Biden's military recruiting crisis a demon of its own design

It’s human nature to avoid suffering and danger, if possible—unless it’s for a greater good. Even then, not everyone is cut out to be a cop, firefighter, or service member.

We see police retirements soaring and recruiting not keeping up in defund-the-police-mandatory-COVID-19-vaccine places like Seattle, while most of Texas finds it easy to fill police academy classes. It’s not hard to understand why—police are generally honored in Texas, but they’re not in Seattle.

Similarly, from the start, the Biden administration has given voice to the left’s view that the American military is filled with right-wing extremists and white supremacists. Shortly after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, CNN and NPR erroneously claimed that veterans were doubly overrepresented among those arrested. 


Then Tennessee Democratic Congressman Steve Cohen fretted that the thousands of National Guard soldiers deployed to the Capitol as a show of force “might want to do something” to President-elect Biden because they were “predominantly more conservative” than Americans. A week after Cohen’s comments, retired Admiral John Kirby, at the time, the Pentagon spokesman, said that “There may be cultural issues we have to deal with here” (referring to service members) as Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin ordered a military-wide stand-down to address extremism.

Thus, the message is very clear if you’re a patriotic young American: Stay clear of the military. After all, why put yourself under the command of people who, at best, are suspicious of you and at worst will demand you attend pronoun reeducation camp—after they force you to take a vaccine for a virus that has little chance of harming you as a young, healthy adult.

As early as last March, the Pentagon said it would make a small cut to the force of only 0.2 percent. But now word is out that all branches of the military are struggling to meet recruiting goals.

The largest branch of the military, the U.S. Army, has hit 40 percent of its recruiting goal with only three months left in the fiscal year. To compensate, the Army lowered its standards. No high school diploma or GED? OK. Tattoos on the neck and hands? Fine, no waiver needed. That recruits with no high school and neck tattoos might be training and discipline problems later will be a challenge left to platoon sergeants and squad leaders.

And, in a signal that leadership knows the problem will persist, the Pentagon is reconsidering more than 250 disqualifications for service, such as asthma and ADHD. Many of these recruits would incur higher medical costs down the road, as they will be more likely to be medically discharged, earning a payment from taxpayers for life while not contributing to the national defense—the worst of both worlds.


The growing problems with recruiting, combined with Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine and an increasingly bellicose China, likely weighed heavily on the minds of the seven Republican members of the Senate Armed Services Committee who voted in June to require women to register for the draft.

Some recruits are motivated to enlist by the range of benefits offered. Some are motivated by an opportunity for adventure and camaraderie. And some are motivated by patriotism and the desire to serve something larger than self. I enlisted in the Army in early 1983 at the age of 20, inspired by President Ronald Reagan’s desire to win the Cold War against the Soviet Union. I retired 24 years later as a lieutenant colonel.

Under today’s leadership, I wouldn’t enlist. Why volunteer for leftist struggle sessions at reeducation camp?


Comments are closed.