Rubio Calls for Fix to US Military Recruitment Issues

( – Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida is warning that the US military is about to see a worsening recruitment crisis at the same time that the nation’s adversaries continue to become more emboldened, a combination he said is “ripe for catastrophe.”

In a column for the Washington Examiner, Rubio noted that last year America’s armed forces failed to meet their annual recruitment goals, missing the mark by more than 41,000 people in 2023. The senator said that unmanned Navy vessels and reduced troop configurations in the Army show that “the impact is already being felt.”

Rubio poses the question of what can be done “to correct course” and improve military recruitment, answering that the solution “is simple” on one level while more complicated on another.

First, he said Americans must be made confident again that a military career is valuable, noting that recruitment reports indicate families and community leaders are less likely today to recommend a military career to the youth as a good choice. Before that can be resolved, though, Rubio says America must understand that this confidence was lost in the first place.

In order to under that, Rubio said the country must face “three difficult truths” about its recent history: 1) that “mission creep in the Middle East” damaged morale, 2) that the US government has failed to provide a suitable quality of life for service members, and 3) that many young people are avoiding the military due to politics. Rubio said the constant message from “the far Left” is that the US is inherently an evil, racist country and oppressing others across the globe, which has created a generation “who feel alienated from their own nation” and therefore less willing to join the military.

Rubio said if the quality of life for active service members and veterans is improved and “polarizing politics” are eliminated from the military, this will boost recruitment immediately. He added that Americans must be reminded of the US military’s “value to the national interest” despite its negative legacy in Afghanistan and Iraq. If recruitment isn’t improved, Rubio believes that America’s adversaries could take advantage of the situation.

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