2022 was a horrific year for the US military and its recruiting efforts. Falling short of people to sign on the dotted line is a problem that has been brewing for years, but this was the worst in decades. Now, 2023 isn’t shaping up to be much better, and leadership wants to know what the problem is, and how to fix it.
Major General Alex Fink serves as the head of marketing for the US Army. He claims kids today “just don’t see the Army as something that’s relevant. They see us as revered, but not relevant, in their lives.” This delusion walks hand in hand with the traditional excuses of people worrying about dying or getting injured, dealing with the stress of the Army life, and putting their lives on hold.
First off, the delusional statement “they see us as revered, but not relevant” is a complete crock. The average American they are speaking to these days doesn’t see the military with any reverence. Either they simply don’t care about the military, or they hate it. Some blame it as being the tool of death for the government, or they believe that everyone who serves is brainwashed and a baby killer. The same sentiment that gave our troops coming home from Vietnam a piss-poor reception at best is now polluting the rest of the US.
Meanwhile, the traditional excuses of being concerned about death, stress, and putting their lives on hold truthfully holds some water. Then again, everyone knows death is a risk everywhere, stress is a guarantee in any career, and your life only goes on hold when you deploy. For the Army to use these excuses is simply shortsighted on the problems.
Thankfully, Congressional Rep Jim Banks (R-IN) is on the quest to uncover the realities of the situation and fix them. As chairman of the House Armed Services subcommittee on military personnel, he and other Republicans have a main target to “exposing and dismantling the Biden administration’s woke agenda that is driving down military recruitment and retention.”
As a group, Banks and fellow GOP members have been critical of the witch hunt for white nationalists in the ranks, as well as the never-ending quest to shove “wokeness” down their throats with critical race theory and efforts targeting diversity. These leftist goals to put “equality” over winning wars, critical race theory over battle drills, and embracing their feminine side over weapons training are only serving to soften our ranks.
Joining the Army is a tough profession. Despite the push from the left to make the institution woke, this is not an area to conduct social experiments. When people’s lives are on the line at a moment’s notice, they need to be at their best and focused on the mission. As the bullets fly by and the mortars fly out, race is nonexistent.
In battle, it is us versus them; and it needs to be us every time. This means the unit needs to be well-trained, disciplined, and able to work together easily. Hate and division destroy that cohesion that makes the fight successful. That’s why when they waste billions on these efforts, it becomes insulting.
Army Secretary Christine Wormuth talked about some survey data that showed 5% called “wokeness” and 13% claiming women and minorities are being discriminated against as a reason for saying no. She said it is a tool to “assuage the concerns that some may have, whether influencers or members of Congress, about wokeness or the vaccine mandate — which is now rescinded — and show they are not, by any means, primary drivers of the recruiting challenges we’re experiencing.”
She can call it what she wants, and Fink can see it as he wishes. The fact of the matter is the wokeness is what is eroding the culture, and that in combination with the criminally low pay and unguaranteed benefits is why people aren’t joining.
It’s like Mcdonald’s, if you want people to work a crappy job, you need to pay them a good wage.