Military Needs New Recruits. Is It Time To Reinstate The Draft
With the nation facing an all-time low in those willing to volunteer to serve in the Military, is it time to reinstate the draft? That is the question that some politicians are beginning to ask. As Patriotism sinks to a new low and younger generations seem more willing to serve the needs of socialism rather than the foundations of or country, is it time for a change? Should the government implement a new program that requires two years of service either in the military or in some type of modern Civilian Volunteer program?
Currently, the Army is attempting to rebuild itself following the cuts made during the Obama years where overall numbers were reduced by more than 100,000. That action left our military at the lowest overall numbers compared to population since the end of World War I. But the Army is not finding it easy to find new recruits.
In fact, the Army is facing some of the lowest recruitment levels in our history. As a result, the U.S. Army quietly lifted its ban on allowing people with a history of mental illness, self-mutilation and drug abuse to serve in the military. Taking that action despite warnings from the industry about the risks involved.
Sources said the new rules will allow recruits who have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, depression and even issues with cutting themselves along with those who bite, hit or bruise themselves intentionally to enlist after obtaining a waver. Craig Bryan, the executive director of the National Center for Veterans Studies at the University of Utah said: “I am shocked. This contradicts everything we have been working toward for the past 10-to-15 years.”
Bryan says there is strong evidence to indicate self-injury is a “stepping stone to suicide” and is “the single strongest predictor of suicidal behavior.” Already, 22 veterans commit suicide each day according to national statistics.
But never the less, the Army signed off on the new policy in August. The decision came as it appeared the military would fall short of it’s goal to recruit 80,000 new soldiers through September of next year. It has also admitted that to reach this years goal, they accepted men and women who did poorly on aptitude tests and increased total waivers for pot use. In addition, they also shelled out hundreds of millions of dollars in enlistment bonuses.
This year they paid out $424 million in bonuses, almost double the $284 million paid in 2016. In 2014, that figure was $8.2 million. Some recruits qualified for bonuses of up to $40,000. Under the new mental health rules, recruits who would have previously been barred can submit waivers allowing them to sign up.
When you look back at the recent history of our military, this is particularly disturbing. Especially in the wake of last weeks church shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas by a former Air Force recruit who had been convicted of domestic violence and given a dishonorable discharge. Devin Kelley had a history of psychiatric problems and probably should never have been allowed into the military.
But Army spokesman Lt. Col. Randy Taylor says the waiver expansion was possible because the government has more access to applicants’ medical records. “These records allow Army officials to better document applicant medical histories.” he said, adding that the “waivers are not considered lightly.”
While some professionals believe the move is a step in the right direction, others like psychiatrist Elspeth Ritchie, who retired from the Army in 2010 said “Is it a red flag? The question is, how much of a red flag is it?”.
The Army says recruits with a history of self-mutilation must provide documentation including a statement from the applicant, medical records, photos submitted by the recruiter and a psych evaluation. The Army says the burden of proof will be on the applicant to prove a waiver should be issued.