Military Facing Lack of Qualified Applicants
The military requires a constant influx of qualified young people to serve, and the totals are becoming more and more difficult to achieve.
The high percentage of potential recruits who don't meet recruiting standards is likely to become an even more serious problem since the Defense Department plans to add thousands of new members to all branches of the military over the next year. The Washington Times reports:
Military budget documents show that the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps are being asked in fiscal year 2016 to recruit 2,000 to 9,500 more active-duty [members]. The Army Reserve's goal in fiscal year 2014 was to recruit 33,261 personnel, but military planners have considerably upped that goal in fiscal year 2016. By the end of next year, recruiters must be able to persuade 39,860 men and women to join the reserves.
Lieutenant General David Barno, of the American University's School of International Service, says that an improving economy will likely mean that less recruitment-age males will be interested in serving in the military. This is because a military career is often seen as a last-ditch option during times in which the overall job market is better and there are other options to explore.
“There's lots of jobs out there, and now it looks like the military is not as involved in as many operations that seem exciting to 18-year-olds,” Barno says. “So it's going to be very, very tough to recruit in that population.” He explains that recruiters should anticipate a challenging experience in their attempts to encourage people to join the military.
Although a changing economy and a possible related disinterest in joining the military exists, Connor feels that those aren't the biggest issues the Army Reserve faces. He says that the main challenge is the quality of the applicants, stressing the fact that an increasing amount of potential recruits are disqualified because of undesirable physical and mental conditions.
One additional aspect not mentioned by Lt. General Barno is the large number of service members exiting the military because they object to or are uncomfortable with the social engineering going on within the military. It is increasingly clear that anyone who objects to the military being turned into a PC social experiment is being shown the door or being made unwelcome in the “new” military.
That means that well-prepared, seasoned military members are being lost, and replacing them will be an increasing challenge. And the softer, more coddled, less prepared recruits are just not going to be able to meet the needs of the military or of this nation.