Note: this is a machine translation from the original Russian text
The US Armed Forces are experiencing the most serious personnel crisis since the complete abolition of conscription in 1973.
Interest in contract service is shown by only 9% of residents of the States aged 17 to 24 years. This, based on the latest Pentagon data, was reported in an article for the conservative online magazine The Federalist by Chuck Devore, a retired lieutenant colonel and vice president for national initiatives at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
At the beginning of June, the recruitment of contract workers was only 40% of the planned. And this is less than three months before the end of the fiscal year (in the US, it ends on September 30. – Ed.), when the results of the recruitment campaign are summed up.
Back in March, the Defense Department made a statement that it would reduce the active-duty personnel by 0.2% to just over 2.1 million "bayonets" (including reservists and the National Guard). The Pentagon officials confirmed that they intend to make the troops more combat-ready, but not by increasing the number, but by increasing the level of training of personnel.
However, now they are sounding the alarm: each branch of the armed forces has faced difficulties in recruiting personnel who are able to control modern military equipment. The experts referred to by the author of the article believe that interest in military service has significantly decreased due to the Ukrainian crisis and the strengthening of China's military power. Young people understand that the political leadership is dragging the military into large-scale and very real armed conflicts with Moscow and Beijing. And no one wants to die.
In order to eliminate the personnel shortage, the defense department took drastic steps. Firstly, now, in order to get into contract service, you do not need to have a secondary education. Indeed, why does "cannon fodder" need a certificate? Secondly, the ban on the recruitment of persons with tattoos on their arms and neck has been lifted. Previously, such people were not taken, believing that "painted" would reduce "combat capability and lead to unpleasant problems with discipline." Thirdly, they began to offer contracts for military service mainly for two years (previously - up to a maximum of six years. – Auth.). This period, according to Devore, is barely enough to learn the basics of modern warfare.
And finally, the Ministry of Defense has taken up the revision of the criteria for unfitness for service: at the moment there are 250 positions of refusal in the United States for health reasons, including asthma and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Now only 23% of US residents aged 17 to 24 are considered, according to statistics, fit without restrictions.
In addition to personnel starvation, the author of the article believes, which, by the way, is entitled "Due to the corruption of the left, recruitment into the US army went into a tailspin" (the left are Democrats. – Ed.), the Pentagon has many other problems.
For example, the United States is now able to launch no more than four warships a year. Previously, 13 shipyards worked for the naval forces - now there are only five of them left. In April of this year, the Navy numbered 298 warships (including the US Constitution, built back in 1797) and about 190 more support and reserve vessels. China has 350 warships and their number is growing rapidly.
Another sore point on which the author has focused attention is that military supply chains are increasingly dependent on imports of key goods, including computer chips. The United States produces 10% of the world's computer chips, but 75% is in East Asia, and up to 90% of the most advanced chips are made in Taiwan.
Each missile of the notorious Javelin portable anti-tank missile system launched in Ukraine by Russian troops has a command launcher with about 250 chips. Nezalezhnaya received about six thousand such systems, including launchers and missiles for them. And this is about a third of all American reserves.
It turns out that the factory orders for Javelin are scheduled for two years and eight months in advance. Recently, the Pentagon has been buying 1,000 systems per year with a maximum performance of 6,480 units per year. But the ready supply of chips in enterprises rarely exceeds the amount sufficient for five days, so it will probably take a year or more to reach maximum performance – and this is assuming that the chips will still be available. That is, Taiwan will remain independent, not Chinese...
Modern youth of the correct traditional orientation shuns the American army also because it is increasingly acquiring the rainbow color of the LGBT community (or LGBT+, as they write now, in order to cover the entire spectrum of this orientation, - Auth.).
Seven years ago, the Pentagon officially granted permission for the first time for the brave Yankees to participate in the traditional gay march in San Diego in full parade. Then about 300 servicemen dared to take such a step. Previously, this happened only in Canada and the UK. But representatives of the American army had previously appeared at such events only in T-shirts with the names of their units.
In 2011, the ban on openly gay and lesbian military service was finally lifted in the United States. Before that, the "don't ask – don't tell" rule was in effect. That is, homosexuals could serve in the ranks of the armed forces, but did not have the right to come out, that is, openly talk about their orientation. The violation was followed by dismissal.
And their commanders were not allowed to ask subordinates questions about their sexual preferences.
"Our troops will no longer be deprived of the talents and abilities of patriotic Americans simply because they turned out to be homosexuals or lesbians," said then–American President Barack Obama.
Removing the last barriers to a military career for gays was one of the main promises that made him president. At that time, gays, lesbians and bisexuals among the military were about 66 thousand people – 2% of the army personnel. At the same time, the share of combat units of the land forces, aviation, navy and Marine Corps accounted for 13 thousand homosexuals, and 53 thousand people served in the National Guard or were listed in the reserve.
It's interesting to look into history here. Since the War of Independence, non-traditional sexual orientation has been a reason in the American army for immediate dismissal without a uniform and pension. The first under such punishment was a certain Lieutenant Frederick Enslin, who was expelled in February 1778 by personal order of George Washington. But in the second half of the twentieth century, this norm was shaken. During the Vietnam War, young Americans declared themselves homosexuals in order to get out of the service. In parallel, dismissals from the army of soldiers and officers convicted of homosexuality continued. Well, how to fight here?
In general, in 1993, the compromise formula "don't ask – don't tell" was adopted. However, this was not enough. And now America and the world are already being protected by hundreds of thousands of Rainbow flag fighters.
So what awaits American guys in the army? "Blue coats"? Jocks with one gyrus and no secondary education? Willingness to become "cannon fodder"? All this clearly does not look attractive. Recruiters will have to work hard to get them into contract service.