[Marxism] "we now have very, very low propensity to enlist"

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri May 27 18:48:50 MDT 2005

GEN. ROCHELLE: I don't believe anyone believes it's a life or death 
situation. Is it challenging? Yes. It's challenging under the very best of 
conditions. Today's conditions represent the most challenging conditions we 
have seen in recruiting in my 33 years in this uniform. We are faced with 
very low unemployment; the first time that the all-volunteer force has been 
challenged in sustained land combat -- I believe that the total casualties 
are up over 8,000. And in point of fact, we now have very, very low 
propensity to enlist, both on the part of our young Americans and likewise 
on the part of influencers -- and by that, I mean parents, coaches, other 
adults whose opinions matter to our young 17-to-24-year-olds -- to 
recommend Army service. Those couple to provide a very, very challenging 

Yes, ma'am?

Q: Could you explain why you think that parents and young people don't have 
a propensity to join?

GEN. ROCHELLE: I don't have a lot of research to answer that question, 
merely Department of Defense-level research that does tell us -- and it's a 
quarterly research -- biannually, excuse me, that does tell us that parents 
are less inclined today than they were immediately after September 11th to 

Q: But if you don't have reasons, you can't address that. Knowing that they 
are less inclined is one thing, but knowing why they are less inclined 
allows you to address the problem.

GEN. ROCHELLE: Well, if we attempt to address every problem, I think it 
would simply water down our message. What we are attempting to do is focus 
on the value of service. And the secretary of the Army has launched a 
campaign -- (pause) -- a call to duty campaign. I was going to say call to 
service, but it's in fact call to duty campaign, which elevates service to 
a whole different level -- elevates it to the level of patriotism; elevates 
it to the level of service to country, service to nation.


Q: General?


Q: Can you comment a little bit more on the data on influencers? I mean, 
how much further down is it compared to September 11th? And is it simply 
that we're in an extended conflict in Iraq that's driving it down, you 
know, compared to the patriotic fervor after September 11th, or how do you 
explain it?

GEN. ROCHELLE: Let me see if I can recall the numbers. I believe that 
shortly after September the 11th, the propensity for influencers was 
measured at about the 22 percent who would say, yes, I would recommend 
military service to a young man or woman of recruitment age. And the last 
data point I saw, it's down to -- I think it's 14 percent, if that gives 
you some relative scope.

Would I attribute it to any single factor? No, sir, I would not. I think 
it's far more complex than that.


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