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Obesity Isn’t The Only Factor Keeping Young People From Military Service

In recent years, the U.S. military has been plagued by lackluster recruitment across the board as it struggles to attract a new generation of soldiers to serve in the armed forces, and if called on, to go to war. 

What is driving the military’s recruitment woes? While both the lack of patriotism among young Americans and the growing obesity among the country’s youth are contributing factors, much of the recruitment problem is likely self-inflicted. In recent years, military leadership has alienated key recruiting demographics by instituting vaccine mandates, promoting anti-white sentiments, and pushing other woke initiatives. 

Here are six of the contributing factors to the military’s falling recruitment numbers: 

Vax Mandate

Under President Joe Biden, the Pentagon instituted a COVID vaccine mandate across all branches of the military, which led to the expulsion of over 8,000 service members. While this mandate was eventually revoked, the armed forces are still reeling from the mandate, which likely deterred many young and healthy Americans to choose a different career path.

Young men, of whom make up the bulk of the active duty service members, may have been especially hesitant to get the jab because of data indicating that the shot could be associated with myocarditis in their demographic.

Other potential recruits may have had religious, medical, or ethical objections to taking the jab. 

“If you are sitting in the state of Georgia or Texas and you see they are putting 40,000 members out, you are going to scratch your head a bit and say, ‘why would I join up?’” a former senior Department of Defense official said back in September. “And if you don’t want to get vaccinated, you are certainly not going to join.”

Anti-White Sentiment

In recent years, statements from military leadership appear to show  a growing animosity toward white people. This presents a problem, not just because it’s morally wrong to judge someone based on skin color, but because about 70% of active duty military men are white, according to recent statistics.

This disdain is seen in comments from top military brass, including Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff Mark Milley who infamously said he wanted to study “white rage.”

The Department of Defense’s former top DEI officer for education, Kelisa Wing, also took aim at white people in comments on social media before she decided to resign months after the comments emerged.

“I’m exhausted with these white folx in these [professional development] sessions,” she said in June 2020. “[T]his lady actually had the CAUdacity to say that black people can be racist too… I had to stop the session and give Karen the BUSINESS… [W]e are not the majority, we don’t have power.”

“I am exhausted by 99% of the white men in education and 95% of the white women. Where can I get a break from white nonsense for a while?” another social media post from Wing said.

According to Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), dozens of servicemen have also complained about training emphasizing white privilege, systematic racism, being an “anti-racist,” and police brutality. It was also claimed that the phrase “all lives matter” was frowned upon.

In light of this, potential recruits have to ask themselves if they are willing to fight for an institution that appears to judge them based on their skin color.

Sexual Identity Politics

In addition to stoking racial division, the military  has also moved to fully embrace the sexual revolution.

Examples of the military’s adoption of sexual identitarian politics include: an Air Force base in Germany scheduling (and later canceling) a drag queen story hour, an aircraft carrier having an LGBTQ spoken word night, and the full-fledged embrace of transgender ideology by certain segments of the military.

During the so-called “Trans Day of Visibility” last month the Naval Sea Systems Command criticized states that have banned sex change surgeries for kids and urged Americans to be an “ally” of trans-identifying people. Also in March, two Pentagon doctors backed child sex changes in an article for the American Journal of Public Health.

On top of pushing radical gender ideology, the military announced it would pay for abortion tourism for women in the military. Currently, the Veterans Affairs administration is fighting Republicans over whether Veterans Affairs clinics can provide abortions.

Asking young men and women from America’s heartland to sign on to these progressive cultural policies as a condition of their service may be a bridge too far.

Shoddy Treatment of Veterans

The Veterans Affairs administration has long been dogged with accusations of corruption, ineptitude, and mismanagement. These criticisms have been especially potent as the suicide rate among veterans has remained sky-high coupled with the fact that thousands of veterans are now homeless.

According to various reports, many veterans have been denied care, even as federal investigators have found that the VA has wasted millions of taxpayer dollars. While incompetence seems to be a theme of the department meant to care for the nation’s veterans, an estimated 17 veterans commit suicide every day.

While the VA struggles with scandals and meets with trans-identifying activists, there are thousands of homeless veterans. A recent estimate from about a year ago put this number at over 30,000. Those willing to die for their country should be ensured that they will be taken care of when they return home.

Denigration of American History

Pentagon leaders have also shown a growing disregard for American history, one that has begun with a purge of anything linked to the Confederacy. Some are concerned the purge is likely to expand to the Founding Fathers.

Back in October, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin signed off on the recommendations of an independent naming commission to completely remove any reference to any person or idea linked to the Confederacy.

This includes the removal of a large bronze monument tucked away in Arlington National Cemetery known as the Confederate Monument. The monument, which was designed by a prominent Jewish American sculptor, is at the center of the graves of Confederate soldiers. It was widely seen as a symbol of reconciliation in a war that took the lives of over 600,000 Americans on both sides and left the South in ruins.

To signify its meaning of peace, the monument references Isaiah 2:4, which talks about turning swords into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks, a powerful message for a nation recovering from the trauma of war. Up to the present day, many presidents, including Barack Obama, had sent flowers to the monument on Memorial Day.

However, this symbol of peace, in a far corner of Arlington, must go and taxpayers will pay for the removal. It may only be a matter of time before the military decides that the bodies around the monument must go too (see Richmond’s treatment of A.P. Hill). 

In similar fashion, the Navy recently announced that it would be renaming a ship named for oceanographic pioneer Matthew Fontaine Maury because of Maury’s ties to the Confederacy during the later years of his life.

Despite being more known for his innovations in oceanography than ties to the Confederacy in the final years of his life, Maury, known as the “Pathfinder of the Seas,” also needed to go.

All these changes and more will cost taxpayers over $60 million.

This approach to our nation’s history is off-putting to many young Americans who expect those in leadership to honor our shared, albeit imperfect past.

Questioning The Mission Of The U.S. Military

Another element likely contributing to the recruiting crisis is an increasing lack of confidence in what kind of wars the U.S. will be engaged in. The war in Afghanistan, which lasted over 20 years, resulted in thousands of Americans dying or being severely handicapped, and seemed to bring little result after Biden’s hasty retreat.

Was the war about democracy or fighting radical Islamic terrorism? The goals seemed to shift and the ultimate objective appeared to be vaguely defined. In 2021, the Taliban quickly took back the country and seemingly erased in a matter of days the work that American soldiers had bled for over 20 years. 

Today, there are questions about whether the U.S. will expand its role in the war between Russia and Ukraine or if tensions with China will escalate into a shooting war. Recruits should be asking themselves whether they would be willing to die for Ukraine or Taiwan.

With the increasing lack of confidence in American institutions, many potential recruits, disillusioned by the Left-wing takeover of the military, will be less likely to sign up to serve leaders they see as corrupt.

UFC fighter Bryce Mitchell likely summarized the position of many Americans when he told Tucker Carlson in March 2022 that while he wouldn’t fight in the Russia-Ukraine war, he would defend his state. “I’m just not wanting to go waste my life fighting for some of these battles that I don’t even believe in,” Mitchell said. “I believe our leaders, a lot of these elites are guilty of treason. What they’ve done is just treasonous.”

If war came to Arkansas, Mitchell said his response would be dramatically different. “I will dig my boots in the ground, and I will die for everything I love. And I will not retreat,” he said. 

None of this is meant to denigrate the millions of Americans who have honorably served in the military over the last 250 years, but military brass should be held accountable for its kowtowing to the Left on issues from racial prejudice to sexual politics, only alienating those it needs to attract to protect the nation. 

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Obesity Isn’t The Only Factor Keeping Young People From Military Service