US military’s all – volunteer force slow decline puts America at risk

It seems that the U.S. military’s all-volunteer force (AVF) is slowing dying. Since the end of conscription, the AVF was able to deliver the top-quality force that it promised. In every conflict the more skilled, more motivated and experienced U.S. troops dominated the battlefield.
However, today, the forces are trying to reach their recruitment targets like they have never before. The Army is among the most affected, and is expected to be a shortfall of up to 15,000 troops, with the possibility of a bigger deficit in the coming year. Experts pinpoint a myriad of factors, including inadequate pay and benefits as well as a challenging work-life-balance, “culture war” issues COVID-19, as well as an enviable job market. Even if every one of them was “fixed,” the core causes of the decline in the AVF aren’t going to be changed.

The reality is that the number of Americans aged between 17 and 24 who are eligible and willing to serve is shrinking. As secretary of the Army in the year 2018 71% of the 34 million youths did not meet the requirements for military entry due due to weight gain, substance abuse mental and physical health issues and criminal conduct. The following year, that figure is more high. Furthermore that of the 23% of people who can serve in the present the remaining 10% do not have the academic qualifications required by the military. Of those 3.5 millions of young Americans left just 9percent (~320,000) are inclined to volunteer. A country of 332 million ought to be doing better than this.

The numbers are all going to the right direction influenced by larger social and cultural trends as well as an inexperienced population with less than one percent that makes up those in U.S. population in uniform which protects their rights. When the draft was ended in 1973, most youngsters were connected to their families in the military, that could help explain the military lifestyle and encourage their service to the this country. However, today, this number is significantly smaller. Significant reductions in the dimensions of the U.S. military and in the number of bases in the country following the end of the Cold War caused this issue. The “knowledge gap” has grown as time passes because of the lack of contact with soldiers wearing uniforms. This has created the development of an “identity gap” that inhibits people from contemplating a career in the military. It’s not difficult to understand why there is a growing military caste in America with over 80 percent of the current military have a parent who has served in the military. All of this has implications for the entire set of military-civil relations that the country is in a battle.

The extent and magnitude of these developments are beyond the reach to the Pentagon to correct. There are steps the military could and are currently taking however they tackle the issue on the edges. Since the capability for the army to protect the country is dependent upon an impressive number of top-quality volunteers it is a major national issue that needs to be tackled at the highest level.

This means that the White House and Congress must collaborate to reverse the basic trend. The first step is to set up an all-party commission made up composed of highly respected leaders, just like the president Richard Nixon did in 1969 when he voted to end conscription. This time, instead of creating the AVF this time, the new commission’s task will be to preserve it. In this sense, commissioners need to concentrate on the most important problems: increasing the pool of youth who are competent to serve and increasing their interest in serving.

In addition, for reasons that go beyond the needs of the military the commission must consider ways to enhance the fitness and health of our youth, look at and revise the eligibility requirements, increase JROTC across the country, and create new opportunities for civilians to connect with their military counterparts to dispel misconceptions about the military and provide recruiters with unfettered access to schools across America. Additionally the Pentagon should stay clear of lower standards, decreasing the size of its military, or making hollow combat formations. We need to put in the effort we require to win our wars and not make shortcuts.

The president and legislators along with governors as appropriate, must also teach and motivate our children by responding to their concerns, praising the benefits of military service and discussing the advantages and possibilities which come from fulfilling the call to serve. They must also solicit the assistance of celebrities, athletes and other people that influence America’s young. A message in the form to “be healthy, keep fit, avoid trouble, and consider serving your country in uniform” could be an ideal beginning.

With threats from China and elsewhere increasing the risk of our future by neglecting these threats. The majority of solutions will take years to be successful and a return conscription isn’t the solution. If we want to prevent conflict, win in the event of war and prevail in our way into the future, then we’ll have to keep a substantial and high-quality volunteer force. This means that today’s leaders must take action now to train and inspire the next American generation to be a part of the.

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