Posted on Jul 20, 2023
SSG Carlos Madden
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The recruiting struggles continue across all branches. (https://www.wsj.com/story/the-us-army-expects-to-end-up-15000-recruits-short-this-year-b5e9de86). What is causing it and how should it be addressed?
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Responses: 386
SGM Bill Frazer
163
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1. 75% of males/kids are overweight and too fat/out of shape to join. 2. Thanks to Millennials- kids who were too active for their parents were put on drugs or sent to shrinks which require recruiting waivers. 3. A kid ( USAF Brat) posted that his culture as provided by his schools/peers has damaged/destroyed his Patriotism, that they have been taught "When you think of Pride, its the Rainbow Coalition, not America!" Modern parents and teachers have taught that if your feelings are hurt, go and hide in a safe place. Hell, Mass U is offering mental help because the Supreme Court vetoed Biden's Student Loan Payoff. All this makes it damn hard to find folks to recruit! Answer get our Country to start growing balls again and raise Adults, not "Snowflakes"!
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LCDR Ed Etzkorn
LCDR Ed Etzkorn
1 mo
Cleanse the "woke" from the military, especially it's leaders, let's get back to being war fighters. More George Patton, less Dylan Mulvaney!
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Capt Robert Vincelette
Capt Robert Vincelette
1 mo
The commercial junk food industry is a national security threat because it is responsible for the 75% of recruit age males are too fat to make it through basic training. Get the Coke and Pepsi vending machines out of our public schools, quit serving hotdogs and potato chips for school lunches. Ban the use of cartoon characters that target children on sugar frosted cereal boxes. They don't allow such pictures on cigarette packages, so it can be done. Dismantle playgrounds at McDonald's, Hardee's, and Burger King. Use the foster care system to remove children from parents who overfeed their children and make them fat.
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CPL Henry Miller
CPL Henry Miller
1 mo
LCDR Ed Etzkorn - Something wrong with "woke"? The opposit is "asleep".
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SPC Michael Budzinski
SPC Michael Budzinski
1 mo
Got into an argument with a woman in the Army complaining was having a difficult time bringing her dog back from her duty station in Japan. Kinda says it all
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SFC Casey O'Mally
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Edited 12 mo ago
There are a lot of partisan / political talking points that can be made. But almost all of those are doomed to failure for that very reason. So, attempting to avoid those areas, here are a few things I think may make a difference.

1) I would go back to the ad campaigns of the 80s and early 90s. Or something similar. Quit trying to be so generic we don't offend anybody, or so specific we are only talking to a few.

Marines fighting lava monsters with a sword and Soldiers rapelling out of helicopters were just cool. There is an argument that they are "elitist" and may give kids the impression that they aren't good enough to sign up. But I think the more accurate argument is that kids KNOW they aren't that good - but those commercials encouraged them to sign up so they could BECOME that good.

2) I would also tighten up uniform rules and go back to class B being the "standard" duty uniform. Military members just look BETTER in service uniform, as compared to fatigues. And even just walking down the aisle of the grocery store or pumping gas at the gas station, those service uniforms are an advertisement all on their own.

3) Get recruiters back in to schools. All of them. HS and college. If the school gets even a dime from the federal government in ANY way, even subsidized lunches, wedge in there and get the recruiters talking to kids.

And I mean true engagement. Have the recruiter stop by in Freshman PE. Not even to recruit, but to help out. Maybe an official timer for a 1 mile run. Maybe a grader for some other PE event, or a referee for basketball. Maybe a different recruiter shows up in Civics/government class to talk about the Constitution. Get the recruiters in there being a part of their world. They don't even have to pitch their service, just help out the school and then have time to be available after class/during lunch/after school for anyone who wants to talk.

4) Re-look / re-assess admission standards. Especially regarding health history and mental health history. If an otherwise acceptable candidate is being disqualified for a mental health history, but that concern has been "cured" either through treatment or simply growing up (Yes, you can "age out" of ADHD), let the waivers flow. Same for medications that are no longer being taken, or even medications that are "routine" and can be easily stocked /supplied. (Not things like refrigerated insulin, or highly black marketable Adderall, but things like Welbutrin or guanfacine that are stocked in pretty much every pharmacy, are relatively resilient regarding temperatures, and pose little threat for re-sale if we have to send a Soldier out with a 180 day supply. This would obviously need a lot of medical scrutiny, but I think in today's logistical world, SOME of these meds should be waiverable.) Sure we may still need a waiver, and make the recruit (and recruiter) show that the previous concern is no longer an issue. But loosen the standard on the waivers and let them flow freely.

5a) re-look / re-assess what is a military job and what is not. Back in the early 2000s, we went through and eliminated a lot of "excess military manpower" tasks (mowing lawns, cleaning windows, etc.) to free up Soldiers to train, train, and train some more.

We still have things like post police and road guard, and I don't think these are going away. But do 90% of the military intelligence jobs at Fort Belvoir and Fort Meade need to be done by uniformed service members? What about logistics? Cooks on those "non-depoyable" bases?

I think we are unlikely to radically recover from the current shortages. Short of conscription, we should accept a lower end strength. If that is the case, what are the most critical needs, and let's build our units, MTOE, and TDA that way. Very little, if any, change to ECB. But at EAC I can see room for a lot of conversion.

