Military CRISIS?! – Lawmakers Are Speaking Up
(ConservativeHub.com) – Having one of the strongest militaries in the world requires staffing the services with healthy, fit soldiers. Yet, that task has become more difficult in recent years, and recruiters now face the most challenging job since the draft ended in 1973. Lawmakers are now pressing the Pentagon to fix this crisis before it’s too late.
Military Branches Struggle to Hit Recruitment Goals
According to POLITICO, the armed forces have only gathered 85% of their desired new recruits this year. Still, that number varies drastically based on branch, with the Space Force, Marine Corps, and Air Force hitting 100% of their recruitment needs, while the Navy sits at 89%, and the Army trails at 66%.
Understandably, lawmakers are concerned this could lead to a significant troop shortage in the military, especially when the Army cut nearly 60,000 of its National Guard and Reserve personnel after they chose not to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, according to Fox News.
Lawmakers Chime In on What Could Be Causing the Issues
Representative Mike Gallagher (R-WI) told POLITICO this is “the cusp of a military recruiting crisis” and emphasized how he hoped the midterm elections would bring in lawmakers ready to address the issue. He believes the top two contributors to the lack of soldiers are obesity among the younger generation and COVID-19 restrictions keeping recruiters from having face-to-face time with potential candidates.
On the other hand, Representative Jason Crow (D-CO) believes the branches need to offer more incentives, including better pay and bonuses, to draw in new soldiers. He also told POLITICO that more information should be available about what military service entails. This suggestion is notable as much of the news surrounding the service has centered around post-combat mental health issues, restrictive COVID-19 policies, and sexual misconduct.
What the Military Is Considering Now
While lawmakers demand answers and changes to keep a recruiting crisis at bay, the military has been making adjustments to recruit new soldiers. It no longer spends money on TV advertising, focusing on digital platforms like games, highlighting similar technologies used in the armed forces instead.
POLITCO reports that some branches also allow more tattoos on their troops, welcome single parents, and might potentially eliminate the “zero tolerance” policy for soldiers who previously tried or used marijuana. Command leaders hope changes like these, along with others lawmakers propose in the coming months, will help them compete with the civilian job market to develop the next generation of soldiers.
In addition, an article from the Army Times reports that the Army has been working to determine where it can make personnel cuts. Center for Strategic and International Studies expert Mark Cancian told the outlet that he believes all units in the Army will be understaffed for a while. He expects the “recruiting environment” to be in an uncomfortable position for the foreseeable future.
What do you think would encourage young Americans to serve their nation in this capacity?
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