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U.S. Army Fails to Meet Recruitment Goals, Soldiers Dismissed for Refusing COVID Shots Invited Back

Army soldier thinking

It has been nearly a year since the U.S. Congress repealed the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DoD) mandate requiring soldiers to receive COVID-19 shots in order to be allowed to continue their service in the military. On Nov. 1, 2023, the U.S. Army sent a letter to 1,903 active-duty soldiers, who had been dismissed for refusing to get COVID shots, and gave them instructions on how they could re-enlist.1

The letter was addressed to to dismissed military personnel by Army Director of Personnel Management Brigadier General Hope C. Rampy, who stated:

As a result of the rescission of all current COVID-19 vaccination requirements, former soldiers who were involuntarily separated for their refusal to receive the COVID-19 vaccination may request a correction of their military records.2

The Army said that 19 of the 1,903 discharged soldiers have returned back to active duty, and they expect that number to grow following the letter that was sent out.3

According to a military blog Task and Force, the decision to invite unvaccinated soldiers to re-enlist as long as they meet certain requirements is a direct result of the Army facing difficulty in recruitment. The Army failed to meet recruitment goals in 2023 by approximately 15,000 soldiers.

It is believed there is a lack of interest from the Gen Z demographic (born between 1997 and 2012) to serve in the military. Published reasons given for lack of interest in joining the military included the poor U.S. economy; the job market; and publicity about sexual assault and suicide in the military.4

The Army Times publication reported that two years of the COVID pandemic impeded army recruiters’ access to schools, public events, fairs and other youth organizations where they often find recruits. During the lockdown, they attempted to recruit online; however, those efforts were unsuccessful.5

The Army has implemented several initiatives to attract potential prospect, which include sending out some of the service’s best recruiters to help recruitment efforts around the country; increasing enlistment bonuses for specific military occupational specialties; establishing a training course for potential recruits who want to join but do not meet the physical and academic requirements, and providing $35,000 signing bonuses to new recruits.6

Secretary of Army Says Recruitment Low Due to Increasing Distrust in Institutions

Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth said that the percentage of young Americans who are physically fit and mentally strong enough to join the military has been declining gradually over the years and is now at about 23 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 24. She added that younger people are not as interested in joining the military due to institutional skepticism. She stated:

When you look at Generation Z, you see a lot of the declining trust in institutions.7

Military leaders have expressed concern that if recruitment numbers do not increase, DoD may have to reassess its force requirements and find ways to make the military a more attractive profession to the small percentage of young Americans who can meet mental and physical requirements for service.8


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7 Responses

  1. Along with the formerly mandated death jab, these young people may not want to enlist to fight for the rainbow flag! Smart!

  2. So much to unpack here. Young people don’t want to join a group that won’t let them refuse to be part of a nationwide medical experiment and that will send them off to fight battles for other countries that shouldn’t involve us. At the same time, too many young people are not physically fit and/or have mental and emotional problems after just coming out of 13+ years of being in another government institution….

    1. When schools and universities spend so much time training kids to think the US is the source of all the problems in the world, why would anyone think young people would be anxious to serve and defend her?

  3. When schools and universities spend so much time training kids to think the US is the source of all the problems in the world, why would anyone think young people would be anxious to serve and defend her?

  4. A high ranking Air Force general stated that American soldiers should be willing to die for Israel. Well, I vehemently disagree with this man who will not have to be in the battlefield, facing enemy bullets. As a 22 year army veteran, I made sure that my son would not join the military after we gave up the victory in Vietnam. I am not willing to see my grandchildren be involved in wars of useless attrition such as Iraq and Afghanistan. Now Austin has spoken against isolationism and that we should be involved in other countries wars. They can all go to hell. We do need a strong military, but not to waste on foreign wars that should not involve us

  5. Gee, I wonder why they don’t trust these institutions. It’s as big a mystery as people just dying suddenly. /s

  6. As they continue to weed the rational and sane from our military, imagine within the next decade, when they finally do come for us, what type of individual will be looking down the barrel at you…

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