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[US] Army Drops Requirement for High School Diploma Amid Recruiting Crisis

daftandbarmy

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Stand by for conscription selective service to ramp up:


Every branch of the military is struggling to make its 2022 recruiting goals, officials say​

With a record low number of Americans eligible to serve, and few of those willing to do it, this "is the year we question the sustainability of the all-volunteer force,” said an expert.


Every branch of the U.S. military is struggling to meet its fiscal year 2022 recruiting goals, say multiple U.S. military and defense officials, and numbers obtained by NBC News show both a record low percentage of young Americans eligible to serve and an even tinier fraction willing to consider it.

The officials said the Pentagon’s top leaders are now scrambling for ways to find new recruits to fill out the ranks of the all-volunteer force. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks consider the shortfall a serious issue, said the officials, and have been meeting on it frequently with other leaders.

“This is the start of a long drought for military recruiting,” said Ret. Lt. Gen. Thomas Spoehr of the Heritage Foundation, a think tank. He said the military has not had such a hard time signing recruits since 1973, the year the U.S. left Vietnam and the draft officially ended. Spoehr said he does not believe a revival of the draft is imminent, but “2022 is the year we question the sustainability of the all-volunteer force.”

 

Spencer100

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Stand by for conscription selective service to ramp up:


Every branch of the military is struggling to make its 2022 recruiting goals, officials say​

With a record low number of Americans eligible to serve, and few of those willing to do it, this "is the year we question the sustainability of the all-volunteer force,” said an expert.


Every branch of the U.S. military is struggling to meet its fiscal year 2022 recruiting goals, say multiple U.S. military and defense officials, and numbers obtained by NBC News show both a record low percentage of young Americans eligible to serve and an even tinier fraction willing to consider it.

The officials said the Pentagon’s top leaders are now scrambling for ways to find new recruits to fill out the ranks of the all-volunteer force. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks consider the shortfall a serious issue, said the officials, and have been meeting on it frequently with other leaders.

“This is the start of a long drought for military recruiting,” said Ret. Lt. Gen. Thomas Spoehr of the Heritage Foundation, a think tank. He said the military has not had such a hard time signing recruits since 1973, the year the U.S. left Vietnam and the draft officially ended. Spoehr said he does not believe a revival of the draft is imminent, but “2022 is the year we question the sustainability of the all-volunteer force.”

Hmmm if there only was a something that was discouraging people they could remove to up the number? A mandate or something? Nope can't think of anything. Must be middle class kids going college...re you say college is down too...
 

rmc_wannabe

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The US (much like Canada) has a lot of young folks now who are, unlike previous generations, actually getting treatment for mental health issues that are barriers to service.

ADHD and Autism isn't on the rise; it was always there, but getting a diagnosis was only for the most severe cases. Same with depression and anxiety. I have known people who otherwise would have been great candidates for the CAF, but balked at having to be off meds for 2 years in order to be allowed to serve (meds I pick up every 2 months from CFHSC, but because I was diagnosed by the CAF after I joined... thats different...appparently).

Maybe this recruitment crisis sees a review of "disqualifying conditions" as well?
 

OldSolduer

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At my current place of employment knowing how to count and knowing the alphabet is about the only quals necessary.

And sometimes people slip through the cracks.....
 

daftandbarmy

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The US (much like Canada) has a lot of young folks now who are, unlike previous generations, actually getting treatment for mental health issues that are barriers to service.

The best military organizations I have ever been part of relied on people like that to get great results!

Just sayin' ;)

creepy full metal jacket GIF
 

rmc_wannabe

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The best military organizations I have ever been part of relied on people like that to get great results!

Just sayin' ;)

creepy full metal jacket GIF
Yeah... not what I meant at all. Understanding it's in jest, it's a harmful stereotype.

Something as simple as having used antidepressants in younger years can be a disqualifier. ADHD same thing.

Plenty of functional people within society would be well suited for service, but there is a hang up about "mental illness" when you hit the CFRC. A lot of the people that are in demand for certain trades, especially technical ones, your target recruiting base is neurodivergent and have markers for ADHD or Autism. It limits the pool of applicants when the skill sets you want are in people you deem unfit for service because "oh.. you need meds to function.... sorry. We'll keep looking for our unicorn though..."
 

