Army chief admits recruiting difficulties will make force too small

Army Chief of Staff General James McConville admitted in a Senate hearing on Thursday that the army’s recruiting difficulties and its plan to downsize as a result would leave the force too small. .

The army will reduce the total number of its active forces over the next few years due to recruiting difficulties – an unprecedented step, according to some military experts.

The military announced in March that the final strength, or total number of forces, would increase from 485,000 soldiers currently on active duty to 476,000 in fiscal year 2022, which ends in September, and 473,000 in fiscal year 2023. This is the lowest since World War II, according to the military times.

Jim Inhofe (R-IN), ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, called it “more severe than any recruiting challenge I’ve encountered in my years here.”

Inhofe noted that in 2018, then-Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley said the Army was aiming to get north of 500,000 and that McConville himself , last year, said he thought the number should be between 540,000 and 550,000.

He asked McConville, “Is it still your best military judgment that we need an army greater than 500,000?”

McConville replied, “Well, senator, I think we need a bigger army. I stand by the comments I made earlier.

However, he suggested that he did not want to lower the standards to keep the final strength higher.

“I also think quality is more important than quantity,” he said. “Right now 83% of young men and women entering the military come from military family members and, you know, it’s good that it’s the military family business. We need it to be an American family business. We have to attract others. We need to expose others to the benefits of serving their country,” he said.

“Again, what we are seeing right now is that 23% of Americans are qualified to serve in the military. So we have to do work in our high schools and we have to do work to prepare the young men and women to come because I don’t think there’s a better way to serve and I think we have to have a call to service,” he added.

The recruiting difficulties come despite the military launching a recruiting campaign targeted at Gen Z that featured cartoons of real soldiers who were either women or racial minorities.

Retired Lt. Gen. Thomas Spoehr, director of the Heritage Foundation’s Center for National Defense, told Breitbart News in a March interview: “The American public senses that the military is becoming increasingly political. and that topics such as race and gender equity, critical race theory, and wokeism in general are getting more attention, at the expense of preparation.

At the same time, the military faces recruiting challenges, set to potentially lay off thousands of troops for failing to meet the Biden administration’s vaccination mandate. Many of those soldiers have requested a religious accommodation to the warrant in order to stay, but very few have been granted across the military — primarily to service members who are already on terminal leave.

Follow Breitbart News’ Kristina Wong on Twitter or on Facebook.


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