Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Report: Army Staff ‘Baffled’ by Sharp Decline in White Recruits in Last Five Years

The Army’s recruiting of white soldiers in 2023 had dropped almost by half in the last five years, according to a report.

That dramatic decline has coincided with a push by the service to increase recruitment of a more diverse population, according to a report.

The decline of white recruits has also coincided with the Army missing its target of 65,000 recruits in 2023 by 10,000.

Military.com reported Wednesday that Army internal data showed that a total of 44,042 new Army recruits were categorized by the service as white in 2018, but that number has fallen consistently each year to a “low” or 25,070 in 2023. The outlet reported a six percent dip from 2022 to 2023 was the most significant drop. No other demographic group has seen such a precipitous decline, it added.

There has been largely “flat” recruitment of black and Hispanic recruits, according to the report. However, due to the decline of white recruits during that time — 56.4 to 44 percent — the percentage of those demographic groups went up by four and seven percent, respectively.

At least some Army officials appeared to blame Republicans and conservative media for calling out wokeness in the military, as well as obesity and the public education system.

The article recalled the Army’s campaign to recruit Gen Z, which featured a soldier with two moms, as well as other minority populations, that attracted flak from Republicans.

“There’s a level of prestige in parts of conservative America with service that has degraded,” one Army official told Military.com. “Now, you can say you don’t want to join, for whatever reason, or bad-mouth the service without any cultural guilt associated for the first time in those areas.”

However, it said the drop in white recruitment has “baffled Army staff and isn’t easily explained by any one particular factor.”

Military.com cited statistics of white men declining in the labor force and at civilian universities as well, quoting an economist from the American Enterprise Institute.

“Men have been in trouble in the workforce for two generations. The greatest risk of being a labor dropout is being a native-born, low education, unmarried guy,” said economist Nicholas Eberstadt. “Like with any other big historic change, it’s kind of hard to attribute to a single magic bullet.”

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