The U.S. Military is Facing its Greatest Recruiting Challenge in Almost Half a Century

  • The Army recently announced it will fail to meet its critical recruiting requirements for the second year in a row. The nation’s main ground force could experience a significant decline of up to 7% within a mere two-year timeframe.
  • The Army is not the only branch falling short with the Navy expecting to fall about 6,000 short of its goals, and the Air Force around 10,000 when taking into account the active component, Air National Guard, and Air Force Reserve. 

Young Americans are Ineligible and Uninterested in Military Service

  • The number of young Americans eligible to serve is at a catastrophic low of 23%. This is exacerbated by rising adolescent mental health challenges (58%), low scores on the military’s standardized test for potential recruits (9%), and youth obesity rates (22%).
  • Generation Z isn’t interested in serving in the military, and, for the first time, the majority of youth—52%—have never even considered the military as an option.

Military Recruitment Deficits Can Be Solved in a Number of Ways

  • Military recruitment deficits can be seen as a reflection of a broader societal disconnect, encompassing a lack of patriotism, love of country, and a sense of shared values.
  • To address this issue effectively, we must prioritize civic education, foster national identity, bridge the gap between civilian life and the military, and engage in open discussions about the importance of serving one’s country.
  • By reinvigorating a sense of patriotism and collective responsibility, we can work towards ensuring a strong and committed military capable of safeguarding our nation’s interests.

 Click HERE to read the policy focus and learn more about the military recruitment crisis in the U.S.