PuckChaser

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There's a hangup about mental illness because we put people in super stressful situations and break them mentally. I cannot possibly fathom how many more PTSD/OSI cases we'd have because someone just stop taking their meds after suicidal ideation as a teenager and then we put them into Afghanistan.

Mental health screening should be way more than we do now, not less.
 

daftandbarmy

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There's a hangup about mental illness because we put people in super stressful situations and break them mentally. I cannot possibly fathom how many more PTSD/OSI cases we'd have because someone just stop taking their meds after suicidal ideation as a teenager and then we put them into Afghanistan.

Mental health screening should be way more than we do now, not less.

Tangentially, there's alot of interesting background information on mental heath screening in the US military during various wars. It seems the shrinks might have been overcautious, initially, during WW2 which might also be the case these days:


"Initially, military officials approved of screening programs because they promised that the armed forces would be made up of the most able men. Between 1941 and 1944, Sullivan’s screening methods excluded 12% (almost 2 million) of 15 million men examined, which was about 6 times the rejection rate of World War I.10

Of all men rejected for medical reasons, 37% were excluded on neuropsychiatric grounds.11

However, the expected effects of screening did not materialize during World War II: the reported incidence rate for war neurosis in the US armed forces was at least double the rate during World War I.

The unexpected and dramatic failure of selection combined with the pressing military need for manpower led military officials to severely criticize psychiatrists.12 An order of Gen George C. Marshall abolished screening in 1944.13

At that time, a number of men who had been recommended for rejection on psychiatric grounds were inducted after all.

Of this group, a mere 18% was later discharged on neuropsychiatric grounds.

Of the remaining group, a surprising 80% gave satisfactory service (the percentage for the army as a whole was 92%)."

 

PuckChaser

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Compare that to how many days in combat or under indirect fire between WW2 and Afghanistan/Iraq. The difference is staggering, and you're using an apples to oranges comparison.
 

daftandbarmy

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Compare that to how many days in combat or under indirect fire between WW2 and Afghanistan/Iraq. The difference is staggering, and you're using an apples to oranges comparison.

My main take away from that article is that if the shrinks are being over zealous in weeding people out during the recruiting process because they are assumed to be 'Unfit Psych', they need to be stopped/ reoriented.
 

PuckChaser

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They're also the medical professionals, I just Google stuff.

I think you've seen the countless sob stories on here from folks who had serious mental health episodes, said they were fine and stopped taking meds without any doctor support. We have bad enough staffing problems with people on MELs, without recruiting those with massive risks to relapse because they're in a super stressful environment that not many civilian practitioners can even comprehend.
 

daftandbarmy

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They're also the medical professionals, I just Google stuff.

I think you've seen the countless sob stories on here from folks who had serious mental health episodes, said they were fine and stopped taking meds without any doctor support. We have bad enough staffing problems with people on MELs, without recruiting those with massive risks to relapse because they're in a super stressful environment that not many civilian practitioners can even comprehend.

You're right, of course.

Having seen three 'completed' suicides and two 'incomplete', from young guys with no previous hint of any mental health issues or previous deployment related PTSD, we're also in unknown territory compared with the recent past.

What do you do with a generation of kids who are largely distiguished from those before by the rate at which they kill themselves? It's beyond me..
 

rmc_wannabe

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There's a hangup about mental illness because we put people in super stressful situations and break them mentally. I cannot possibly fathom how many more PTSD/OSI cases we'd have because someone just stop taking their meds after suicidal ideation as a teenager and then we put them into Afghanistan.

Mental health screening should be way more than we do now, not less.
And yet... here we are.

There are many applicants that have "gamed the system" going through MEPS or our CFRC process that are still currently serving. There are many people that receive diagnoses after enrollment that are able to serve and do so for a full 25 (you're looking at one). I have been to Afghan and did the thing, my brain is just as rattled as some "normies" butbI'm still serving after getting early interventions and therapy.

