By P. Michael Phillips, Ph.D. | 30 July 2022
BROWNSTONE INSTITUTE — Replenishing the military ranks with qualified personnel is a perennial challenge. It’s no secret, though, that this year our armed forces are fighting uphill to recruit and retain talent.
Most of the services are well behind their quotas. But the Army, our largest service, is having the hardest time enticing young Americans. That service will fall short, nearly 20,000 troops from its original target end strength of 485,000 for FY ’22, and next year could be worse.
To manage, Army officials have slashed end strength and enlistment goals, while recruiters are offering fat stacks of cash and generous service terms as inducements.
So far, nothing is working.
The Army’s Chief of Staff, General James McConville, blames the shortfall on competition with the private sector. Others blame upwardly mobile families who would rather their children attend college than wear a uniform.
Both are old saws. And this year, they ring hollow. […]