The United States Military is being infiltrated by millennials and leaders are scrambling to figure out how to adapt to the younger generation.
Common complaints concerning the wave of millennials joining the military is that the generation is soft, undisciplined, and quite dependent upon technology.
“The problem that we do have is that right now the generation we have coming in is not as disciplined as we would like them to be," said Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Gragg. "So we have to provide them with discipline over a longer period of time.”
Gragg is the senior enlisted soldier for the Center for Initial Military Training and his comments come in light of the Army’s desire to insert drill sergeants into Advanced Individual Training for longer periods of times.
There are some students at service academies such as West Point that have their own complaints about entering into the military. Some students complain about the rigorous career tracks of the military. In response to these complaints, the Defense Department plans to allow more flexibility into the system in regards to recruitment and promotion of officers.
Stephanie Miller, the Pentagon’s director of accessions policy, believes that there is a serious civilian-military disconnect in the nation today, noting that only 15 percent of young Americans have any military experience currently.
“It is difficult to be able to get their attention in a world where social media and so many other different types of activities are pulling at their attention,” she said.
When potential recruits are glued to smartphones, it makes things difficult for recruiters who are seeking face-to-face conversations.
Military leaders are frustrated by the social media dependent, undisciplined, and questioning generation. Rather than making allowances and trying to appease the young generation, the Defense Department must maintain strict standards and eventually, millennials will catch on.
Heroes will join the military. Snowflakes will stay at home.