With military recruitment among young Americans decreasing, the United States Army will reportedly enact a future soldier preparatory course, according to media reports. The Army course hopes to give potential recruits just short of meeting physical or academic standards the minimal boost needed to join the military.
According to reports, the Course at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, features one-on-one instruction with formal classes, where military instructors help students with mathematics. Army recruits must score at least 31 on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery.
Some of the students engaging in this course have reported that during the COVID pandemic, they were slow to learn and could not ask questions in class, resulting in them being unable to understand test questions. Those who have made it into the Army temporarily have the military paying for their housing and food for up to 90 days while they obtain tutoring to lift their scores. Regarding the issue of health, the Army has provided an intensive diet and health program for individuals with body fat levels over the Army regulations.
Army recruiters say that the people enrolling in this new program are on the “margins of meeting quality marks we want in our Army” from a physical and academic perspective. A big part of the Army recruiting problem is that the number of young Americans eligible to enlist have shrunken to around 23 percent. Additionally, many Army officials point out that the problem is also because of rising obesity rates, drops in test scores, drug usage, and other factors stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to military officials, the results have been encouraging, with 75 percent of the first academic class improving their test scores. After several days, almost half the recruits in the weight-loss class hit their goals and were able to ship out to basic training. Army officials hope that if the pilot program continues to show reliable results, the military can continue to expand it to other training bases in the country.
The issue of military recruitment in the U.S. has continued to become a huge problem that many defense officials say will have long-term consequences for the country. Since the COVID-19 pandemic occurred, young Americans were hit the hardest during the lockdowns, leading to suicide rates, depression, obesity, and drug use. As a result, military recruitment significantly dropped in 2020 and 2021, prompting Pentagon officials to produce new ways to recruit young Americans through social media and even video game networks.
Additionally, many young Americans today are not as patriotic as previous generations, with many sharing anti-American sentiments coming from influences at high school and universities.
When the Biden administration came into office in 2020, the Pentagon enacted a series of what many describe as woke policies in the military, supporting abortion policies and other left-leaning social issues that have many patriotic young Americans defer from enlisting. The U.S. Armed forces have also enacted strict COVID-19 policies in the military, preventing those without COVID inoculations from entering and firing soldiers refusing to get vaccinated.