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"Where have all the combat vets gone?" Topic


13 Posts

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715 hits since 14 Aug 2017
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP15 Aug 2017 9:14 p.m. PST

"The Marine Corps is facing a troubling drain of combat experience as thousands of battle-hardened Marines have left the Corps during the past several years.

The number of Marines on active-duty who have been awarded Combat Action Ribbons has dropped by more than half over the past five years from a high of more than 40,000 at the time of the surge in Afghanistan in 2011 to fewer than 17,500 in 2016 according to data obtained by Marine Corps Times through a Freedom of Information Act request.

In today's Corps, fewer than one in five Marines has a single deployment under their belt and the number of Marines who have deployed twice is now less than one in 10, according to Marine Corps officials…"
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Seems the Air Force have the same problem…

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Amicalement
Armand

Rakkasan Supporting Member of TMP16 Aug 2017 12:31 a.m. PST

The improvement in the job market over the past 6 years, improved opportunities for veterans over the past decade, and the fact that many military personnel are burned out.

From late 2001 to today the US military has been functioning at a high operational tempo. The US has a volunteer force that is more likely to be married and have kids coupled with a demanding work schedule, prolonged separation from family, and no end in sight. It seems inevitable that many will not renew their contracts or commissions.

foxweasel Supporting Member of TMP16 Aug 2017 1:33 a.m. PST

My regiment (British) and most others are in the same boat. A lot of people joined up to go to Afghanistan, now it's finished peacetime soldiering has no interest for them. In an era when being in the military isn't attractive to young men, the only things that aid retention and recruiting are wars and depression.

Dwindling Gravitas Inactive Member16 Aug 2017 4:19 a.m. PST

Ditto Foxweasel.

However, churn is necessary, as "vets" move up the ranks … you need fresh cannon fodder / grunts in any army at the lowest level.

bsrlee16 Aug 2017 4:45 a.m. PST

This was noted by the US Navy back in the 1980's, but they identified the problem being that the trained staff were being 'head hunted' by companies that wanted well trained & skilled staff but were not prepared to pay to train their own. They just waited until suitable people were nearing the end of their enlistment & made them an offer the Navy could not match, so they were bleeding electronics ratings at a high rate – now I'd suspect that would also include aircraft and vehicle maintenance as well as other 'specialties'.

Irish Marine Supporting Member of TMP16 Aug 2017 9:32 a.m. PST

We got out because you couldn't have tattoos, homosexuals in the ranks, transgenders in the ranks, women in combat units, No Combat, contracting jobs got really good, Staff NCO's with no combat acting like THEY were tough guys and screwing with the enlisted ranks, Officers with no combat time acting like fools. The list can go on and on.

Major Mike16 Aug 2017 10:25 a.m. PST

Military went thru a spell of downsizing and pushed out many who were not "model" soldiers. Many got tired of the games being played by the military and the politicians so they got out. Others got tired of the OP tempo and wanted a more stable life style for a family. As Irish Marine said, the list can go on and on.

Dwindling Gravitas Inactive Member16 Aug 2017 10:55 a.m. PST

@Irish Marine: really?
There are what? Stats that say how many marines left the corps because of gays? Or TGs? Wishful thinking mayhaps…

Irish Marine Supporting Member of TMP16 Aug 2017 12:11 p.m. PST

Dwindling Gravitas, I take you were not in the US Marine Corps.

twawaddell Supporting Member of TMP16 Aug 2017 1:19 p.m. PST

I suspect the reasons were probably more mundane and similar to why I retired from the Civilian side a few years ago. Little or no pay increases to keep up with inflation, the inability to buy a house in some areas of the country or even to survive among the lower ranks, nonsensical twaddle from the people you work for (Congress, the President, etc.), and just being tired of being called to go back again and again even though there doesn't seem to be a plan to actually ever win or succeed at anything.

Keep watching, Congress is now messing with retirement systems throughout the government so there's due to be a big wave of retirements in October if the current plans are enacted.

foxweasel Supporting Member of TMP16 Aug 2017 3:54 p.m. PST

Dwindling gravitas, I know a few people who PVR'd when the ban on gays was lifted. But I know a hell of a lot more who are planning/threatening to leave since the lifting of the ban on females was announced this year.

Lion in the Stars16 Aug 2017 6:20 p.m. PST

The ban on tattoos was probably the dumbest thing the USMC ever did, though…

Murvihill18 Aug 2017 10:00 a.m. PST

If you subtract 20 years from 2011 you get 1991, the year of Desert Storm. I suspect all the career marines with that experience were retiring over the last five years.

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