Army Stats Show Precipitous Drop-Off In White Recruits — And Some Blame Conservative Media
ARLINGTON, VA - JULY 01: U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey (back to camera) administers the oath to 16 soldiers who re-enlisted in the U.S. Army at the Pentagon July 1, 2008 in Arlington, Virginia. The ceremony marked the 35th anniversary of the end of the draft and the beginning of the all-volunteer armed forces. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The latest recruiting numbers from the United States Army have shown a precipitous drop-off in white recruits over the last several years – and among other factors, some insiders are blaming “partisan attacks against the military for its efforts to recruit and support a diverse force.”

According to a report published Wednesday by, white recruits were down 6% from 2022 to 2023 alone — and had dropped off by double digits since 2018, when just over half (56.4%) of all Army recruits were classified as “white.” In 2023, 44% of all Army recruits were classified as “white.”

In real numbers, there were 44,042 white recruits in 2018 — and that fell to just 25,070 in 2023. Recruiting numbers have decreased overall during that same period, resulting in the Army failing to meet its recruiting goal of 55,000 in 2023 — but non-white demographics have seen increases by percentage over those same years.

Between 2018 and 2023, black recruits are up 4% (from 20% to 24%), and Hispanic recruits have risen 7% (from 17% to 24%). The overall numbers have not risen dramatically, but because white recruits have decreased in such numbers, other demographics now make up a larger percentage of the overall recruiting pool.

The Army has been working to encourage recruiting efforts and told that they could not nail down one specific cause — instead, they “pointed to a confluence of issues for Army recruiting, including partisan scrutiny of the service, a growing obesity epidemic and an underfunded public education system.”


One other factor, they told the outlet, was the increase in “partisan” criticism of the military overall as it worked to embrace and implement Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) into both recruitment and retention across all branches of service.

The suggestion was that conservative media outlets and legislators, by attacking the military’s adoption of “woke” policies, had telegraphed to a “mostly white audience” that the Army was less attractive a career option than it had been in years past.

“There’s a level of prestige in parts of conservative America with service that has degraded. Now, you can say you don’t want to join, for whatever reason, or bad-mouth the service without any cultural guilt associated for the first time in those areas,” one Army official told the outlet.

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