Widely panned “woke” ads are part of the problem, say reform advocates
File photo: A military recruitment center in Times Square in Manhattan, September 04, 2020. © Spencer Platt/Getty Images
The US military is posting the lowest recruitment numbers in decades, with the army doing worse than all the other service branches. An op-ed on Monday carefully blamed an “antiquated” recruitment system and the recent “woke” ads as the main culprits, proposing an overhaul of both.
Earlier this month, the Pentagon confirmed that the military was 23% behind its recruiting goals for the year. The problem was already apparent in April, when Senator Thom Tillis (R-North Carolina) told the Armed Services Committee that “every single metric tracking the military recruiting environment is going in the wrong direction,” and warned about “the worst numbers in the last few decades.”
According to Monday’s op-ed in Task and Purpose, authored by one current and one former US Army officer, the two principal problems are misguided advertising and an obsolete recruitment system.
“Army advertising lacks consistency and a strong message that resonates well with potential recruits,” write Lieutenant-Colonel James Machado and former Army officer Daniel Johnson, both scholars at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.