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Wicker: More JROTC, fewer ‘woke’ programs would solve military recruitment issue

Photo courtesy of Sen. Roger Wicker

Certain branches of the U.S. Military have been unable to meet recruitment quotas for the past three years, and Senator Roger Wicker is proposing two ideas to incentivize more people to enlist.

According to, recuiting efforts this calendar year have yielded negative results with the Army falling short of its quota by 15,000 troops, the Navy expecting a shortage of 6,000 sailors, and the Air Force missing the mark by an unspecified number.

“All of our military services are going to miss their goals this year, except for the Marine Corps. The Marine Corps has a smaller target and they’ve always met their quotas,” Wicker (R-Miss.) said on The Gallo Show. “Every other service is not recruiting as many American young people as we need.”

According to Wicker, the ranking member of the Senate Armed Forces Committee, one of two major solutions to the recruiting challenges is the implementation of more Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) centers in high schools, specifically especially rural and inner-city ones.

“Even if you’ve got a marginal school district, the Junior ROTC unit is a subset of kids that do great,” Wicker explained. “They graduate at higher rates, they make better grades, they stay in school, they have lower absenteeism, and a lot of them are more likely to join the military.”

Wicker also contended that diversity programs and the teaching of critical race theory have dissuaded many young people from pursuing a future in the military. He argues that candidates should be vetted on merit and content of character, rather than skin color and sexual orientation.

“The type of young person who wants to go, step forward, and put themselves in harm’s way for our country is not the type of person who critical race theory or wokeness appeals to,” Wicker said. “They want to step forward, do something hard, go through basic training, prove themselves, and they’re willing to put themselves out there to make our country safe. They’re not interested in a bunch of policy.”

The full interview with Wicker can be watched below.

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