Greenfield: The Army’s ‘Recruitment Crisis’ Happened When White Recruits Stopped Showing Up

A DEI driven 43% drop in white recruits caused the Army’s ‘recruitment crisis’.
The military recruitment crisis that has crippled our defense capabilities has been talked to death by generals, politicians and pundits who have blamed everything from rising minimum wages to obesity to Gen Z culture for the problem. They have raised enlistment bonuses to unprecedented levels, spent fortunes on ad campaigns that feature lesbian weddings and doubled down on DEI as the answer to the crisis. And yet the crisis has grown worse.

That’s because recruitment was a self-inflicted problem caused by a woke racist military.Between 2018 and 2023, white Army recruits, once the mainstay, fell from a bare majority of 56% to a minority at 44%.This was not an unintended effect, but policy.“We are an Army that wants to look like America,” Maj. Gen. Kevin Vereen, the first black head of Army Recruiting Command, had proclaimed.Gen. Gary Brito, the first black head of Army Training and Doctrine Command under whose purview recruiting falls, and the former deputy Army chief of staff for personnel, had boasted of Army “listening sessions” on racism, diversity and inclusion in order to maximize diversity.Military brass had been tasked with creating a military that “looked more like America” and as a result the number of white Army recruits declined year by year and fell 43% from 44,042 in 2018 to 25,070 in 2023.Black, Hispanic and other minority recruits became a majority, but there weren’t any more of them than there had been before. Minorities were joining the Army at the same rate as they had before, but with fewer white recruits they had become a majority by default.Pushing white men away with DEI struggle sessions, affirmative action quotas and mandatory pronoun training was supposed to open the door for minorities who were being ‘blocked’ by the ‘whiteness’ of the military from joining up and serving, but the minorities aren’t showing up.Equity had created a recruitment crisis with a majority-minority enlistment population that looked good on paper, but without the white recruits, the Army experienced a shortfall of 10,000 recruits. Rather than growing the Army, the emphasis on DEI had shrunk it instead.Army Secretary Christine Wormuth urged “strategically deploying recruiters to communities across the country based on demographics, ethnicity, race, and gender.”40% of military recruits come out of the South, 44% come from rural areas and the Army instead began recruiting in “underrepresented cities” like Baltimore, Minneapolis, and New York City.Wormuth, who got her start as a Clinton intern, complained that, “today more than 80% of recruits come from military families. There is a risk of developing a warrior caste when only 1% of the population serves in the military.” But without the “warrior caste”, no one serves.Woke military leaders turned their backs on the white rural men from military families who represented their recruitment base and instead began chasing minority recruits in NYC.A Quinnipiac poll from 2022 found that if America were invaded, 70% of men, 40% of women, 57% of white men, 61% of Hispanics and 38% of black people would stay and fight. Military recruitment has been retooled to focus on those least likely to want to fight for America.West Point was turning away even very well qualified white candidates while its Director of Admissions admitted that “every qualified African-American applicant were offered admission into West Point, yet the class composition goal was still lacking.” The goal was the United States Military Academy’s intensive quota system meant to cut 20% of white officers from the mix.The Academy has been sued by qualified white candidates, including a high school student with a 4.2 GPA, three family members currently serving in the military and a grandfather who fought in the Army on D-Day, who were kept out because their skin color was not diverse enough.Beyond the Army, this was a problem that was taking place across the entire military.The Senate recently voted to confirm Charles Q. Brown Jr. as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. While serving as Air Force Chief of Staff, Brown had endorsed a 43% quota for white male officers at a time when 86% of pilots are white men. That’s how you get recruitment shortages.As Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Brown is in a position to deepen the military’s systemic racism.The recruitment crisis was a case of the woke military leadership getting almost exactly what they wanted. White men, locked out of career tracks, forced into implicit bias and pronoun training, have opted out. Military families are telling their kids not to serve and ending the “warrior caste” that Army Secretary Christine Wormuth was worried about. And with Army recruiters focusing on Baltimore and New York City, instead of the rural South, potential recruits are left behind. But the woke military is struggling and failing to find the woke recruits it wanted.It was always the rural white men who were going to be the likeliest to fight and die for America.“We’ve never offered $50,000 to join the Army,” Maj. Gen. Kevin Vereen, head of U.S. Army Recruiting Command, had said. You can’t pay anyone enough to hold the line on the battlefield.The Army turned away those who would serve for love of their country and can’t seem to find enough of those diverse Gen Z’ers with multiple pronouns who will serve for money.The leaders who have made these decisions have blamed the crisis on everything except their policies. They claim that obesity, the job market, opioids and even an “underfunded public school system” are the reasons that recruits aren’t showing up. The real reason is racism.Their racism.The recruitment crisis consists of the missing white men who aren’t showing up for duty.The military doesn’t have a recruitment crisis: it has a systemic racism crisis. Reversing the recruitment crisis requires getting rid of DEI. Woke military leaders have claimed that they need DEI to prepare for the diverse recruits of tomorrow, but the diverse recruits aren’t coming.The U.S. Army signed a $4 billion marketing contract with Omnicom, one of whose subsidiaries worked on the Biden campaign, to market the military. It could tear up that contract, save the money and restore the traditions of honor, colorblind service and integrity that made it strong.Ending woke systemic racism in the military will also end the recruitment crisis.

Daniel Greenfield

Daniel Greenfield is a blogger and columnist born in Israel and living in New York City. He is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and a contributing editor at Family Security Matters. Daniel's original biweekly column appears at Front Page Magazine and his blog articles regularly appear at Family Security Matters, the Jewish Press, Times of Israel, Act for America and Right Side News, as well as daily at the Canada Free Press and a number of other outlets. He has a column titled Western Front at Israel National News and his op eds have also appeared in the New York Sun, the Jewish Press and at FOX Nation. Daniel was named one of the Jewish Press' Most Worthwhile Blogs from 2006-2011 and his writing has been cited by Rush Limbaugh, Melanie Philips, Robert Spencer, Daniel Pipes, Judith Klinghoffer, John Podhoretz, Jeff Jacoby and Michelle Malkin, among others. Daniel's blog,, is a daily must-read.

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