by JOHN MAC GHLIONN
In the words of Claudia Pemberton, “America without her Soldiers would be like God without His angels.” Although I don’t speak for Ms. Pemberton, one assumes that the award-winning author and very proud member of the Military Writers Society of America meant “without her good soldiers,” fit and healthy individuals capable of defending the country. After all, to be truly safe, the United States requires men and women of a certain caliber. Sadly, if recent reports are anything to go by, the U.S. Army is desperately struggling to recruit the best and brightest. The consequences of this struggle could prove to be catastrophic.
The United States is being tested. Not just by China, its biggest rival, but by numerous domestic issues, including an increase in both violent crime and inflation. Now, it’s time to add the U.S. Army to the list of issues plaguing our country. In short, according to a recent Army Times report, recruiters simply can’t find enough strong, healthy young Americans capable of meeting the basic requirements to enlist. During the pandemic, as the report, written by Todd South, notes, “the service saw a 10% drop in aptitude test scores.” This year, rather disturbingly, the service has witnessed a 13-percent drop. To compound matters, “70% of potential recruits interested in Army service are disqualified in the first 48 hours.” Why?
For three reasons: obesity, low test scores, and/or drug use.
Earlier this year, Epoch Times writer Mimi Nguyen Ly discussed the fact that the U.S. Army was facing “unprecedented challenges” in not just attracting recruits but also training and retaining them. Because of this, she added, the Army “is likely to significantly fall short of its target number of troops” for the year. Almost 7,000 short, to be exact. Next year, according to the author, the Army is projecting a considerably higher shortfall.
There’s reason to believe that the U.S. Army’s recruitment crisis is here to stay and that the applicant pool is only going to worsen. To understand why, let’s focus on the three reasons I mentioned above.
The United States’ most recent national test results make for a sobering read. When it comes to basic reading abilities, scores for elementary school students are at their lowest point in more than three decades. Meanwhile, math scores are at their lowest point in half a century. When it comes to education, the U.S., supposedly the greatest nation in the world, now finds itself being left in the dust by its first-world peers. The country is even experiencing a decline in basic financial literacy.
Then there’s obesity. To join the army, an applicant must be at least 17 years of age. The applicant must also be in decent shape. That’s bad news for the U.S., for the most obvious of reasons. A large number of American teens are, for lack of a better word, large. Over the past three decades, according to a peer-reviewed paper published in Global Pediatric Health, “the prevalence of childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents.” Today, according to Harvard University’s School of Public Health, 40 percent of U.S. adults and 20 percent of adolescents are not just overweight; they are clinically obese. By 2030, 51 percent of the population will be obese.
Finally, there is the increase in drug use. According to the Addiction Center, a site dedicated to helping those with addiction, members of Generation Z, often referred to as “zoomers,” have a higher risk of developing substance abuse than members of previous generations. Reasons include profound loneliness and obsessive use of social media.
It appears the Democrat ideology makes people stupid. I’ve suspected this for some time. As if they hadn’t already lowered the quality of public education enough, their school closures put the final nail in it. Everything they touch gets infected with stupidty.
But, there is another reason for poor recruitment results: wokism.
My grandson just finished his stint in the Navy and, while I had earlier encouraged him to make a career of it, I couldn’t be more relieved. He is conservative and with well-researched ideas and opinions. He kept those to himself while in the service, but it only takes one slip to cost a service member their honorable discharge. I can imagine how difficult it is to suppress opinions on “Admiral” Levine, for instance. What an insult to the Navy and the entire nation.
I’m sure the best among us hesitate to join the armed forces when they can be kicked out for using the wrong pronoun or refusing a dangerous and unnecessary vaccine, not to mention having to serve under a Commander in Chief that is a traitor to the nation.
The left is destroying the economy, education, the military… the nation. It can’t be by accident.