June 8, 2023
Dear Members of Congress,
Independent Women’s Voice, which fights to enhance people’s freedom, opportunities, and well-being, supports the Military Service Promotion Act of 2023, sponsored by Senators Mitt Romney, Tom Cotton, and Angus King.
The bill is intended to address what Senator Romney has rightly identified as “the largest recruitment crisis in 50 years,” threatening our national security and the readiness of our Armed Forces.
The core issue tackled by the Act is the severe military recruitment deficit. In FY 2022, the U.S. Army fell a staggering 25% short of its recruitment goal, managing to enlist fewer than 45,000 new soldiers instead of the targeted 60,000.
Only 23% of Americans aged 17 to 24 meet the physical, academic, and general qualifications to serve in the military, an alarmingly low proportion.
This situation is exacerbated by the fact that nearly 80% of Army recruits hail from military households, suggesting a significant lack of awareness or perceived access among the broader population.
The Military Service Promotion Act aims to rectify these issues in a multifaceted approach, expanding military recruiter access to high schools and colleges and shortening the response time schools have to accommodate recruiters’ requests. This legislation will ensure that military recruiters receive comparable access to high school students that colleges and universities enjoy, expanding exposure to the opportunities and benefits that military service can provide.
The Act also requires the Department of Defense to consider expanding the U.S. Army’s Future Soldier Preparatory Course, an initiative that prepares interested individuals for the physical fitness and aptitude tests necessary for Army enlistment. Furthermore, the Act allows the military to access information about college student drop-outs, potentially providing an additional pool of prospective recruits.
Senators Romney, King, and Cotton are taking decisive action to combat the current military recruitment crisis, each voicing the need for legislation that better informs young Americans about the valuable opportunities the Armed Forces provide, including economic mobility and transferable, tangible skills.
The Military Service Promotion Act of 2023 represents a necessary step forward in addressing our nation’s security challenges, ensuring that the U.S. military remains robust and prepared to protect our country.
Hadley Heath Manning
Vice President for Policy
Independent Women’s Voice