Darin Gaub writes for Real Clear Defense about a major cause of military recruiting shortfalls.

The Army fell approximately 15,000 (25%) people short of meeting their recruiting goals this year, and some Pentagon officials focused on the tight job market as the culprit. Though access to civilian jobs and higher pay is a factor, the truth is broader and ignored at our peril.  Rather than confront the reality of what is occurring in the military and the consequences of these actions, these same officials have decided to make blaming anything but the truth an Olympic level sport and our nation’s readiness to defeat our adversaries is running in last place.

I served in the military for 28 years, both as an enlisted member of the Army’s Infantry, and as an officer in Aviation.  As a former junior enlisted Solider I know what it takes to keep good Soldiers in the military, and because I commanded up to the brigade level as an officer, I know that retention of quality servicemembers is a critical component and signal of successful command.  I never failed to exceed retention goals in my seven years of command, today I don’t think I’d sign up to serve at all. …

… The Commander in Chief of the armed forces leads an administration targeting its own forces with friendly fire.  People know the Department of Defense is supporting the administration’s pursuit of “patriots” and as potential recruits themselves, or parents of potential recruits, they are saying “not now.” 

… The American citizen knows three letter agencies are targeting innocent American citizens while ignoring the guilty.  The potential for this to spill over into the Department of Defense does not bode well.  People won’t sign up to serve a nation when it’s clear we have an administration that will force them to bend the knee or be removed.  Visions of Biden’s speech in Philadelphia and the dangerous symbology and rhetoric applied come to mind.

… The typical patriotic American signing up wants to be the wolf but is trained to be a sheep today.