Tag Archive for: MilitaryWokeness

The Pentagon Owns Its Recruiting Crisis

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Editors’ Note: We think it likely that the emphasis on transgender issues, race, feminism, and betrayal of the troops in Afghanistan ( the long indecisive conduct of the War itself and multiple deployments) are all issues. As to the double down of the military on forced vaccines, we have this observation: the Commander-in-Chief has been vaccinated twice, boosted twice, lives in a mask-controlled bubble with an attending physician at hand, and he got Covid. If the vaccines really worked, this could not happen. The insistence that we all take the risk of serious side effects (particularly myocarditis in young men) for something that is patently ineffective, rubs people the wrong way. It is like, you can’t join unless you believe our lie about the vaccines and the equally offensive lie about the special campaign to root out white supremacy. Many people from the rural South who make up 40% of the military simply say that is BS, which it assuredly is. The military has lost sight of its mission: maximum combat readiness. Instead, it has let itself become a petri dish for progressive social experimentation. Who would want to become part of that and risk your life in the process?


Replenishing the military ranks with qualified personnel is a perennial challenge. It’s no secret, though, that this year our armed forces are fighting uphill to recruit and retain talent.

Most of the services are well behind their quotas. But the Army, our largest service, is having the hardest time enticing young Americans. That service will fall short, nearly 20,000 troops from its original target end strength of 485,000 for FY ’22, and next year could be worse.

To manage, Army officials have slashed end strength and enlistment goals, while recruiters are offering fat stacks of cash and generous service terms as inducements.

So far, nothing is working.

The Army’s Chief of Staff, General James McConville, blames the shortfall on the competition with the private sector. Others blame upwardly mobile families who would rather their children attend college than wear a uniform.

Both are old saws. And this year, they ring hollow.

Some civilian jobs do pay more. But for an 18-year-old with only a high school diploma, military compensation is nothing to sneeze at. Indeed, recruits most often cite generous pay and benefits as the reason for signing papers.

Meanwhile, undergraduate enrollments are down over 600,000 from last year. So, it appears our missing recruits aren’t trading rifles for books, either.

Instead of blaming their competition, the Pentagon brass might dwell on their tarnished image as the reason fewer young Americans want to join up. 

Public trust in the military institution has plunged steeply since 2018, according to one poll. Respondents cite politicized leaders, scandals, and the bungled withdrawal from Afghanistan for their loss in confidence. 

We might add to that list suicidessexual assaultssocial justice indoctrination, and Covid vaccination policies as dulling the shine of military service.

Of the lot, the Pentagon’s vaccine mandate may prove its deepest self-inflicted wound. 

While the service chiefs are begging Congress to fund more generous recruiting incentives, they have forcibly discharged thousands of vaccine dissenters – including most of those objecting on religious grounds. A similar fate awaits tens of thousands more of the unjabbed in the National Guard and Reserve. Never mind that our military increasingly relies on these part-time troops for routine mission support.

And the Pentagon has doubled down. Submission to the vaccine is now a condition of enlistment, despite evidence the therapy is at best ineffective, and at worst dangerous for younger, healthier people.

It’s a policy gravely alienating to the families of Middle America whose children disproportionately serve in our all-volunteer force.

Before going further, consider that fewer than one quarter of Americans in the prime recruitment age of 17-24 years can meet our military’s physical, moral, or educational entry requirements, and that figure continues to decline. 

Of those, only about 9% of young Americans have any desire to serve. Perhaps only 1% ever do.

High standards have produced something of an embarrassment of riches. Our service members are amongst the healthiest, most disciplined, and best educated of their cohort nationally. But to maintain this quality, recruiters have come to count on solidly middle-class families inhabiting our Mid-American towns, suburbs, and rural counties to fill their quotas. 

Recruiters bank on small-town America because for a variety of reasons our populous cities produce few qualified volunteers. Even the New Yorkers and Californians in the ranks are more likely to hail from upstate or inland counties. In fact, a once-reliable third of all new recruits enter from just five southern states: Texas, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia.

The prepossessed term for these rich recruiting grounds is ‘flyover country.’

Instead, we might think of them as communities celebrating life on a smaller and more intimate scale, where patriotism, faith, family, and public service remain in fashion.

And yet their young people are not signing up like they used to.

The belief by some that vaccine mandates are meant to purge conservative Christians from the armed forces may be one reason recruiting offices are empty. After all, young people living in these prime recruitment areas are somewhat more religious and tend to be more conservative in outlook than many Americans.

They also are less likely to be vaccinated against Covid.

A more charitable account, though, is that the brass authored their own Catch-22 in the rush to prove their obedience to President Biden. As such, they have taken a position purported to improve readiness that has done quite the opposite. And now that they’ve become so thoroughly entrenched, they cannot easily retreat.

No matter. It should trouble the Pentagon more that their reluctant recruits are most likely military legacies.

Like many professions, the military is a family business. Roughly 80% of recruits either grew up in a military family or have a close relative who served. General McConville’s own clan is actually something of a poster family in career following, with three children and a son-in-law in uniform. Even the general’s wife once served.

