The military as an institution is currently experiencing a state of great flux. Prior to recent developments, one could observe a general reorientation in the objectives of professional European armies. However, the consequences cannot yet be sufficiently evaluated, for many policymakers and some military officials the end of the Cold War signaled the obsolescence of traditional military objectives. Such concerns were replaced with a plethora of multilateral ‘peace’ missions. Soldiers would now not only fight but also enforce or build peace and nations.
On 4 April 2022, The American Defence Department announced that their budget request would entail a policy shrinking of the army services by 12,000 troops leading to an overall 473,000 soldiers left in 2023. In a fragile period, due to the Russia-Ukraine war, which has led several European countries to reinforce their military services, the U.S is taking a somewhat oxymoron path. The main reason behind the U.S Army’s decision to cut down on soldiers is because the recruitment process has come across several hindrances which push young people away, especially in the past few years. In other words, according to an army official, the institution struggled to achieve the recruitment goal for 2022 and will probably not reach the 2023 goal based on the previous year. Army officials suggest that this is one of the most challenging eras for recruitment since 1973.
The US Army, in lieu of conscription, must compete for recruits on the labour market like any other employer. However, the US labour market is increasingly competitive. Although the US Army is not precisely waging a ‘war for talent’ – a catch-phrase often used by senior Army leaders – the Army is undoubtedly engaged in a struggle against corporate America in its search for qualified and motivated recruits.