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The Scariest Part Of The Army’s Recruiting Crisis, According To Tim Kennedy
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.
But there’s a subtler consequence to the Army’s recruiting problem: its potential to undermine the effectiveness of Army Special Forces. Green Beret turned UFC superstar Tim Kennedy eloquently pointed that out on The Joe Rogan Experience on May 17.
“[For] Special Forces specifically, we are gonna have the biggest deficit of eligible… population, to select from,” Kennedy said of the Army’s recruitment troubles. “You have to have a certain level of intelligence, a certain level of physicality, just to be eligible for Special Forces to pick you… that pool is the smallest that has ever been in history.”
Now, I’ve jabbed Kennedy before about some of his more rambunctious public missives (see: backyard waterboarding), but he knows exactly how intense the Special Forces Qualification Course is, having gone through it himself.
So why can’t today’s American youngsters hack it in the Green Berets? Because they’re fat, lazy fucks, that’s why.
“Kids are playing video games, they're not eating, Cheetos, less participation in sports … I mean, if you could just go to a high school and look at a high schooler now compared to 20 years ago, it's a different thing,” Kennedy said. “We weren't, like, barely getting kids past obesity 20 years ago. Now in a high school, if you walk into a classroom half the kids are obese.”
“So you think this is just because they’re sedentary ... because they're playing video games and fucking around online all day?” Rogan asked.
“It's not just… it's not me thinking this,” Kennedy responded. “It is us absolutely, quantifiably, saying ‘We do not have enough people to pick from.’”
He’s not wrong. While U.S. Army Forces Command and U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command officials told the Fayetteville Observer in February that they were striving to “fundamentally change the culture of fitness” within the Army, officials outside the military see America’s young fatasses as a “looming national security crisis.” A recent report revealed that some 71% of young Americans were ineligible to serve in the armed forces — a third of them because they were overweight.
Considering that Army Special Forces personnel are increasingly on the front lines of the Global War on Terror (beating the crap out of ISIS fighters in Niger, wading through vicious firefights against ISIS in Afghanistan, and so on), it’s likely, based on Kennedy’s logic, that Green Berets will likely experience the consequences of the Army recruitment crisis earlier and more acutely than any other part of the U.S. armed forces — and that’s going to end up as just one more obstacle to America’s road to extricating itself from the forever wars.
"We just need people like we've never needed them before," Kennedy said. "It's scary."
Navy Secretary Richard Spencer took the reins at the Pentagon on Monday, becoming the third acting defense secretary since January.
Spencer is expected to temporarily lead the Pentagon while the Senate considers Army Secretary Mark Esper's nomination to succeed James Mattis as defense secretary. The Senate officially received Esper's nomination on Monday.
U.S. Special Operations Command may be on the verge of making the dream of flying infantry soldiers a reality, but the French may very well beat them to it.
On Sunday, French President Emmanuel Macron shared an unusual video showing a man on a flying platform — widely characterized as a "hoverboard" — maneuvering through the skies above the Bastille Day celebrations in Paris armed with what appears to be a dummy firearm.
The video was accompanied with a simple message of "Fier de notre armée, moderne et innovante," which translates to "proud of our army, modern and innovative," suggesting that the French Armed Forces may be eyeing the unusual vehicle for potential military applications.
A lawmaker wants to know if the Pentagon ever exposed the American public to ticks infected with bioweapons
If you've ever wondered if the Pentagon has ever exposed the American public to ticks infected with biological weapons, you're not alone.
Rep. Christopher Smith (R-N.J.) authored an amendment to the House version of the Fiscal 2020 National Defense Authorization Act would require the Defense Department Inspector General's Office to find out if the U.S. military experimented with using ticks and other insects as biological weapons between 1950 and 1975.
If such experiments took place, the amendment would require the inspector general's office to tell lawmakers if any of the ticks or other bugs "were released outside of any laboratory by accident or experiment design."
The Taliban drove his family out of Afghanistan when he was a child. Now he wants to go back as a Marine
There's no one path to military service. For some, it's a lifelong goal, for others, it's a choice made in an instant.
For 27-year-old Marine Pvt. Atiqullah Assadi, who graduated from Marine Corps bootcamp on July 12, the decision to enlist was the culmination of a journey that began when he and his family were forced to flee their home in Afghanistan.
The Air Force has administratively separated the Nellis Air Force Base sergeant who was investigated for making racist comments about her subordinates in a video that went viral last year, Task & Purpose has learned.