The Army cut its force size projections for 2022 and 2023 Tuesday in the midst of a historic recruitment struggle, raising questions about overall readiness as it clings to its “woke” agenda.
The Army could miss its recruitment goal for 2022 by 25%, Army Gen. Joseph Martin, vice chief of staff for the Army, told The Associated Press. Projected end strength, the total size of the Army including active and reserve components, is set to decrease by 10,000 troops this year and an additional 14,000 to 21,000 in 2023.
“Do we lower standards to meet end strength, or do we lower end strength to maintain a quality, professional force? We believe the answer is obvious—quality is more important than quantity,” Lt. Col. Randee Farrell, spokeswoman for Army Secretary Christine Wormuth, told the AP.
Investigations into extremism in the ranks, diversity quotas, rigid vaccination mandates and other “woke” policies have undermined military recruitment by alienating families, the military’s largest recruiting market, according to Center for Military Readiness founder Elaine Donnelly. The Pentagon’s insistence on social justice over meritocracy, lowering of standards and “anti-recruiting messages” pushes away potential recruits, Donnelly told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“Secretary Wormuth is ignoring the ‘check engine’ light on her dashboard.She keeps driving on, failing to notice how the administration’s policies are making the recruiting crisis worse,” said Donnelly. (RELATED: House Dems Hunt For ‘White Supremacy’ In Military’s Ranks)
The Army has achieved only 50% of its overall recruitment goal of 60,000 soldiers for fiscal year 2022 that ends in October, according to the AP.
The Army attained 17,800 new recruits to active duty service out of a 2002 goal of 26,000 as of April, according to data from the Department of Defense. The recruitment objective fell 20% from 2021, when by April the Army had brought on 28,000 active duty recruits, well on its way to the yearly goal of 32,000.
For comparison, by April 2017, the Army had achieved nearly 100% of its active duty recruiting goal.
Addressing ways to improve Army recruitment, Martin focused on improving climate within the service, including on issues like extremism.
“To compete for talent, the Army must provide a workplace environment free of harmful behaviors, to include sexual assault, sexual harassment, racism, extremism, and the risk factors which lead to death by suicide,” he said at a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee on Tuesday.
Despite force size drawdowns and plans to increase personnel spending, service leaders have argued that Congress is underfunding military readiness accounts that deal with maintenance and operations, according to House Readiness Subcommittee Chairman Republican Rep. John Garamendi of California, who spoke at the hearing Tuesday.
“On the spending issues, Congress should start asking very specific questions about the costs of LGBT mandates, experimental training like the Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) fiasco, replacements for personnel discharged due to COVID issues, etc.,” Donnelly told the DCNF. “Woke attitudes and mandates are not free.”
As Ranking Member of the @HASCRepublicans Subcommittee on Readiness, Rep. Waltz delivered the following opening statement at today’s hearing on military readiness for FY23 👇 pic.twitter.com/9hQ0xT4vEa
— Congressman Waltz Press (@RepWaltzPress) July 19, 2022
The Department of Defense did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s requests for comment. The Army declined to comment.
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