US Army Veteran Recruitment Crisis Debt Rent Hunger Inflation Army Afghanistan Rent Inflation
The number of veterans, service members and their spouses recommending a career in uniform has fallen sharply in the past two years, with hunger, hardship, woke culture and withdrawal from Afghanistan blamed for a recruitment crisis .
Research from the Military Family Advisory Network (MFAN) found that the number of service members who would advise others to enlist fell nearly 12 points to 62.9% between 2019 and 2021.
Respondents complained of being short of money and even hungry. Others warned that the US military was becoming another casualty of the culture wars, with woke criticism of the armed forces deterring new recruits.
David Maxwell, a 30-year Army Special Forces veteran, said the US military was struggling to enlist newcomers when it needed to build up manpower for a potential confrontation with heavy enemies like Russia or China.
“The military is a family business, and if military families tell their children not to enlist, that sends a powerful message to everyone, including patriotic and driven people,” Maxwell told DailyMail. .com.
Army Gen. Joseph Martin this week spoke of “unprecedented challenges” in recruiting recruits, leading to a shortfall of some 10,000 troops this year and bigger problems down the road. Pictured: Army recruiters at a job fair in Michigan
Potential recruits were discouraged by President Joe Biden’s chaotic military exit from Afghanistan in August 2021 and the perception that the “woke culture” had left the armed forces an inhospitable place to serve, Maxwell said.
“People are worried about the potential for large-scale combat operations to defend our country, our allies and our way of life in a war with Russia, China, Iran or North Korea,” he said. Maxwell, now a think tank expert.
“These are not the kind of wars we have been fighting for the past two decades.”
David Maxwell, a 30-year-old army veteran, is now a North Korea expert at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a think tank
MFAN’s survey of 8,638 service members, veterans and their spouses in the United States and deployed overseas, conducted late last year, found disturbing numbers in financial disputes despite their paychecks. government pay.
Three-quarters were in debt, more than half couldn’t save, 61% struggled to pay rent and 17% said they were so short of money they couldn’t always put in enough food on the table.
Respondents typically had an annual family income of $25,000 to $75,000.
The spouse of a serving military member, who was not named in the study, said the lack of health care “breaks military families apart”. Another said he felt ‘like a failure having to rely on others to help us feed our family’.
Richard Hudson, a Republican congressman from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, one of the largest military installations in the world, spoke about the “real challenges facing too many families” in a video accompanying the report this week.
One in six people in services in his district faced food insecurity – well above the national average, he said.
“Clearly we need to do better for our troops and our veterans,” he said.
The study comes amid growing fears of a troop shortage in the world’s top armed forces.
Army Gen. Joseph Martin, the Army’s vice chief of staff, spoke this week of ‘unprecedented challenges’ in recruiting recruits, leading to a shortfall of some 10,000 troops this year and more big problems ahead.
The army projects it will have a total force of 466,400 this year, down from a projected 476,000. By the end of 2023, the number could drop further to between 445,000 and 452,000 soldiers, depending on the quality of recruitment and retention.
Speaking to a House Armed Services subcommittee, Gen. Martin blamed “the post-Covid-19 environment and labor market, but also competition with private companies that have changed their incentives over time”.
This week, Army General Jack Keane spoke to Fox News about the worst recruiting crisis since the 1970s, when the government scrapped the draft and moved to an all-volunteer force at the end of the Vietnam War. .
The House last week passed an $840 billion bill that would grant 4.6% pay raises to military personnel. It contains requirements to address white supremacist and neo-Nazi activity in the forces, over objections from Republicans.
A U.S. Marine attends an evacuation checkpoint in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 2021. The chaotic exit by U.S. forces has been blamed for damaging morale and deterring new recruits
Service members, veterans and their husbands and wives say money, housing, health care and maintaining long-distance relationships are major challenges in the modern military