Career following in military families is nothing new. It’s been going on since our country’s founding. The children of veterans, like those of bankers or physicians, often emulate their parents’ professional ethos early on. For soldiers, this includes respect for duty and honorable, selfless service. The generational transmission of such virtues has played a critical role not only in reproducing our service cultures but by extension our national values.

But it’s also a fragile chain.

While research indicates that military children are 5 times more likely to follow a parent into the service, only 1 in 4 do. And their desire to serve drops sharply every year over the age of 18. 

In short, the Pentagon’s stubborn adherence to its Covid protocol is breaking faith with its once loyal base. And the longer they dig in, the smaller that base will become.

It’s a high price our nation may pay for unimaginative leadership.

P. Michael Phillips is a retired senior military leader with significant political-military experience in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, and a researcher in the social and cultural reproductive aspects of Civil-Military Relations.


This article was published by The Brownstone Institute and is reproduced with permission.

The Case Against Drafting Women Into War

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Women are not men, and vice versa.

Men and women are different physically, emotionally, and mentally. Their strengths and weaknesses were made to complement each other, not to be interchangeable.

Generally, women are less tall, weigh less than men, and possess less muscle mass.  Men are stronger than their female counterparts because of basic human biology. This does not in any way imply that women are weak because, in fact, they are not. Women conceive and  bring life onto this earth – a biologic fact and strength that men will never be able to claim (no matter how hard they try).  Men and women are born with different characteristics and qualities and because of innate physical, mental, and emotional qualities, men are better suited for combat war than women.

In addition to being physically demanding and brutal, war is also psychologically extremely threatening. As historical and social trends illustrate, men are better equipped to handle the trauma of war due to the differential mentalities seen in men and women.

Women are natural caregivers and multitaskers due to how their brains operate. In a sense, the woman’s brain is like a string, with everything somehow connected. This is why, especially in conversations, women start on one topic and end their thought on something completely different. To her, they are connected. All aspects of her life are incorporated into her day. She is everywhere at once, doing everything.

Meanwhile, a man’s brain seems like many little boxes. In a way, everything is compartmentalized, so wherever he is, he is completely there. Whatever men are focused on, or whatever box they are presently in, they tend to be highly focused on. While women’s brains are built for multitasking, men’s brains are built for compartmentalizing.

Men and women have different mentalities too, and this is all too apparent in sports. Men and women’s soccer, for example, looks completely different, as does every other male and female sport. Men’s soccer is faster and more aggressive, and there is a lot more dribbling. Meanwhile, women’s soccer is slower and the team passes the ball a majority of the time.

Don’t think, just do. This line is used frequently in military-based movies. While these are movies, and movies are not the reality, there is some truth to it. Military is not about thinking and analyzing  your combat actions but rather about executing directives and orders most effectively as possible. It is about going all in, with absolutely nothing else on a soldier’s mind other than the task at hand – being 110% committed to the task and mission.

For time immemorial, war is war. The purpose of war is to kill, and whoever does so most effectively wins. We are not speaking of sending America’s daughters to be nurses or hold office positions, but sending them to the battlefield, at the very heart of the battle, with bullets flying, artillery exploding and brutal death occurring often of close companions and friends. Not only sending them into hell, but forcing them into a place and circumstance that does not highlight their strengths and amplifies their differences with men. Through this misguided and politically driven policy, America’s daughters would be forced to become more masculine and man-like. While these are good qualities for men, it is not the same for women.

Men also have a natural biological inclination to protect, whereas women are more characteristically caregiving. Regardless of what those on Capitol Hill preach, there are natural differences between men and women, and those differences are especially evident in sports and on the battlefield.  On the battlefield, men will have the natural inclination to protect the women with them. Men in combat must be singularly focused on the mission to kill the enemy and protect their country, not the women alongside them.

Human nature does not change, and stating this is not misogynistic. Men protecting, or wanting to protect women is neither misogynistic nor patriarchal. It is simply human nature, and I believe our human nature, and the differences of men and women’s nature, derives from both our primitive nature and God’s creation of human beings. While our technologies and way of life may change, human nature does not.

Some RINOs cheer drafting women, claiming that if feminists really want equality, they now have it. They think this is a self-own, or a “gotcha!” moment. It is not. When lives are mortally threatening and taken in real combat and conflict, it is not the place to employ cheap political. The RINOs know this is wrong, but they continue to go along with the left’s self-destruction of the country. Will they still be laughing if their daughters, granddaughters, and nieces are drafted and thrown into the hell of real combat?

Senator Josh Hawley summed up his thoughts on this topic by tweeting “It’s one thing to allow American women to choose this service, but it’s quite another to force it upon our daughters, sisters, and wives”.

America needs to once again acknowledge that men and women are genetically and biologically different. Male and female sexes are not interchangeable, and we were made for different purposes. Men and women have different strengths and weaknesses which complement each other when used to their full potential.