PTSD/OSI rates are comparable in both the neurotypical and neurodivergent. There are few to any clinical markers to measure mental resiliency for PTSD and if there were, we'd have a lot (more?) of sociopathic and psychopathic applicants raising their left hand.

I would love @Staff Weenie or other medical folks to chime in on the last time our Disqualifying Conditions list was revised and if they are in line with the DSM-V and other revisions, or if we're stuck doing the "well... this is the way we've always done it..."
 

SeaKingTacco

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And yet... here we are.

There are many applicants that have "gamed the system" going through MEPS or our CFRC process that are still currently serving. There are many people that receive diagnoses after enrollment that are able to serve and do so for a full 25 (you're looking at one). I have been to Afghan and did the thing, my brain is just as rattled as some "normies" butbI'm still serving after getting early interventions and therapy.

PTSD/OSI rates are comparable in both the neurotypical and neurodivergent. There are few to any clinical markers to measure mental resiliency for PTSD and if there were, we'd have a lot (more?) of sociopathic and psychopathic applicants raising their left hand.

I would love @Staff Weenie or other medical folks to chime in on the last time our Disqualifying Conditions list was revised and if they are in line with the DSM-V and other revisions, or if we're stuck doing the "well... this is the way we've always done it..."
It is an interesting experiment: what, psychologically, are the best mental health tendencies/traits for successful combat service?
 

OldSolduer

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It is an interesting experiment: what, psychologically, are the best mental health tendencies/traits for successful combat service?
Just a crayon eater here but this is what I thought in 1998.

We do a pretty damn good job of preparing troops physically to do what is necessary in combat. For the most part they are fit and can shoot, call for indirect fire etc.

Where the military fell down is failing to prepare them psychologically. Proper prep may not prevent PTSD and associated ills in all troops but it might lessen the effect.

Can anyone tell me if R2MR is working?
 

Blackadder1916

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I would love @Staff Weenie or other medical folks to chime in on the last time our Disqualifying Conditions list was revised and if they are in line with the DSM-V and other revisions, or if we're stuck doing the "well... this is the way we've always done it..."

As far as I aware, unlike the US military services, there is no such list for the Canadian Forces. Each applicant's (and serving member's) health status is looked at individually with respect to history, diagnosis, treatment (if any), the response to that treatment and how it will be (or potentially be) affected by military service. However, they've been doing this a long time and certain patterns emerge as well as some conditions being obviously unsuitable for military service. There will be guidelines as how certain conditions should be considered when assigning medical categories (and yes, the DSM is used). There are a couple of CHRT decisions that include detailed explanations of how med cats are determined for applicants (such applicants being unsuccessful, which lead to the human rights complaints). You'd have to do a search, but "Montreuil" is probably a good starting point.
 

rmc_wannabe

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Just a crayon eater here but this is what I thought in 1998.

We do a pretty damn good job of preparing troops physically to do what is necessary in combat. For the most part they are fit and can shoot, call for indirect fire etc.

Where the military fell down is failing to prepare them psychologically. Proper prep may not prevent PTSD and associated ills in all troops but it might lessen the effect.

Can anyone tell me if R2MR is working?
R2MR has done quite well from my experiences with troops both leading operationally and in the training system.

It has definitely prevented a lot of catastrophic breakdowns from happening, mainly because we have socialized and communicated mental resiliency and "you good, dude?" into our cultures at every level; almost as much as how important taking care of your feet are or the principles of marksmanship.

That, coupled with the peer support groups and MFSA, has definitely made for soldiers that are more willing to get help, but also have more leaders in tune with the mental readiness state of their troop/platoon/flight/division than just what BTS Level they've obtained.

I think also the approaches to training folks in the physical tasks has definitely improved resiliency. Making training realistic and challenging is definitely still the goal, but allowing troops and leaders time and space to learn the job, Crawl, Walk, Run, without screaming in their ear while doing it is giving better results.

In the end, a kick to the junk is still a kick to the junk; no amount of small kicks will prepare you for the Mark 5 steel toe.
 
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