Where the boys are not

We hear of a war with China down the road.  I don't know for sure if that will happen, but I do know that we are not recruiting enough volunteers.  This is from Lt. Gen. David W. Barno, U.S. Army (ret.), and Dr. Nora Bensahel, who are visiting professors of strategic studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and senior fellows at the Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies:

How bad is the recruiting crisis? During the last fiscal year, the Army missed its recruiting goal by 15,000 active-duty soldiers, or 25 percent of its target. This shortfall forced the Army to cut its planned active-duty end strength from 476,000 to 466,000. And the current fiscal year is likely to be even worse. Army officials project that active end strength could shrink by as much as 20,000 soldiers by September, down to 445,000. ...

The other services barely met their active-duty recruiting goals last year, but it will be harder for them to do so in 2023. They all accelerated their delayed entry applicants at the end of the last fiscal year, leaving them with a far shallower pool to draw from this year. The Marine Corps may be able to compensate for this problem because its outstanding retention rates last year enabled it to lower its recruiting goal. It may be able to do so again this year. But the Navy and the Air Force face greater recruiting headwinds. Both started with deeper holes in their pool of delayed entry applicants, offered extensive financial bonuses, and took a wide range of other one-time measures — such as the Navy increasing the maximum enlistment age from 39 to 41.

Why fewer volunteers?  I don't have a simple answer.  I remember when our son volunteered in 2010.  He was motivated by service or patriotism.  He really wanted to wear the uniform and be a part of something noble like the U.S. Armed Forces.  I remember visiting him at the base and found the same feelings among the other young people there.

So how much does the woke factor play into this decline in recruiting?  Again, it's hard to tell, but all of this woke stuff can't play well in homes where dad and grandfather served in the past.  Imagine Grandpa calling to inquire about the first week of training and hearing that they are mastering pronouns!

The aforementioned article does point out that there is less confidence in the U.S. military.  Wonder why?

So what happens now, especially if a war is around the corner?  That's the big question that no one really has an answer for.  I do remember something called the draft and young men getting notices about showing up next Saturday at the military office.  Didn't we fight Vietnam and Korea that way?

Do we need a draft to fight the next war?  We may, if volunteers don't volunteer.  Wonder if Chinese generals are taking that into consideration when drawing up plans to invade Taiwan?

In the meantime, where the boys are is not lining up to serve.

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