For most women, the battlefield does not highlight their strengths and they feel inept to handle the demands of a combat involved military. As stated above, women have a natural inclination to caregiving and nurturing, which is why a majority of nurses and teachers are women. Women and men are both strong in their own ways. Pretending men and women are the same, and easily interchangeable, is entertaining an illusion and one that the nation can’t afford in terms of its military prowess, lethality and readiness in a dangerous world.


Ellie Fromm is currently serving at The Prickly Pear as a Journalism Intern. Ms. Fromm is entering her senior year in high school and has been home schooled since preschool.

Another Government Blunder

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

We have experienced and witnessed a string of catastrophic government blunders in the past several years.

A partial listing of these blunders by our elected leaders includes:

  • The disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, intervention in Ukraine with no strategy to win, the introduction of wokeness into the military creating a recruitment crisis, and failure to stand up for Hong Kong
  • Deliberately creating a disaster at the border with the importation of millions of illegal migrants, and ignoring the rising death toll from fentanyl
  • Pushing “green” energy before it is proven and phasing out energy that is proven before it is time, suppressing drilling and exploration of oil and natural gas creating a shortage hurting all Americans, and selling oil from our Strategic Petroleum Reserve to the Chinese Communists
  • Double-digit inflation caused by poor fiscal and monetary policy, failure to have a sensible budget and stabilize Social Security and Medicare, failure to properly regulate cryptocurrencies
  • Defunding the police and creating a crime wave, cashless bail that releases violent criminals onto the streets in many cities, and failure to enforce the laws fairly without discrimination
  • A failure to educate our children with basic skills while propagandizing them with racism and sexual perversion, and responding to legitimate parental complaints by labeling them as domestic terrorists
  • Failure to address the baby formula crisis, and an ongoing chip shortage crisis affecting much of America’s manufacturing capability

Whew!  And, this is just a partial list.

The big one was, of course, the response to Covid.  From the decision to “lockdown” came many of our economic woes.

The state and federal governments’ Covid response severely damaged civil liberties by quarantining the healthy rather than the sick, failed to “flatten the curve” in a time frame close to that proposed, ignored normal protocols for the safety and efficacy of vaccines, completely overstated both the effectiveness of vaccines and masks, failed to diligently pursue treatments, distorted the labor markets and the economy in general, and failed to investigate the origins of the virus, regardless of where that investigation would take us. 

On the educational front, the most recent  The Economist simply says “Covid learning loss has been a global disaster” and that new data shows it “far worse than anyone expected.”

In addition, there has been a failure to investigate conflicts of interest among federal health officials and their financial ties to government-regulated pharmaceutical companies.

One of the “bipartisan” measures touted by both parties was the Paycheck Protection Program or PPP.

You might remember these were non-collateralized loans, with no recourse, extended to small businesses (fewer than 500 employees) to offset the effect of the “lockdown.” In a sense, it was justified because it was the government that was putting companies out of business and creating huge layoffs.

For a government program, it was developed and executed quite rapidly, barely three weeks after the emergency for the Wuhan virus was declared.

Initiated under Trump in March of 2020, most of the “loans” were forgiven by Biden by June 2022.

This and other handout programs drastically increased money in circulation. Unlike Quantitative Easing which bolstered banks’ reserves (which stayed mostly within the banking system), this and other programs just handed out newly created money to the public in general. This is largely responsible for the inflation crisis and acculturating the public to expect direct payments from the government.

Moreover, the program itself was grotesquely inefficient. A new study has found that while it did save some jobs (jobs that would not have needed saving if the government had not adopted lockdown), it did so with great waste.

A new study by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis finds that it cost between $169,000 to $258,000 to save a job that averages $58,200.

The authors of the study concluded it cost taxpayers about $4 for every $1 in “saved” jobs.

Besides this miserable outcome, the study found that 72% of PPP funds went to households in the top 20% of income. In short, it was a massive handout to the rich and affluent. This simply exacerbated further the problem of income inequality.

Well, you could say, this is what happens in emergencies. But it was the government (mostly public health officials) that created the emergency. Further, it appears that government-funded programs gave birth to the virus itself!

Covid deaths were concentrated among the very elderly and those with co-morbidities, often two or more. There has never been any real threat to the great majority of workers or small businesses.

Even if there was a threat to the general population, you have to wonder if government SBA loans and bolstering the use of unemployment insurance would not have been a less wasteful way to handle the problem. Spending $4 to save $1 makes little sense.

Moreover, many small businesses “saved” are never coming back. It has been estimated that some 60% of businesses that were closed during lockdown are not coming back.

It was a monumental waste and failed in the end to save a huge swath of small businesses.

This is the downside to the “never let a crisis go to waste” mentality of those of both political parties in Washington, DC.

Often programs are ill-conceived, wasteful, set terrible precedent, and are difficult to repeal.

About the only good thing about this program that can be said, is that it ended in fairly short order.

This raises a very interesting macro question: given the string of errors made by our government leaders and corporate elites, why does a large segment of the population still insist that government programs, using compulsion and public money, are the way to solve complex problems?