Military Recruitment Shortfall Due to ‘Woke Agenda,’ Say Experts
For the second straight year, the Army announced that it has fallen well short of its recruiting goals. The shortfall this year reached 10,000 troops, which follows a 2022 shortfall of 15,000. Experts say that the lack of interest in the armed forces among otherwise military-minded young people stems largely from the Pentagon’s recent shift toward embracing controversial ideologies and practices rooted in critical race theory (CRT) and gender identity confusion.
Earlier this week, Army Secretary Christine Wormuth told reporters that the shortage is due to “a lot of things happening that are outside of the United States Army’s ability to control.” She went on to argue that “the job market has changed very significantly over the last 20 years — and we have not, frankly.”
But as Lt. Gen. (Ret.) William G. Boykin, a 36-year Army veteran who currently serves as executive vice president at Family Research Council, told Tony Perkins on Wednesday’s edition of “Washington Watch,” the Army has indeed changed, and not for the better.
“[W]e’re not attracting these young men and women across America because we are offering them nothing but bullying and woke agenda training,” he contended. “[I]f you were of an age to be looking to go into the military, would you want to go into the military that does not train you for war, that does not give you anything to make you feel like a warrior, [or] feel like somebody that can go out on that battlefield and be victorious? What they do give you is critical race theory and inclusion training and all of these things.”
Last summer, more than 600 documents were uncovered showing that West Point cadets are being immersed in CRT, with lessons on how “whiteness” is “a location of structural advantage, of race privilege,” how “racism is ordinary” and “White Americans have primarily benefited from civil rights legislation,” and directing cadets to apply CRT principles in their answers. In 2021, America’s former top general, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, defended the study of CRT in the military, commenting that it could help to “understand white rage.”
Additional analysis of the Biden administration’s military policies regarding transgenderism found changes in “official DOD vocabulary to reflect transgender ideology,” “[h]olds commanders directly responsible for all alleged ‘biases against transgender individuals,’” “[a]llows cross-dressing and other ‘transitioning’ behaviors on-base as well as off-base,” and “[r]estricts collection and disclosure of data on ‘incidents of harmful behaviors’ involving sexual orientation and transgender persons,” among other policies.
“The Army is failing,” Boykin underscored. “The whole military is failing to recruit adequate people because they will not face up to the reality that they have gotten so far off track … they need to go back to the time-tested things that we’ve used to fill the ranks of our military. And if they don’t, we’re going to wind up with a draft as the only option.”
Boykin went on to point out that with a fighting force that is now at its lowest level since 1940, America’s national security is at risk.
“[L]ook at what’s happening with Russia, Iran, North Korea, the Chinese, as they are building up their forces, as they are gaining strength, the kind of strength that they will need in a war against America, which is their primary target,” he pointed out. “We ought to look at ourselves and say, ‘Are we keeping up with them at least?’ And the answer is we are not. … We are doing things that have nothing to do with preparing for war. They have everything to do with a radical leftist agenda of this administration and others like them around the world, and we call them Marxists.”
Boykin further observed that the military has shown a pattern of seeking to oust servicemembers who do not wish to abide by directives that go against their religious beliefs and consciences.
“[W]e have bullied our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines. … [W]e put out … over 8,000 in the Army alone. And if you talk to some of the soldiers that I have talked to … some of them were bullied into taking the vaccine and others who refused to take it were put out of the military. Now, you think that … any soldier is going to want to follow a leader that has just bullied him into doing something that he is very opposed to, which is take a vaccine that he does not believe in for various reasons, part of which are his personal faith? That’s not going to happen.”
In a comment to The Washington Stand, Boykin was blunt in his assessment of what the military needs to do to increase their recruiting numbers.
“It is time for the leadership of our military today to recognize that they are training warriors that are capable of winning on the battlefield,” he said. “If they want to recruit people who come into the military with the specific purpose of being a warrior, then they must train them for that purpose. Training recruits to use politically-correct pronouns and to be able to discuss the history of CRT does not fall into the category of training warriors. This recruitment issue is not hard to figure out, and shame on the leadership of our military today, because the senior officers that are allowing this and even perpetuating it have enough experience to know that what they are doing is just wrong. Come on guys, wake up before it’s too late for our military.”
Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.