This is Joe Biden’s America.
Hundreds of army aviation officers who were going to be leaving the military have been told they have to serve another three years.
The US Army has blamed an “error” in the application of aviation officers’ active-duty service obligation for why this is happening.
Hundreds of Army aviation officers who were set to leave the military are being held to another three years of service after they say the branch quietly reinterpreted part of their contract amid retention and recruitment issues.
The shift has sparked an uproar among the more than 600 affected active-duty commissioned officers, including some who say their plans to start families, launch businesses and begin their civilian lives have been suddenly derailed.
“We are now completely in limbo,” said a captain who had scheduled his wedding around thinking he would be leaving the military this spring.
That captain and three other active-duty aviation officers who spoke to NBC News spoke on the condition of anonymity out of fear of retaliation.
Dozens of those impacted by the change sent a letter to Congress.
The move, which shocked impacted pilots interviewed by Army Times, came due to a previously incorrect interpretation of “branch of choice active duty service obligation” contracts the officers signed during their pre-commissioning training at West Point or ROTC.
Dozens of impacted officers signed a letter to members of Congress claiming that officials fed them inaccurate information about their contract lengths. Among its enclosures, which Army Times obtained from multiple sources, were briefing materials and messages from branch managers, the Army’s official career advisors, that affirmed a shorter-length interpretation of their obligations.
The officers described service regulations and documents as filled “with contradicting statements,” and argued that the Army shouldn’t begin enforcing obligations that it didn’t on their peers who departed before the error was realized.
This comes amidst a massive recruiting crisis for the military.
During the last fiscal year, the Army missed its recruiting goal by 15,000.
DoD building a Berlin Wall to prevent the most competent people from leaving the military due to recruiting/retention crisis. https://t.co/11VXCl5a7J
— Jake Bequette (@JakeBequette91) April 28, 2023
The all-volunteer force may finally have reached its breaking point.
During the first years of the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, many military experts worried that the constant deployments would “break” the force since they expected that fewer young Americans would volunteer to serve in a wartime military. Thankfully, that didn’t happen. Yet a perilous recruiting crisis began just after the United States fully withdrew from Afghanistan last summer, and it shows no sign of abating anytime soon. As a result, the U.S. military is shrinking, not because of any strategic choices, but simply because there aren’t enough qualified volunteers — and that may have enormous implications for the U.S. strategic position in an increasingly uncertain and dangerous world.
How bad is the recruiting crisis? During the last fiscal year, the Army missed its recruiting goal by 15,000 active-duty soldiers, or 25 percent of its target. This shortfall forced the Army to cut its planned active-duty end strength from 476,000 to 466,000. And the current fiscal year is likely to be even worse. Army officials project that active end strength could shrink by as much as 20,000 soldiers by September, down to 445,000. That means that the nation’s primary land force could plummet by as much as 7 percent in only two years — at a time when its missions are increasing in Europe and even in the Pacific, where the Army provides many of the critical wartime theater enablers without which the other services cannot function.
Rather than forcing members of the military to get COVID vaccinated, they should have been making sure the US Army remained at full force.
Source material can be found at this site.