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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."
The Marine lieutenant colonel who was removed from command of 1st Reconnaissance Battalion in May is accused of lying to investigators looking into allegations of misconduct, according to a copy of his charge sheet provided to Task & Purpose on Monday.
President Donald Trump just can't stop telling stories about former Defense Secretary James Mattis. This time, the president claims Mattis said U.S. troops were so perilously low on ammunition that it would be better to hold off launching a military operation.
"You know, when I came here, three years ago almost, Gen. Mattis told me, 'Sir, we're very low on ammunition,'" Trump recalled on Monday at the White House. "I said, 'That's a horrible thing to say.' I'm not blaming him. I'm not blaming anybody. But that's what he told me because we were in a position with a certain country, I won't say which one; we may have had conflict. And he said to me: 'Sir, if you could, delay it because we're very low on ammunition.'
"And I said: You know what, general, I never want to hear that again from another general," Trump continued. "No president should ever, ever hear that statement: 'We're low on ammunition.'"
This 400-pound feral hog is one of more than 1,200 that have invaded a Texas Air Force base since 2016
At least one Air Force base is waging a slow battle against feral hogs — and way, way more than 30-50 of them.
A Texas trapper announced on Monday that his company had removed roughly 1,200 feral hogs from Joint Base San Antonio property at the behest of the service since 2016.
In a move that could see President Donald Trump set foot on North Korean soil again, Kim Jong Un has invited the U.S. leader to Pyongyang, a South Korean newspaper reported Monday, as the North's Foreign Ministry said it expected stalled nuclear talks to resume "in a few weeks."
A letter from Kim, the second Trump received from the North Korean leader last month, was passed to the U.S. president during the third week of August and came ahead of the North's launch of short-range projectiles on Sept. 10, the South's Joongang Ilbo newspaper reported, citing multiple people familiar with the matter.
In the letter, Kim expressed his willingness to meet the U.S. leader for another summit — a stance that echoed Trump's own remarks just days earlier.
Constant deployments broke the Air Force's B-1 fleet. Now the service is facing a major bomber shortfall
On April 14, 2018, two B-1B Lancer bombers fired off payloads of Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles against weapons storage plants in western Syria, part of a shock-and-awe response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's use of chemical weapons against his citizens that also included strikes from Navy destroyers and submarines.
In all, the two bombers fired 19 JASSMs, successfully eliminating their targets. But the moment would ultimately be one of the last — and certainly most publicized — strategic strikes for the aircraft before operations began to wind down for the entire fleet.
A few months after the Syria strike, Air Force Global Strike Command commander Gen. Tim Ray called the bombers back home. Ray had crunched the data, and determined the non-nuclear B-1 was pushing its capabilities limit. Between 2006 and 2016, the B-1 was the sole bomber tasked continuously in the Middle East. The assignment was spread over three Lancer squadrons that spent one year at home, then six month deployed — back and forth for a decade.
The constant deployments broke the B-1 fleet. It's no longer a question of if, but when the Air Force and Congress will send the aircraft to the Boneyard. But Air Force officials are still arguing the B-1 has value to offer, especially since it's all the service really has until newer bombers hit the flight line in the mid-2020s.