Publisher's Note: One of the most significant things you can do to promote Liberty is to support our mission. Please make your gift to the 2023 Year-End Campaign today. Thank you! —Mark Alexander, Publisher

July 5, 2023

How Military Service Lost Its Appeal

The landscape has shifted, our priorities are misplaced, and we’re turning off our next generation of warriors.

There was a time just a few short decades ago when those connected with the military believed the world was their oyster.

The Soviet Union had fallen without a (direct) shot, taking away an enemy we had wargamed against for decades. Our Armed Forces had amassed a series of quick and relatively easy victories in the previous few years: removing the communist government in Grenada, overthrowing a Panamanian dictator, and wresting Kuwait back from the clutches of Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein in Operation Desert Storm. With its positive image, and with taglines like the Army’s “Be All You Can Be,” the military had little trouble finding recruits who were willing to sign up for a tour or make a career in the military thanks to its generous benefits package.

That all changed in the years after 9/11. While there was a surge in recruiting immediately after the attack, as time went on and the Long War became one of attrition — one in which our men were coming home with grievous injuries inflicted by an enemy that had taken to using improvised explosive devices rather than confronting us directly — there came a sense that the military wasn’t the best place to be. Rather than a gung-ho, kick-butt-and-take-names attitude, our troops were soon hamstrung by rules of engagement that often made them sitting ducks. Meanwhile, the media reinforced the anti-military message enough that recruiters were no longer welcomed in the high schools and colleges where they had traditionally made their pitch.

Today, we’re a bit flat-footed, as our priorities have shifted from a Global War on Terror primarily in the Middle East and South Asia to a prospective two-front conflict with both China and Russia. But at the moment the military most needs new recruits, the top brass are doing their best to repel them.

One case in point among many is the recent glorification by the Department of Defense of Major “Rachel” Jones, a man who “found solace [in the military] after coming out as a transgender female.” With Jones pictured holding two rainbow flags, the story seems more parody than reality. If only. “Her [sic] journey from battling depression & suicidal thoughts to embracing authenticity inspires us all,” tweeted the DOD, which might lead many potential recruits to ask just how that enhances the defense of freedom.

Here, we might also state the obvious: This sort of focus fails to strike fear in the hearts of our adversaries. Nor does it instill confidence in potential recruits that we’re serious about warfighting and serious about our national defense. After all, Major Jones is entrusted with our nation’s cybersecurity despite his depression, suicidal thoughts, and obvious gender dysphoria.

Add all these factors together, and it’s apparent why the very folks the military relies on for the bulk of new recruits — the “brats” who come from military families — are saying “No thanks” when it’s their turn to serve. The Wall Street Journal reports:

The children of military families make up the majority of new recruits in the U.S. military. That pipeline is now under threat, which is bad news for the Pentagon’s already acute recruitment problems, as well as America’s military readiness. “Influencers are not telling them to go into the military,” said Adm. Mike Mullen, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in an interview. “Moms and dads, uncles, coaches and pastors don’t see it as a good choice.”

While Mullen’s statement is true, the influencers began working when the 9/11 attack began to fade from public consciousness. And despite the fact that there’s a time-tested pipeline for recruiting, Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth thinks we should change tactics in “a recruiting overhaul so sweeping that Congress might need to pass legislation to enact all of it.”

The Journal adds: “Depending too much on military families could create a ‘warrior caste,’ Wormuth said. Her plans seek to draw in people who have no real connection to the military and to broaden the appeal of service.”

Yet the people who have “no real connection” to the military are the ones who are more likely to be disqualified because of factors such as being overweight, using drugs, or having a criminal record. This eliminates a stunning 77% of young people. And while that’s been a persistent problem — the number was 71% a decade ago — taking the emphasis off of children of military families, who are more likely to be a part of that remaining 23%, seems utterly foolish.

Sadly, that seems to be the attitude of Joe Biden’s Department of Defense. Instead of attracting and encouraging our next generation of warriors, it’s chosen Independence Day to highlight an obviously disturbed outlier within the ranks.

If this is the fruit of “diversity,” our Republic is in deep trouble.

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

The Patriot Post and Patriot Foundation Trust, in keeping with our Military Mission of Service to our uniformed service members and veterans, are proud to support and promote the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, both the Honoring the Sacrifice and Warrior Freedom Service Dogs aiding wounded veterans, the National Veterans Entrepreneurship Program, the Folds of Honor outreach, and Officer Christian Fellowship, the Air University Foundation, and Naval War College Foundation, and the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation. "Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one's life for his friends." (John 15:13)


“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

Please join us in prayer for our nation — that righteous leaders would rise and prevail and we would be united as Americans. Pray also for the protection of our Military Patriots, Veterans, First Responders, and their families. Please lift up your Patriot team and our mission to support and defend our Republic's Founding Principle of Liberty, that the fires of freedom would be ignited in the hearts and minds of our countrymen.

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2023 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.