Douglas Andrews / July 22, 2022

Our Military Recruiting Crisis: Dodging the Truth

Army bureaucrats have plenty of reasons for the alarming dearth of new recruits, but they’re ignoring the real reason.

“Leftism destroys everything it touches.” So says Dennis Prager, and he’s right. It’s a sad truth, and it’s perhaps nowhere more obvious and more calamitous than it is in our once-proud American military, which can no longer even meet its recruitment goals. And it’s even worse than we thought. As the Associated Press reports:

The Army is significantly cutting the total number of soldiers it expects to have in the force over the next two years, as the U.S. military faces what a top general called “unprecedented challenges” in bringing in recruits.

Army officials on Tuesday said the service will fall about 10,000 soldiers short of its planned end strength for this fiscal year, and prospects for next year are grimmer. Army Gen. Joseph Martin, vice chief of staff for the Army, said it is projecting it will have a total force of 466,400 this year, down from the expected 476,000. And the service could end 2023 with between 445,000 and 452,000 soldiers, depending on how well recruiting and retention go.

How could this be? How could today’s Army be met with “unprecedented challenges” now that it has prioritized diversity, equity, and inclusion, and ChiCom Virus vaccination status, above the often grim and bloody business of fighting and winning wars?

Oh, Martin told a House Armed Services subcommittee about the “post-COVID-19 environment and labor market, but also competition with private companies that have changed their incentives over time.” And, yeah, it must be tough to attract good recruits when Joe Biden’s economy is just humming along like it is.

Martin also lamented the fact that “only about 23% are physically, mentally, and morally qualified to serve without receiving some type of waiver.” But he kept ignoring the real issue. Or, rather, he kept denying its existence: Our military isn’t as attractive to our traditional warrior class as it historically has been. It just isn’t the same.

How so? By luring in a tiny segment of the population into the American military with rainbow flags, and strict pronoun discipline, and free sex-change operations, the American military did technically create a bigger tent and a more diverse recruiting pool. But at the same time, it dropped a big turd in the middle of that tent and caused untold thousands of would-be warriors to explore other options.

As national security expert Dave Reaboi put it, “Maybe it’s better having a country that inspires patriots to defend it, rather than one that makes them want to throw up.”

War has always been about killing bad guys and breaking things, and an effective armed force is a brotherhood that’s not only uniformly committed to that end but free of distraction from it. What war most definitely isn’t, however, is a social experiment, an academic exercise, an ideological proving ground.

Warriors need to know they can concentrate on training for war or conducting it. They need to know they can fully count on each other whether they’re at the tip of the spear or in support of it. Most important, though, they can’t be made to walk on eggshells, can’t be made to think that they’re either the oppressed or the oppressor, can’t be made to believe men can have babies, can’t be made to celebrate lifestyles they find either pitiable, immoral, or repulsive.

These are young, red-blooded, hormonally charged, heterosexual American males we’re after — or at least should be after. That’s your fighting force — at least the majority of it, the enlisted part of it. These are the ones who’ve trained and fought and bled and died for our country since before its inception. It’s a brotherhood whose members couldn’t give a rip about each other’s skin color, but that doesn’t readily cotton to wokeness and weirdness and sexual deviance and pronoun proscriptions.

“I just wanna know when I get to kill somebody,” said an earnest 18-year-old Marine in my unit shortly after boot camp graduation. That was decades ago, but I remember that comment like it was yesterday. I’m sorry, not sorry, but that’s the way young, crazy-brave, would-be warriors talked. That’s the way we were wired those many years ago, and that’s the way young men are wired today. Back then, we said and did things that stayed in Las Vegas. We pinned each other when we made corporal, and we let out a guttural Ooorah! when we pulled the chevrons out of our clavicles. We built and strengthened a brotherhood. And good, strong, smart, patriotic high school grads were tripping over themselves to be part of that brotherhood.

Science is still science. Biology is still biology.

These days, though, we have a military whose leadership has been gutted and remade by the Left. And we have Mark Milley types at the top — woke, book-smart Princetonians and Chardonnay-sipping diversicrats who give the thumbs-up to animated recruiting ads featuring little girls with two moms. You know, like this:

To be clear, we aren’t here to diminish the important role of young women in our all-volunteer military. But we must never forget that young, heterosexual American men are the indispensable ones, the ones who make up the overwhelming majority of our fighting forces.

Suffice it to say that the image of a young female recruit with two moms will neither stir a young warrior’s heart nor strike fear into those of our potential enemies — and that we ignore at our nation’s peril the damage being done to our military by the woke Left.

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