Biden Calls on Reserves as US Continues to Miss Recruitment Goals

( – The nation’s armed service branches struggled to meet their recruiting goals for fiscal year 2022, with the US Army falling short of its target. The Army, Air Force, and Navy reported earlier this year that they likely won’t meet their 2023 objectives. The Marine Corps is the only branch expected to reach its goal by enlisting nearly 30,000 recruits.

With the largest war in the European theater since World War II continuing to rage between Russia and Ukraine, the US has increased its troop presence on the continent. With those recruitment shortfalls impacting America’s military readiness and commitment to its Western allies, President Joe Biden recently took action to fill the void and called on Pentagon officials to order some reservists to active duty.

President Biden Calls Up Reservists

On July 13, Biden signed an executive order authorizing Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to order some Coast Guard Selective Reserve and Individual Ready Reserve members to active duty without their consent. Unlike the other service branches, the US Coast Guard operates under the Department of Homeland Security, although it remains part of the US Armed Forces.

The president directed that Austin and Mayorkas limit that mobilization to no more than 3,000 service members at a time. He also restricted the number of Individual Ready Reservists to 450.

Biden’s executive order explained that he determined it was necessary to call up the reservist to maintain the readiness of Operation Atlantic Resolve. In the wake of Russia’s 2014 invasion of Ukraine, the US Army Europe has deployed units based in the US to Europe under that program for nine-month tours of duty to increase interoperability between the US and other NATO Alliance troops. Approximately 6,000 US soldiers participate in the rotation at any given time.

Republicans Push Back on Biden’s Executive Order

As one might expect, several Republican lawmakers blasted Biden’s executive order. For example, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) posted a tweet calling the move “reckless” and “dangerous.” 

Cruz explained that he wanted Ukraine to defeat Putin. However, he declared that US service members should not be sent to fight in the conflict under any circumstance. Cruz concluded his statement by noting that Biden’s weakness started the war, and now he wants to start a “shooting war with Russia.”

Likewise, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) posted a statement on Twitter accusing Biden of “walking” US troops to the front lines and “daring” Russian troops to “shoot first.” He also warned that the activation and deployment of additional US troops under Operation Atlantic Resolve was a “dangerous provocation,” knowing that the NATO Alliance’s eastern flank borders “active hostilities.” 

Meanwhile, the Coast Guard recently unveiled a new campaign to boost its recruitment efforts. reported the service branch fell short of meeting its goals by more than 20% in the last three years. 

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