June 14, 2024

The Army's Recruiting Problem Is Male

Source: Military.com

Journalist: Steve Beynon

The alarming trends for men's economic role and health have also been weaponized in dark, misogynistic corners of the internet -- sometimes referred to as the "manosphere," which commonly overlaps with far-right communities.

Those communities lament that men have fallen from their traditional place in society and that there is no quarter for masculinity in modern western culture. That culture includes podcasts, influencers and brands that range from earnest male-oriented self help but more commonly involve anti-feminist and misogynist content. Some of it is very overtly connected to military culture, such as groups charging exorbitant amounts of money to attend so-called "man camps" that mimic Navy SEAL training.

"The reality is that military service is a major commitment that tests true strength -- physical, mental, morals," said Katherine Kuzminski, who studies the military and society at the Center for New American Security. "There is evidence of a trend toward signaling [a] counterfeit show of strength -- commentaries lamenting a decline in American masculinity -- rather than individuals risking a real test that comes from military service."

The so-called crisis in masculinity is further complicated by conflicting events. Men are pulling out of the workforce, and traditional masculine roles are disappearing as gender norms are reassessed. But those men are not seeking military service -- the last bastion of traditional and surface-level masculinity.

Read the full story and more from Military.com.


  • Katherine L. Kuzminski

    Deputy Director of Studies, Director, Military, Veterans, and Society Program

    Katherine L. Kuzminski (formerly Kidder) is the Deputy Director of Studies, and the Director of the Military, Veterans, and Society (MVS) Program at CNAS. Her research special...