L-R: Peter Wang, photo via 21st Century Photography; Riley Howell, photo via AP; Brendan Bialy, photo via Twitter.
Twice in the span of one week, students with dreams of joining the U.S. military have been on the front lines against school shooters in the U.S., risking their lives and oftentimes losing them in the process.
The U.S. Army is launching a new merit-based promotion system for enlisted personnel that will reward qualified soldiers with more rank but also force "subpar" sergeants out of the service if they fail to meet the new standards.
Recruits take the oath of enlistment before a NFL game in Arizona, November 2018. Photo: Alun Thomas/U.S. Army Recruiting
Army Secretary Mark Esper said on Friday that some schools "are not letting our recruiters in" to talk to students, and some school counselors "are not even presenting [the Army] as an opportunity, the chance to serve their country."
The Army’s been having a hell of a time filling its ranks. In late April, the service announced it would not meet its goal of picking up 80,000 new active-duty soldiers, with only 28,000 new recruits halfway through the annual recruiting cycle. Although Army Sgt. Maj. Daniel Dailey told the Associated Press that the branch had reduced its target to 76,500 new recruits, he insisted that higher reenlistment rates (86%, compared to 81% in years past) were making up the difference.