Heritage Launches National Independent Panel on Military Service and Readiness for Solutions on Recruitment Crisis

Heritage Launches National Independent Panel on Military Service and Readiness for Solutions on Recruitment Crisis

Oct 13, 2022 5 min read

WASHINGTON—The Heritage Foundation announced today the formation of the National Independent Panel on Military Service and Readiness. Military recruitment has reached an all-time low, while at the same time the U.S. faces unprecedented threats from the increasingly provocative China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea. 

The panel will examine the state of military service, including recruiting and retention, and those issues impacting the readiness of the U.S. armed forces. Composed of leaders, veterans, and defense experts, the panel will develop recommendations to improve the readiness of the military, determine the causes of the current crisis in military recruiting, and offer solutions that restore readiness and encourage more Americans to serve in the armed forces. 

Kevin Roberts, president of The Heritage Foundation, said of the panel:  

“America’s military recruitment and readiness crisis jeopardizes our ability to confront the gravest threat of our lifetime—the Chinese Communist Party. Experts have long warned about a recruitment shortfall. However, the Biden administration and Congress have failed to provide the military with strategic leadership, focusing instead on making the force another ‘diversity, equity, and inclusion’ social experiment. Heritage is convening the best minds to demand action that restores the might of U.S. military and ensures America remains safe, free, and prosperous.”  

U.S. Rep. Mike Waltz (R-Fla.), ranking member on the House Armed Services Committee’s Readiness Subcommittee and a combat-decorated Green Beret, will serve as the chairman of the panel. “Given his track record of leadership on these issues and his elite military experience, there is no better person to serve as the chair of this important panel,” said Roberts.   

Waltz said:  

“I am honored to serve on this panel as its leader and look forward to helping devise solutions to such issues as the politicization of the military, the decline in confidence in the military by the American people, and the challenges with recruiting.”   

Tom Spoehr, director of Heritage’s Center for National Defense and a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general, will serve as executive secretary of the panel.  

Spoehr also released a statement:  

“Military readiness and capability are already suffering due to this crisis. Military units are shrinking in size and readiness while the Biden administration and Congress dither. There are solutions to this crisis, but they require work, resources, and prioritization. The National Independent Panel on Military Service is up to the task ahead.” 

Further updates on the final list of panelists and panel’s progress panel will be forthcoming. For media inquiries contact Gloria Taylor, [email protected] 

For more from Heritage: The Index of Military Strength and The Administration and Congress Must Act Now to Counter the Worsening Military Recruiting Crisis