Trust and interest in the U.S. military plunge as Biden officials oversee shrinking force, record enlistment shortfall
WASHINGTON — During a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the U.S. military’s ongoing recruitment and retention efforts across the Department of Defense, U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) hammered the Biden administration’s lack of solutions to reverse record low trust in America’s military and plunging interest in joining the armed forces.
Senator Tuberville has previously called the military’s enlistment crisis a “national security emergency” and criticized the Biden administration’s “ideological approach” to recruitment for exacerbating the problem. Senator Tuberville remains concerned about the dire consequences of both the shrinking number of young adults eligible to enlist and sharply declining interest in serving the country. Senator Tuberville believes Pentagon leadership needs to take the recruiting crisis seriously and conduct an about face to restore faith in the American military.
Excerpts from Senator Tuberville’s remarks can be found below, and his full remarks and line of questioning can be viewed here.
“I recruited for a long time; I know how hard it is. So, you’ve got a challenge. Especially when only one out of every five American youth is eligible to join the military. The drugs, obesity, the lack of education, criminal activity, they prevent a lot of young, young people even wanting to get in the military. That’s hard enough, but, you know, this administration has made the job so much harder for you.”
“After watching this administration’s blunder in Afghanistan, tossing 20 years of sacrifice down the drain, why would a veteran encourage their children to sign up? I know you’re running into that problem. So, this administration doesn’t inspire our youth about America. It paints our service members as extremists, white supremacists, but are surprised that only nine percent — only nine percent — of young people even want to serve. That’s a small, small pool. Faith in our military has collapsed.”
“I’ve reviewed the list of speaking engagements for senior leaders at the Pentagon and could find no trace — zero — of anyone speaking publicly about recruiting. The leaders of our military. But there were plenty of speeches on climate change, pride month, and global water security. What is going on here?”
Senator Tommy Tuberville represents Alabama in the United States Senate and is a member of the Senate Armed Services, Agriculture, Veterans’ Affairs, and HELP Committees.