US lawmakers on both sides of the aisle sounded the alarm Thursday over the US military’s reduced recruitment numbers, which some compared to the military’s popular trend during the Vietnam War.
The US has so far met 85% of its total hiring targets for the 2022 fiscal year, which ends in September. The US Marines, Space Force and Air Force have all met their goals, but the Navy is at 89% and the US Army is at just 66%, according to Politico.
Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., argued that the primary factors contributing to low recruitment are recruiters’ inability to interact with candidates in person due to Covid-19 and high obesity rates among candidates.
“We are in a military recruiting crisis,” Gallagher told Politico. “When Republicans take control of Congress in a few months, avoiding a recruiting crisis will be a top priority.”
A new study finds critical race theory taught to future military leaders at US military academies
Meanwhile, Rep. Rep. Jason Crowe, D-Colo., a former Army Ranger, argued the lack of sign-up incentives was the reason.
Army reaches 100% vaccination, claims only 1% refusal in troops
“I think we have to offer enlistment incentives and bonuses and educate people about military service and what it’s like and what it means,” he told the outlet.
As COVID-19 has reduced US military readiness among recruits and service members, President Biden’s administration has imposed a service-wide vaccination mandate.
Click here to get the Fox News app
The US military cut nearly 60,000 National Guard and Reserve members from pay and benefits for refusing to take the COVID vaccine in early July, leaving more than 30% of its recruitment slots unfilled.