5b) Those folks who want to join the military, but are unable to due to physical ability or prescriptions or family requirements may be able to move into those previously military roles. We can give them the same basic pay and benefits package, or close to it, but maybe without VA eligibility, as they are not actually military and do not face the same hazards, particularly combat hazards. (Yes, I know a small percentage of the military deploys to a combat zone - and an even smaller percentage actually engages in honest to goodness combat. And that percentage is dropping as we have closed out Iraq and Afghanistan, and the GWOT is down to a simmer. But all military members sign up for a POSSIBILITY of going to combat - and train for it.)

5 options and a corollary. All of them will take work and changes to policy. Most will require legislative action. But they are out there.


Ok.... there's my thoughts.... go ahead and rip 'em to shreds, peanut gallery.
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Sgt Michael Baechle
Sgt Michael Baechle
2 mo
I think your proposals are very constructive. I think the weak point in your proposed program is the schools. School officials won't teach patriotic or pro-military values. For example, my children, college-educated, now in their 40's, were never taught in grade school, high school, or college, about Hitler, Stalin, or Mao, and all the 10's of millions of deaths the three of them caused, or the threat that Russia and China still pose to US survival. Our kids are also taught that religious extremism by Islamists is simply free expression. Our kids are now schooled in all this "woke" bullcrap, as if our country's biggest problem is transgender access to bathrooms. Add to that, our military services coddle people of a caliber that they would have formerly rejected.
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SMSgt Ds Martin
SMSgt Ds Martin
1 mo
Big thumbs up, especially #3
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Cpl David Miller
Cpl David Miller
12 d
Very logical and cogent alternatives. I agree with all that was said. One point however that must be made is that in order to those who are looking for a meaningful career path, the Military must be able to compete with civilian alternatives. Since I was on active duty, the military has made tremendous progress in reaching that goal, but still has a way to go. Short run the cost might be significant, but long run, retaining those individuals pursuing a career will cut down on the repetitive costs of training and educating short-termers replacements!
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SGT Dennis Shoemaker
SGT Dennis Shoemaker
4 d
Increasing retention decreases the need for such high recruitment. The military pushing its members to constantly work towards promotion ain't a bad thing but forcing those service members out that have reached the limits of their promotability, is. Bring back the specialists' ranks & ratings...not everyone can be a good NCO or officer but can't be beat in a particular technical field. By pushing the "move up or move out mentality", the military is grooming the service member in the very skills most attractive to civilian employers who can offer more money & better working conditions as well. Once we've poured enough time & training into the service member to make them the best, corporate America swoops in to snatch them up.
Don't be so quick to discharge the "professional private", either. That soldier might be a shitbird in garrison but the best soldier you have in SHTF situations. Getting busted & losing a stripe, 14 days in the brig or stockade, etc. for relatively minor infractions should not disqualify the professional private from serving & creating another hole that it is getting increasingly difficult to fill.
I whole-heartedly agree with SFC O'Malley but most especially on #4. Two of my sons attempted to enlist, the youngest after high school & the older after graduating university in four years. After they took the ASVAB, both were heavily recruited. The youngest had been diagnosed & treated for ADHD in grade school & middle school, no waiver. The older son was taking a prescription allergy med & his recruiter told him not to tell anyone instead of trying to get a waiver.
When I ETSing as an Army medic & was trying to re-enlist in the Navy as a corpsman for the Marines at 28yrs old, it only took 24 hours for my age waiver to come through so I know they can happen.
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CSM Andrew Perrault
86
86
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Get the woke stuff out, along with the politics. Get back to basics of warfighting
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CPT Special Forces Officer
CPT (Join to see)
2 mo
1SG (Join to see) - Why do people feel to need to encourage or get "boob jobs"? We are perfect the way we were created. I never judged a date or a potential spouse by their cup size. Are they kind, pretty to my eyes, and smart? Some people start our at average or below in appearance, until they open their mouths. Then within a few minutes they become they become the most beautiful woman you have ever seen.
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SFC Mark Wiggins
SFC Mark Wiggins
1 mo
SPC Michael Brown

It is a cult like neo-marxist movement whereby it’s members attempt to generate manufactured outrage and a phony victim status for fringe groups in the hope that they will align with them in class warfare so that they can consolidate power and influence.
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SFC Mark Wiggins
SFC Mark Wiggins
1 mo
SP5 Larry (Lawrence) Pitman

It is a cult like neo-marxist movement whereby it’s members attempt to generate manufactured outrage and a phony victim status for fringe groups in the hope that they will align with them in class warfare so that they can consolidate power and influence.
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SP5 Larry (Lawrence) Pitman
SP5 Larry (Lawrence) Pitman
27 d
SFC Mark Wiggins - The flip side is the "Neo-Fascists". They also consolidate "manufactured outrage and a phony victim status for fringe groups in the hope that they will align with them in class warfare so that they can consolidate power and influence." That is precisely what Hitler did.. He convinced the German people that they were "victims" and the "class warfare" was directed at the Jews. As a result, he "consolidated power and influence"
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