The Army is Desperately Trying to Get Retirees To Return To Work During Manpower Crisis

The Army is reportedly trying to bring back retired soldiers to address key manpower shortages, per an army directive published towards the end of March. 

The All Army Activities (ALARACT) document outlines how Army retirees can search and apply for vacant positions and has the aim of maintaining enough personnel to fill all of the Army’s official positions. The message comes as the Army has publicly admitted that it’s having trouble balancing a smaller workforce with the demands of prosecuting great power conflicts with near peers or peer powers such as China, Iran, and Russia. For three consecutive years, the Army has experienced a recruitment problem. 

“A review of commands’ requests for [the] fill of authorized personnel vacancies, in conjunction with current Army manning guidance, prompted review of how the Army can fill key and critical position vacancies,” the document outlined. “The retiree recall program can be an effective tool to fill personnel shortages of authorized regular Army vacancies that are considered key and essential.”

Any Army, Reserve or National Guard soldier who qualifies as retired or is about to be retired has to have served for at least 20 years. Individuals that meet this criteria or are receiving retirement payment is able to apply, according to the army document. 

Neither age nor disability, on their own, would bar a soldier from re-joining the Army depending on the disability, and they would still have to comply with the Army’s health mandates.

“There is no age limitation, although personnel older than 70 are not normally recalled,” the message highlights.

Individuals who apply for the program effectively give the Army the power to send them orders to return to active duty if a key role opens that no other individual can fill. 

There is a clear recruitment crisis affecting the Army. It’s a combination of the Army’s woke pivot, the US’s obesity crisis making large segments of the population unfit to serve, and the US going through a broader crisis of imperial overstretch. 

The US ultimately needs to get its house in order on the domestic front for it to get its defense matters sorted out. That means bringing back an emphasis on physical fitness across society, restoring order at the southern border, and limiting the government’s otherwise quixotic military aims. 

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