As reported on AFN, as of late June the U.S. Army had met only 40% of its annual recruiting goal with just three months left in the fiscal year (ending September 30). The Air Force and Navy are also struggling to meet their recruiting quotas, with only the Marine Corps expected to meet its recruiting target this year. In total, it's the worst recruiting deficit in almost 50 years.
During an appearance Tuesday on American Family Radio, Mississippi Republican Senator Roger Wicker said he sent a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin calling for an end to the Department of Defense's COVID-19 vaccine mandate, which he says is a major contributing factor to the recruiting shortfall – and puts the armed forces "on the precipice of irreversibly damaging the U.S. military in the near-term and beyond."
The senator listed some of the fallout from vaccine mandate: "We've lost 1,100 soldiers, we've lost 800 airmen, a thousand sailors, and 2,000 Marines because of the mandate. They have been separated – and we've gone to court about it with an amicus brief [and] we've had press conferences about it. But at this point, we do not have the votes to reverse this."
Wicker said he's not the only one monitoring the "science" behind the vaccine mandate.
"If you've got someone who's motivated enough to join the military to step forward in an all-volunteer force, they're going to be watching the science, too," he stated during the radio interview. "And to be forced to put a questionable agent into your body and serve in a military capacity is something that [someone preparing to enter] an all-volunteer force can say 'I'm just out of here.'"
According to the Republican senator, it's not just vaccines that are scaring recruits off – but also the "woke" agenda that, since February, has consumed six-million training hours on diversity issues.
"They're having to sit through training sessions on transgenderism [and] critical race theory [for example]," he said on AFR. "And right after the Biden inauguration, DOD did a global stand-down of 60 days to examine 'white supremacy' in the ranks. They're having to watch videos on using the right transgender pronouns.
"This is not why young people sign up to defend the country," he emphasized.
In his July 25 weekly report, Wicker argues that Biden's "self-defeating vaccine mandate" – in conjunction with the "cultural decay" resulting from the woke agenda – is driving away thousands of service members and causing military recruitment to plummet, making the nation less secure.
Meanwhile, a former Air Force officer says a high-ranking Air Force general is ignoring the order of a federal judge to stop adverse action against airmen who refuse to take the jab.
U.S. District Court Judge Matthew McFarland recently granted a temporary restraining order (TRO) for the entire class of the U.S. Air Force against the Department of Defense COVID shot mandate. The order prohibits the Air Force from taking measures to discipline or discharge any airman who has filed for a religious exemption from taking the COVID-19 vaccine, as ordered by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.
Dr. Gordon Klingenschmitt is an Air Force Academy graduate who now runs the Pray In Jesus Name project. Klingenschmitt says Lt. Gen. Carl Schaefer has shown that he is "lawless" in ordering adverse action to continue to be taken against the airmen, like writing letters of reprimand and denying training, which violates the spirit and letter of McFarland's TRO.
"General Schaefer does not care [that] Judge McFarland has ordered that these [five] disciplinary or separation measures are forbidden: adverse administrative actions, non-judicial punishments, administrative demotions, administrative discharges, and courts martial," says the former missile officer.
"Those are all … banned by [McFarland's] Temporary Restraining Order," he continues. "The three-star general, however, is still doing four of those five things. He's just not kicking them out of the service, which he wants to do as soon as the [TRO] is lifted."
Klingenschmitt expects either a permanent injunction or a decision to lift the TRO in a couple of weeks, which will affect the careers of up to 12,000 members of the Air Force.