(OPINION) – US Military Recruitment Woes and Other Challenges
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The U.S. military has been in the news in 2023 for achievements, challenges, and issues. The naval and military branches of the U.S. Armed Forces protect America and its interests at home and overseas. The service branches include the U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.
The military services have experienced a recruitment problem. Some analysts attribute that to the fact that many young men and women are unfit for service for legal, mental, and physical reasons. Other analysts contend left-wing politics have denigrated the population sectors that have traditionally filled the ranks, with “Wokism” that has been critical of patriotic, male-oriented, traditional values and religious perspectives.
The Armed Forces have had success in recruiting legal immigrants and Americans seeking career opportunities and education benefits. However, corporations offer benefits, without the risks of training, injuries, and death.
The politicization of policies during the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the military population. Thousands of service personnel were released from duty for refusing to take the COVID-19 vaccines. Now that the pandemic has subsided, perhaps some will be recalled, or be able to reenlist.
Epoch Times reporter Zachary Stieber in in a 2023 article, recalled “U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin mandated the vaccines in 2021, a requirement that remained in place until Congress forced its withdrawal.” Stieber cited the controversial assertions by military officials, physicians, and the investigation of Senator Ron Johnson (R. Wis.). that the COVID-19 vaccines, “caused a 151 % spike in myocarditis (heart inflammation) that can cause death” among service personnel. Some of the data came from whistleblowers. Civilian and military medical personnel have both affirmed and denied those assertions.
Adding to contemporary military challenges, a July 31, 2023, article by Gateway Pundit reporter Mike La Chance, reviewed a recent Gallop poll that found “confidence in the U.S. Military at its lowest level in two decades.” “That is bad news,” LaChance writes, “for the good men and women in our armed services, and a national security issue. Low morale is not good for defense.” Analysts attribute several reasons for the confidence decline, but LaChance says some of the loss of confidence in the military, and the Gallup poll includes this, is the withdrawal “from Iraq and Afghanistan, the military legacies of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the U.S.”
Another loss of confidence factor, in my view, is the chaos and repercussions of U.S. open borders, and the deluge, costs, and crime posed by illegal immigrants and the drug cartels.
The stationing of more National Guard troops at the border in enforcement capacities to assist the Border Patrol would be helpful, but federal law prohibits the regular active-duty military from intervening. Laws should be crafted to remedy that situation.
It is a supreme irony that the U.S. military and millions of taxpayer dollars are appropriated for the U.S. to protect foreign borders, but not our own.
Listen to Tom each Tuesday and Thursday morning after the 11 AM news as he joins Andy Brownell for Rochester Today on News-Talk 1340 KROC-AM and 96.9 FM.