Brazilian international affairs researcher Uriel Araujo elaborated on the problem and cited a July 3 article published in the Atlantic magazine. The piece by Jason Dempsey of the Center for a New American Security and Gil Barndollar of the Defense Priorities Foundation disclosed that since 2020, merely "23 percent of young Americans aged 17 to 24 are 'eligible for military service without a waiver.' Most ineligible youth are disqualified 'for multiple reasons' such as [being] overweight, poor medical health and drug abuse."
The two former military members recounted that mandatory conscription in the U.S. ended on July 1, 1973. Since then, the armed forces have become an "all-volunteer force" (AVF) for 50 years.
However, Dempsey and Barndollar lamented that the AVF has become "unsustainable." They added that the AVF faces threats on "three fronts" – cost, capacity and continued ability "to find enough Americans willing and able to serve."
"Military pay and benefits have skyrocketed since 9/11, actually rising by more than 50 percent. Its high cost is one of the factors that make the U.S. military small," the two noted. Thus, they warned that the military could be broken by any "major conflict."
Dempsey and Barndollar also noted that only nine percent of young Americans would seriously consider military service – which is near the all-time low number since the AVF began. Service branches have loosened their restrictions on various things such as neck tattoos in order to widen the recruiting pool. They also recounted how the Army briefly dropped its requirement for potential soldiers to have a high school diploma.
"Even so, the U.S. military simply can't seem to find recruits and keeps falling short of its enlistment quotas," Araujo wrote. "Given all these domestic and systemic issues, it is no wonder that most youth either do not qualify or do not want to be part of the military. Considering that many young people, due to so many factors, simply do not qualify for service, bringing back the draft – with all the political costs – would simply not solve the issue." (Related: Woke U.S. military failing to recruit because nobody wants to defend American degeneracy.)
Woke ideology is perhaps one of the most overlooked reasons why the U.S. Armed Forces are having a hard time recruiting. In August 2022, the Epoch Times spoke to an active-duty soldier with over 15 years of service. The soldier, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, blasted the military's pivot toward wokeism as the main reason for dwindling recruitment numbers.
"In the past, the Army targeted a specific demographic of people based on their values. [These recruits] were patriots and loved America," the soldier remarked.
"[Nowadays], much of the country doesn't live America like it used to. With a military no longer upholding the values, the oaths or the creeds it once did, what kind of new recruits should we expect?"
The soldier pointed out that America now has a Department of Defense "that has taken various political positions that are very much opposed to the heart of America." Such positions include the encouragement of mandatory vaccination, support toward transgenderism and opposition to the Supreme Court's overturn of the Roe v. Wade abortion ruling.
The anonymous military member isn't the only one concerned about the issue. A Navy lieutenant also pointed this out, lamenting that the service branch "has probably alienated the majority of its recruiting base that [it] could have always counted on historically."
According to the lieutenant, senior military leaders have "bought into a big lie that somehow, the population at large wants a military which reflects the population diversity of the country." He decried this sentiment, adding: "The public simply wants to know that they have a military that's capable and lethal, and could successfully defend this nation on a moment's notice."
Watch Richard Leonard and Jason Ous discussing why the military's recruitment numbers are at an all-time low.
This video is from the High Hopes channel on Brighteon.com.