January 24, 2023

The Biden Pentagon Still Doesn’t Get It

In a move certain to further alienate future recruits, DefSec Lloyd Austin is forcing vaccine-discharged warriors to pay back their recruitment bonuses.

It’s hard to imagine a stronger rebuke to a commander-in-chief than an outright refusal to be led by him, and that’s exactly what Joe Biden is facing in today’s American Armed Forces.

This isn’t insubordination, though. It’s actually occurring outside the military and within the free market — not under the chain of command of this abject failure of a president.

We’re talking, of course, about our nation’s now-endemic recruiting shortfall. The Biden administration has been dodging the hard truth since its onset, and that hard truth is this: Would-be warriors simply don’t want to join a fighting force whose primary goals focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion rather than training for war and defending the nation. Young men who’d normally jump at the chance to serve their country don’t want any part of a weak, woke commander-in-chief and his like-minded lieutenants. (Lloyd Austin, Mark Milley: looking at you.)

Unfortunately for our military readiness and therefore our national security, this situation may well get worse before it gets better. That’s because the Pentagon is adding insult to the injury of permanent separation of warriors who refused to get the China virus vaccine.

As Fox News reports: “U.S. service members who were fired for refusing to comply with the Pentagon’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate are now being forced to pay back their original recruitment bonuses.” Why? Because they didn’t complete the terms of their enlistment contract.

One such warrior, who’d signed on for a six-year tour before being kicked out and informed that he owes the military slightly more than $4,000, had to pay it back by selling a trove of unused vacation days.

“I’ve deployed multiple times,” said this warrior, “and I feel like the last thing I had was selling leave days that I earned and was never able to take due to me being deployed or needing that time to prepare for the training cycle. I was about to enter a new world with no income, and that extra bit would have been a nice buffer in my rainy day fund to keep me afloat until I was able to find new employment.”

He rightly calls the petty, vindictive directive “a kick in the face.”

Said another warrior: “The Department of Defense continues to fall short on reestablishing trust for wrongdoings, and this is yet another example of that.”

It’s a great point: Who wants to work for an employer they neither like nor trust?

And here we thought Lloyd Austin and his fellow Pentagon bureaucrats had finally gotten the message. Indeed, an agreement reached with Congress just before the holidays rescinded the Biden vax mandate in exchange for Republican support of the $858 billion National Defense Authorization Act, which is the nation’s annual appropriation for defense policy.

The ink had hardly dried, though, when the Pentagon appeared to double-cross the House GOP by refusing to include the military’s reserve forces and the National Guard under the terms of the rescission. A few days later, perhaps under pressure from Mike Waltz and other congressional Republicans, the Pentagon agreed to live up to its end of the bargain, as Austin issued a memo rescinding his original November 2021 vax mandate for the Guard and Reserve.

Further widening the rift between the Pentagon’s pencil-pushers and our nation’s best and brightest was the DOD’s unwillingness to reinstate those warriors who’d been separated for refusing to take the vaccine, which we now know is essentially worthless for young, healthy, military-age personnel.

What’s next? Given that Biden is unlikely to clean house, it’s hard to say, but there are rumblings even among Freedom Caucus conservatives that a bit of belt-tightening may be in order for the Pentagon.

And if we’re going to trim some fat, what better place to start than at the top? As The Washington Times reports: “Key congressional leaders have floated the idea of trimming the number of generals and admirals in the armed forces. They say the ratio of high-ranking officers to enlisted personnel has ballooned out of control and might impede the readiness of the fighting force.”

No argument here. Aside from being the highest-paid military members, the senior brass also tends to be overpopulated with careerists — those who’d rather go along with, say, a dangerously incompetent senior leadership than speak out against it.

Cut ‘em loose, we say.

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