The Army of the Woke
The Army fell approximately 15,000 (25%) people short of meeting its recruiting goals this year, and some Pentagon officials focused on the tight job market as the culprit. Though access to civilian jobs and higher pay is a factor, the truth is broader and ignored at our peril. Rather than confront the reality of what is occurring in the military and the consequences of these actions, these same officials have decided to make blaming anything but the truth an Olympic-level sport and our nation’s readiness to defeat our adversaries is running in last place.
I served in the military for 28 years, both as an enlisted member of the Army’s Infantry, and as an officer in Aviation. As a former junior enlisted soldier I know what it takes to keep good soldiers in the military, and because I commanded up to the brigade level as an officer, I know that retention of quality servicemembers is a critical component and signal of successful command. While I never failed to exceed retention goals in my seven years of command, today I don’t think I’d sign up to serve at all.
Let’s take a more critical and accurate look at why the Army failed to meet recruiting goals.
1. The Commander in Chief of the armed forces leads an administration targeting its own forces with friendly fire. People know the Department of Defense is supporting the administration’s pursuit of “patriots” and as potential recruits themselves, or parents of potential recruits, they are saying “not now.”
2. The American citizen knows three-letter agencies are targeting innocent American citizens while ignoring the guilty. The potential for this to spill over into the Department of Defense does not bode well. People won’t sign up to serve a nation when it’s clear we have an administration that will force them to bend the knee or be removed. Visions of Biden’s speech in Philadelphia and the dangerous symbology and rhetoric applied come to mind.
3. The typical patriotic American signing up wants to be the wolf but is trained to be a sheep today. Those conservative and often rural families where a large number of America’s servicemembers originate also provide the true warfighters in our military. They are the ones saying, “no thanks.” Why join an organization to be told that your patriotic American beliefs are the problem and spend the term of an enlistment as a target of the chain of command?
4. It’s becoming more obvious that America’s wars are often not justified. For a period, Afghanistan was justifiable, but it turned into something else. Iraq was mostly a lie, and the newest generation is smart enough to know and has decided it’s not worth it.
5. More are concluding that the military is another expendable class to the false oligarchs in D.C. Just take your food stamps and fight our wars for us; the military industrial complex needs its sacrifice. Has anybody else read The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire lately?
6. Today’s military often lacks the backing of the nation at large. Our failure in Afghanistan, a direct consequence of the current administration’s actions, came at the end of years of conflict where the military remained at war and a nation had moved on. Why join the military and take part in Operation Enduring Conflict? Many who served over the last 20 years know what’s happening, and like me they do not encourage our youth to join the military of today.
7. The military’s senior leaders are never held to account for their failures and violations, but a soldier who puts up a patriotic symbol is a threat to society and will be pursued and removed. Similarly, those who refuse an experimental “vaccine” are also a threat and suffer the same friendly fire as those who refuse to play in “you’re a racist” games.
8. There is the potential for America’s servicemembers to be ordered to turn on their own. To deny this possibility is to deny everything that history teaches us and the specific actions of this administration. The Department of Justice targeting parents for standing up for their kids. FBI raids on Project Veritas and those faithful who support innocent life. Red Flag laws providing the excuse to the ATF to raid anybody they want. ATF agents also intimidating those who purchase legal gun accessories -- who needs a warrant anyway? The list could go on.
My family is proud of our service to the nation. From World War II to today, we’ve worn our nations’ uniform in the Army Air Corps, U.S. Air Force, and U.S. Army. We’ve served all over the world in and out of multiple conflict zones and have a combined 80-plus years of service. That tradition ends now and is ending for many families like ours.
If our nation wants a military that’s ready to fight and win today, it’s time to elect civilian oversight in our nation’s government that will stop playing politics with readiness and remember that our adversaries do not care about our pronouns or skin color. In fact, they are happy to watch us fight among ourselves for it means they don’t have to do anything but witness our nation destroying itself.
Lt Col (ret) Darin Gaub is a Co-founder of Restore Liberty, an international military strategist and foreign policy analyst, an executive leadership coach, and serves on the boards of multiple volunteer national and state level organizations. The views presented are those of the author and do not represent the views of the U.S. Government, Department of Defense, or its components.