The U.S. military missed its 2023 recruiting goals by 41,000, facing a crisis due to declining youth interest and eligibility.
Factors include a competitive job market, COVID-19 school closures, and a decrease in parental military service.
Military leaders have expressed concern regarding the general lack of understanding and respect for the military, with some blaming educational portrayal of history and institutional trust. (Trending: Trump Releases Must-See Christmas Message)
“Young people today are not rejecting military service; the challenge is that they are not even thinking about it,” Ashish Vazirani, the Pentagon’s acting undersecretary for personnel and readiness said.
“They are not looking at what we have to offer and telling us ‘no.’ They simply don’t K-N-O-W much about military service, and what they do know is probably not accurate or complete.”
Army veteran Jake Bequette highlighted America’s recent political rhetoric and its impact on recruitment, emphasizing the need for a better understanding of the military’s role and history.
Bequette said much is to blame on Democrat leaders “really downgrading and insulting, frankly, people from middle America.”
“From Hillary Clinton calling them deplorables to… Joe Biden calling them MAGA Americans,” he said.
He noted that individuals from red states have done the majority of the “bleeding and sweating and living and dying in the U.S. military over the many generations of our proud military history.”
“In our education system today, so few young people are hearing that real history,” he said.
“You know, they’re hearing our American heroes being represented as evil racists and, you know, people who were doing all these terrible things to disadvantaged people.”
“And that really, I think, is shaping the views of America’s youth and making them have less respect for our institutions, have less respect for our history, and therefore making them less liable to, you know, want to put their lives potentially on the line to serve in our country’s military.”