Army’s Recruiting Woes Are Aggravated by a ‘TikTok Mutiny’ of Gen Z Soldiers

The US Army is facing a so-called “Tik Tok Mutiny” as young soldiers take to the Chinese Communist smartphone app Tik Tok to complain about virtually every aspect of their service. The mutiny is led by Tik Tok influencers like Specialist Anthony Laster, who criticize Army life for having ‘No Privacy, The Pay Sucks, Sh***y Food, Disrespectful Leadership, NO SLEEP!’

Another “mutineer” is Specialist Dana Estrella, who complains about being unable to call in sick and maintaining something approximating military bearing.

Here is Specialist Itzell Hernandez, who seems more interested in setting up a potential OnlyFans site than anything else sniveling about the inconveniences of a deployment to the field.

Some of the videos are true, but you have to wonder what they were told during the enlistment process…or what they refused to hear…about military life. The fact that he’s astonished that you must meet performance standards to qualify for schooling is extraordinary. 

Other complaints raised include having to maintain physical fitness and appropriate weight, lack of personal autonomy, and barracks maintenance being a bigger part of military life than killing people and breaking things.

None of this should be a shock. As I posted back in March in Secretary of the Army Guarantees a Lot of Young Soldiers Will Die but Has the Right Thoughts and Feelings:

The US Army is a barking shambles. In Fiscal Year 2022, the Army missed its recruiting goal by 15,000 soldiers or 25% of its goal (Military Recruiting Numbers Lowest Since the Vietnam War). At the end of the fiscal year, the Army was supposed to have 485,000 soldiers, but it only had 466,000. That shortfall of 19,000 soldiers is the equivalent of disbanding five of the Army’s 31 brigade combat teams. While we can quantify the number of soldiers not enlisted, what is much more difficult is to put a number on those who have voted with their feet because of Army leadership that has become highly politicized and the men — fathers, teachers, coaches, and family members — who will actively discourage young men from enlisting because the Army no longer represents American values (Army Backs off Enlisting High School Drop Outs but the Woke Cancer Killing Enlistments Remains Stronger Than Ever).

It has tolerated bizarre sexual fetish sub-cultures that permit senior officers to victimize their subordinates and document the process on social media; see Army Starts Sham Investigation Into Bondage Fetish Colonel and His Friends Because They Think You’re Stupid.

Along the way, the Army has reduced enlistment standards and concentrated on recruiting the characters from the Star Wars cantina (Army Backs off Enlisting High School Drop Outs but the Woke Cancer Killing Enlistments Remains Stronger Than Ever). Army recruiting is so adrift that the GAO concluded that the Army literally has no plan for pulling out of its death spiral; see GAO Finds Military Has No Plan for Ongoing Recruiting Crisis, the Real Question Is Do They Care?

None of this should be a shock. If your recruiting program is focused on recruiting sexual and racial/ethnic minorities because they add to your Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity bean count rather than young men, yes, men who want to be soldiers, don’t be shocked when you find your ranks are filled with those minorities who believe their personal attributes are all that is needed. If you recruit whiney, privileged kids with the promise that they will “find themselves” in the Army rather than serve the nation, don’t pretend to be surprised when they don’t adapt well to living in a communal environment, taking orders, and staying in good physical condition.

The 800-pound gorilla in the room is that small unit discipline has ceased to exist. I’ve heard stories of unit leaders being afraid to discipline women or minority soldiers because they know their careers will come to a screeching halt. The obsession of the Karens in Congress over cases of sexual harassment has created an environment where all that is needed to get you relieved from your command and put on the greased slide out of the Army is to have a woman soldier make a sexual harassment/assault complaint. You’re guilty, and you only make things worse by trying to defend yourself because then you are a terrible person in addition to a predator. I’ve heard the same story about attempting to discipline sexual minorities and racial/ethnic minorities who understand the power of the accusation of racism. There is no sane world in which soldiers, and at least one non-commissioned officer, can have TikTok followings numbering in the hundreds of thousands creating these videos in uniform and on-base win total impunity unless the chain of command is so emasculated and afraid of its shadow that it lives in fear of maintaining discipline.

Lurking behind all of this is the fact that a smartphone app developed in Communist China, TikTok, which Chinese intelligence can access, seems to be ubiquitous. All of those videos have geolocation. Facial recognition software allows anyone these soldiers come into contact with to be identified. The Army appears afraid to enforce this fundamental operational security principle; one can only assume it is because it fears making the complainers mad.

If there is a bright spot in this fiasco, it is this. Finally, we have something that no one can hang on “Boomers.” When we left, the Army could still fight and win wars. And while any number of sh**bird privates may have had ideas like this flit through the vacuum they called a mind, they were all too smart to document those thoughts for posterity or as the subject of a meeting with the “Old Man.”

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