The Army’s been having a hell of a time filling its ranks. In late April, the service announced it would not meet its goal of picking up 80,000 new active-duty soldiers, with only 28,000 new recruits halfway through the annual recruiting cycle. Although Army Sgt. Maj. Daniel Dailey told the Associated Press that the branch had reduced its target to 76,500 new recruits, he insisted that higher reenlistment rates (86%, compared to 81% in years past) were making up the difference.
But there’s a subtler consequence to the Army’s recruiting problem: its potential to undermine the effectiveness of Army Special Forces. Green Beret turned UFC superstar Tim Kennedy eloquently pointed that out on The Joe Rogan Experience on May 17.
“[For] Special Forces specifically, we are gonna have the biggest deficit of eligible… population, to select from,” Kennedy said of the Army’s recruitment troubles. “You have to have a certain level of intelligence, a certain level of physicality, just to be eligible for Special Forces to pick you… that pool is the smallest that has ever been in history.”