US Army to Cut Force by 24K Over Recruiting Shortfalls

( – The US Army is to cut its overall personnel size amid a recruitment crisis. A restructuring plan will see 24,000 positions dropped, but reports suggest these are already unfilled. In an official statement, officials said the Army is “not asking soldiers to leave,” and restructuring will increase the number of troops in specific key installations.

Around 10,000 posts will be slashed in cavalry squadrons, Stryker brigade combat teams, and infantry brigade combat teams, but most cuts relate to counterinsurgency positions connected to the Iraq and Afghan wars that are no longer needed.

Nevertheless, the Army statement said it will continue to recruit troops in the hope of reaching 470,000 by 2029 – the current figure is 445,000. The target may, however, prove difficult to reach as 2023 recruitment missed its target by 41,000, and the Pentagon admitted to a recruiting crisis.

Ashish Vazirani, the Pentagon’s acting undersecretary for personnel and readiness, told a Congressional committee that 77% of young Americans would not qualify for military service, with 11% noted as being too overweight to serve.

Vazirani told lawmakers last year that the crisis is not driven by young people not wanting to join the military but that they never consider it. “They simply don’t know much about military service, and what they do know is not accurate or complete,” he said.

Other common reasons that young people do not qualify to serve include drug use and mental health illness, and military observers say the health crisis has deepened since the pandemic when depression and anxiety rates soared.

Additionally, public confidence in the US military has plummeted, showing just 27% in a 2022 Gallup poll. Data furthermore suggests that serving members are less likely to recommend a military career to others. In 2019, 75% of military families recommended the lifestyle, but this fell to 63% two years later.

Democrats and Republicans see the problem differently, with Democrats saying the military is not progressive enough and Republicans claiming it is too “woke.”

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