U.S. Army trainees attend their graduation ceremony during basic training at Fort Jackson on September 29, 2022 in Columbia, South Carolina.

U.S. Army trainees attend their graduation ceremony during basic training at Fort Jackson on September 29, 2022 in Columbia, South Carolina. Getty Images / Scott Olson

The Army Brief: Moldy barracks; Recruiting crisis ‘red herrings’; Vaccine mandates; and more...

Welcome to The Army Brief, a weekly look at the news and ideas shaping the service’s future. 

Barracks “built solid.” Army Materiel Command is working to preemptively protect its facilities against mold and climate change effects, Defense One reports. In its doomsday prepping, AMC has found that even though some of the military’s installations are very old, “we have built our facilities solid” and they should “stand up to natural disasters.”

Recruiting crisis rages on. As the Army continues to struggle with declining recruiting numbers, panelists at a Heritage Foundation event said the branch might not be focusing its efforts efficiently, Defense One reports. Propensity to serve and eligibility rates are often cited as recruitment’s worst enemy, but other factors might have a more significant impact, they said.

Relatedly, the Army’s Future Soldier Prep Course has successfully graduated nearly 2,000 new recruits who were previously ineligible for military service, the Army shared. The program is succeeding, and there’s more interest in it than there is space at Fort Jackson, Army Secretary Christine Wormuth told CNAS. 

Republican lawmakers vs vaccine mandates. A group of Republican senators want the Defense Department’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate repealed and have threatened to stall the NDAA to get a vote on the repeal, Defense One’s Caitlin M. Kenney reports. As of Oct. 13, more than 449,000 troops had been infected with COVID-19. Of those, 2,703 were hospitalized and 96 died.

Army’s new Bradley reflects Ukraine lessons learned. BAE Systems is designing the Army’s new armored fighting vehicle using lessons learned from Ukraine, Defense One’s Marcus Weisgerber reports. Specifically, the design can protect against attacks from above by kamikaze drones with optional armor on top.

Sign up to get The Army Brief every Friday morning from Elizabeth Howe, Defense One’s Army reporter. On Dec. 1, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson met with top-ranking advisors in the White House to develop a two-phase bombing plan for North Vietnam.

From Defense One

Army: Renovating Moldy Barracks is Just the Beginning of Prepping for Climate Change // Elizabeth Howe

While the Army works to improve and renovate facilities across the globe, it feels it's built "solid" against climate impacts to come.

Is the Army Misplacing the Blame for Its Recruiting Crisis? // Elizabeth Howe

At least two of its oft-cited reasons are "red herrings," experts say.

GOP Senators Agitate for Vote To Repeal Vaccine Mandate for Troops // Caitlin M. Kenney

Sen. Paul said 20 senators have pledged to vote against moving the defense policy bill forward unless their amendment is brought to the floor.

Russia-Ukraine War Has Influenced How BAE Systems Designed Army Bradley Replacement // Marcus Weisgerber

The company is including optional armor and making it easy to add counter-drone technology.

Special Operators Lack 'Seat at the Table' in Post-Counterterror Pentagon, SOF Leaders Say // Elizabeth Howe

Even as U.S.-trained Ukranians show their mettle, SOF is getting lost in the transition to great power competition, says the assistant defense secretary for special ops.