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Sunday, September 24, 2023

US Army recruitment woes intensify as veterans discouraged from enlisting – World News


The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that veterans have become disenchanted with recommending military service amid a tight labor market and concerns about low wages, serious injuries, suicide and unresolved wars. The recruitment crisis has been further exacerbated by the Pentagon’s focus on left-wing issues such as transgenderism and critical race theory.

The abrupt end of the war in Afghanistan in August 2021 has heightened the frustration of some active and ex-servicemen. U.S. Navy veteran Catalina Gasper, who suffered a traumatic brain injury in the Kabul Taliban attack, expressed her dismay, saying: ‘We’re left with a painful feeling of, ‘This is all For what?’” Gasper was determined to make sure her children would never serve in the military, saying, “I just don’t understand how that’s going to last if the machines keep chewing up and spitting out” our young people.

Likewise, U.S. Air Force officer Ernest Nisperos decided not to enlist his children after experiencing the toll of deployment. His daughter Sky Nisperos has long aspired to follow in the footsteps of her father and grandfather, but has now chosen to pursue a career as a graphic designer. An incident during a family trip to Disneyland in 2019, when her father curled up in fetal position during a fireworks display, remains etched in her memory.

The decline in veterans’ enthusiasm for military service has raised concerns at the Pentagon because most recruits come from military families. Nearly 80 percent of U.S. Army recruits have relatives who have served in the military. Last year, the Army fell 25 percent short of its draft quota, and a similar shortfall is expected in 2023. The Navy is aiming for nearly 38,000 recruits this year, but after a deficit of 3,000, it could be short by as many as 10,000. Recruiting in 2022.

The Pentagon faces challenges with limited recruitment, with more than seven in 10 young Americans considered ineligible for military service due to issues including obesity, drug use and mental illness. The Wall Street Journal cited a Pentagon poll showing that only 9% of 16- to 21-year-olds would consider joining the military, down from 13% before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Reports of inadequate housing, substandard health care, and abuse within the military further exacerbate the problem. Financial hardship is also a concern, with more than 20,000 active-duty military members relying on food stamps to support their families.

“Parents are worried about, hey, if my kids go into the military, will they have a good place to live?” Army Secretary Kristin Womus said. “If my kids join the military, will they be sexually harassed, or will they be more prone to suicidal thoughts?”


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