Army Reserves have lost 13,000 Soldiers in the last 18 months


The Army Reserves are bleeding out at a staggering rate, and the number of soldiers hanging up their uniforms appears to be escalating. Admittedly, I’m not an expert on force caps or what should be considered truly alarming for overall retention and recruiting in the Army, but considering 13,000 is equal to the size of an entire division of soldiers, I’ll stand by my assessment of “this is pretty bad.”

The Reserves had a net loss of 351 soldiers last week.

As you can see, the numbers have fluctuated from high to low to high again. This is likely due to the yearly surge in the early Summer of high school graduates heading off to basic training. However, even that small surge only provided two weeks of miniscule gains.


The most alarming reenlistment percentage I see here are the career reenlistments. Again, I’m not an expert in this area, but first term reenlistments coming in at 77% seems to be par for the course. Young men and women join, some decide it’s not for them after an initial enlistment and quit, while the majority continue on. Career reenlistments coming in at 65% is shocking, however. These are career soldiers who know what the army life consists of, have made the decision to stay in at least once, and this time around they’ve decided to get out.

35% of careerists making the decision to leave makes me instantly think that a triggering event, or a cultural shift in the institution, has propelled this large exodus. Of course, 2021 and 2022 pretty much ripped the lid off of the preconceived notion many had that the military and its leadership were honorable and virtuous.

Janine aptly laid out where this idea falls flat on its face when she pointed out the failings of senior leadership to follow the law regarding the vaccine mandate. Or we could point out how advancement in the military is reserved for the best and brigh… lol, excuse me, I mean those who pucker up for their bosses and toe the line. How about the lack of accountability for Afghanistan and the disastrous foreign policy fallout that’s taken place since?


Then again, I personally believe the number one reason recruiting is failing and people no longer want to serve is the progressive, woke agenda ripping through every facet of the DOD. The adults in the room are tired of it, the kids looking in from the outside don’t want to sign up for it, and the idiots wearing stars on their chests/collars know it as well. They simply refuse to acknowledge it because, like I pointed out earlier, advancement is not based on merit; it’s based on pleasing your boss. These generals and admirals already have a seat at the table, and they’re not about to give that up by pissing off the liberal senators and representatives backing them in congress.

A net loss of 12,847 soldiers in the Army Reserves

The Army Reserves failure to retain and recruit is merely a looking glass into the DOD as a whole. The problem is glaringly apparent, but just as the emperor paraded through the city in clothes that were anything but, while his subjects knowingly said nothing, leadership in the Pentagon and Congress will echo this same behavior and never address what all of us are caustically aware of by now.

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2 months ago

Alright Chief, I can explain a bit. ARCC here. Retention is based off of a few avenues of approach. Incentives are usually a selling point to young Service Members who may not have Healthcare and have a young family, couple this with current college enrollees and you have first term mission being higher. These SMs are actively in school and don’t want to loose out on these benifits i.e. SLRP. Looking at Careerists, its a mixed bag of reasons, usually more established and have a career outside the military that provides benefits. Couple this with a fairly toxic command climate from top down, and poor incentives program (although recently the SCRIP for incentives changed and provides a bonus for all MOSs) and retention is very poor. It is also fair to look at this regionally and you have greater retention in certain parts of the country v. others, namely rustbelt and south being higher than coastal regions. The IRR mission was a major focus for years instead of retention of active SELRES SMs. Those of us on the ground missioned against IRR and SELRES for retention made it clear that retention should be more focused, but those suggestions weren’t taken into account. Now ARCG and Command groups are scrambling trying to restructure to meet the demand in a rentention based approach v the IRR transfer approach. There is a lot of nuance to retention and its usually a very tough sell. I didn’t hit all of the reasons, as I said there is a lot of nuance. To me it is clear, we are headed for a great decline in readiness, and I blame senior officers for it. Their policy and approach to their Soldiers is boiler plate at best, and follow through on actual positive change is atrocious. I’m speaking from 5 years retention and 22 years of service. Keep it real Chief, I appreciate your work.

Reply to  Chief
2 months ago

Absolutely ??

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