > Pentagon falls short on recruitment goals

    After looking at our culture and society, one has to say in response >

    “And the sun also rose this morning.”

    Nothing will get better until the repression and oppression by the state and their handmaidens stops. One way or another this darkness has got to give.

  6. The focus on “living conditions” as a problem for low recruitment is a false flag and shows just how far out of touch the “senior” military leadership is with the average military recuit. The root of the problem is most likely that the there is a subset of society that is inclined to serve in the military and that subset is currently disuaded from volunteering to serve by the hard “left turn” of the current military leadeership and subsequent drive to institute “wokeness and DEI” into all things military. I am a veteran and would definitely discourage my children and the children of everyone I know from serving in todays military. I have absolutely ZERO confidence in the ability of the “Leaders” at all levels of the miliatry to ACTUALLY LEAD in a manner befitting the service of todays recuits. The Liberal Left has finally succeeded in destroying the US Military, something they have been trying do since the early 1970’s and Vietnam. The Liberal Left truley destroys everything they touch.

  7. Yeah telling the biggest demographic for the all volunteer force white southern kids they are domestic terrorist because they are white is not the reason why. A large percentage of the volunteer force comes from the southern states. Remember Emma and my two mom’s recruiting video that blew up in the army’s face. The Army brought this on themselves when they went all in on the whole diversity, equity and inclusion propaganda.

  8. “A strong economy that means more options for young people”

    Wow, what a complete disconnect from reality.

  9. The military is definitely not for everyone similar to being on a HS sports team…some make the cut while others don’t. Rather be short on dedicated/reliable troops than having to deal with those that just don’t want to be in the military.

  10. When it became clear that the military command changed it recruitment goals from men that were warriors to social engineering it lost a tremendous amount of the most qualified applicants. Social engineering should have no place in our military’s goals.

  11. A lot of us in during the clinton/obama years have long memories of witch hunts for patriots and the creeping wokeness that was infecting upper command staff, made the environment toxic and hazardous to your career . I used to encourage young Americans to go into the military. Not any more. I cringe when I read the news of “diversity and inclusiveness” in the military and wonder how our military will fare on the next battle field.

  12. This is all by design to weaken our military. Add to this Biden’s sell off of our strategic petroleum reserve and we see a real pattern here.

  13. No shocker here. Many Americans of recruiting age are overweight or obese, many lack any discipline, they think men can be women and vice versa, and they have zero respect for authority.

    If I wasn’t an atheist I’d say God help us all.

  14. The military under current leadership is embarrassing.
    Biden and his cronies are to blame for low recruitment.

    Steve o
    can you tell us how it is legally acceptable to require service members to be forced to take poorly tested unnecessary vaccines and medications since we are not sovereign citizens and are under government control.
    Slaves / subjects must do as told right steve?
    Your version of the constitution says so.

    Im sure he thinks the same regarding business mandates forcing people to inject things into their body or loose their job . Since its “private” enterprise. 🤥

    Steve 0 tell us again how it’s constitutional for local governments to force substances into our private bodies.

  15. Look at the way our leaders treated the military.
    They lied to them they thought them out they censored them.
    Who in their right mind would sign up for that?

  16. Our military is sufficient to deploy directly on our own borders and defend our country. The period of the American Empire and it’s failed expeditionary adventures are almost over. Concerning societal decline and the shrinking pool of young people physically and mentally fit to accomplish simple tasks effects the entire strength of the nation. It is ironic that the military industrial complex entities and their political puppet senators and representatives that are enriched by squandering the lives of our young people, squandering our wealth and world standing are now reaping what they have sown during the past 50 years. Instead of bringing back our industrial base and being self sufficient these clowns are instigating hostilities with Russia and China, while we are dependent on China for most durable goods. With a revamped diverse, woke and queer marine corps deployed against China, what could possibly go wrong. With American officers on the ground directing the NATO trained and equipped Ukrainian cannon fodder decimated in a year on the European landmass proving they are clueless in modern warfare, it’s time to start a Pacific war. Maybe we can purchase 155 mm shells from China, as they actually have skilled labor and industrial capability.

  17. And all the best minds in the US Military, Pentagon, and Joint Chiefs can not figure out WHY?
    And yet…..all the rest of us can.
    What’s up with that? Are they all just so stupid? Or is something planned?

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