On October 3, Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth announced an overhaul of Army recruiting in the face of a severe recruiting crisis. This comes as the U.S. Navy also missed its recruiting target by as many as 7,000 sailors.
A group of senior military officers – one of them being Navy Commander Robert A. Green Jr. – has publicly called out senior Pentagon officials, including Wormuth, Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro, and Air Force Secretary Frank Kendell III. The officers cite what they feel are betrayals of trust for failures by the military during the global war on terror, the Afghanistan withdrawal, and the Pentagon's vaccine mandate.
Green has demanded accountability for what he calls "critical betrayals" while demonstrating the hypocrisy of the service secretaries' response to Senator Tommy Tuberville's hold on promotions.
"Instead of correcting these critical betrayals, the three service secretaries have engineered a media blitz focused exclusively on the highest level brass and their next promotions," Green alleges.
The Epoch Times interviewed Green and others for an article on this controversy for which the Pentagon provided an official response, stating:
"Our research shows that the top barriers to service are concerns about death or injury, PTSD, emotional issues, and leaving friends and family – not political issues. Concerns about vaccines and 'wokeness' are among the least likely to be raised as reasons not to join the military."
Green has called this Pentagon response "more obfuscation in an attempt to blame anything but themselves." DOD leadership, he added, "is playing a very dangerous game right now in light of the current recruiting and readiness crisis."
Systematic bias, deceptive tactics
AFN also spoke to Dr. Grant Smith, an Army major who sees the recruiting crisis as "a symptom of declining spiritual readiness."
"Unless service members can attune themselves to a higher-order purpose, political expediency will undermine efforts to address root causes of the problems we face, recruiting or otherwise," Smith contends.
And he agrees with Green's assessment that the DOD's response seemed deceptive.
"Notice how they say 'least likely to be raised?'" Smith asks. "That means they were raised. If I was tasked to design such a survey and I wanted to suppress politically problematic responses, I'd pre-populate the survey with responses that don't implicate the chain of command."
Smith continues: "To make such engineering less obvious, I would still include an 'other' category that allowed respondents to input custom feedback, knowing most respondents won't bother to add free text. [That] would also allow 'problematic' responses to be subdivided to ensure none of them appear more often than the pre-populated, politically convenient responses."
According to Smith, it has become "normative" to employ such practices – particularly considering prevailing incentives. "Those tasked with investigating such issues are reporting to flag officers who can't afford for findings to implicate political leadership as part of the problem," he explains.
In a related comment, Grant argues that "the resulting systemic bias ensures that conclusions with adverse political consequences are unlikely to be found in the first place, let alone survive the rigorous vetting process leading to an official media release."
Reality? What's that?
Refusing to acknowledge reality has become a specialty of the DOD as "woke" political agendas and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) influence the highest level policy decisions, according to Green and Smith. For example, the DOD now supports individuals with gender dysphoria who claim, against all physical evidence, to be the opposite gender.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin also sidelined the entire force for a day, spending millions of man-hours to train on white extremism in the ranks, when almost no such cases were found, Smith notes.
He points out that the waste of taxpayer funds caused by this training caught the ire of the Senate Armed Services Committee, which issued a bipartisan report concluding that "spending additional time and resources to combat exceptionally rare instances of extremism in the military is an inappropriate use of taxpayer funds, and should be discontinued by the Department of Defense immediately."
The inability of the Pentagon to properly assess and acknowledge reality has senior leaders such as Commander Green and Dr. Smith very concerned.
"The reality is that careerist military leaders have betrayed the trust of service members and the American people," Green concludes. "No one has been held accountable and the current recruiting crisis is the natural consequence.
"Continuing to keep our heads in the sand will only hasten the day our adversaries feel confident enough to bring the fight to our doorstep."
Green and Smith emphasized that their views do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Defense, the Department of the Navy, or Department of the Army.
Robert Green is author of "Defending the Constitution Behind Enemy Lines."