December 03, 2022

Duckworth Outlines Methods to Improve & Expand Military Recruitment at Reagan National Defense Forum


[SIMI VALLEY, CA] - Combat Veteran and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), a member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, today discussed how the military can expand and improve recruitment efforts as well as how increasing diversity among the ranks improves our national security. Duckworth’s comments came during a panel discussion moderated by Dana Perino at the 2022 Reagan National Defense Forum in California, where she was joined by Congressman Mike Gallagher (R-WI), Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps Gen. David Berger and U.S. Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Gilbert Cisneros. Video of the Senator’s panel is available here.

“Our military is the strongest in the world not in spite of its diversity, but because of it,” said Senator Duckworth. “The different perspectives and experiences our troops bring to their roles in our Armed Forces help us see the whole picture and ensure better outcomes for everyone. But if we want to improve our recruiting efforts, we have to make sure our troops and military families earn enough to put food on the table, and it’s time for us to seriously face and address the issues that lead to less than one of three potential recruits actually meeting the physical or education standards our military requires. That means improving our education and health care systems to make sure our nation is developing the talented, healthy recruits we need to meet our goals.”

Senator Duckworth is an Iraq War Veteran, Purple Heart recipient and former Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. She was among the first Army women to fly combat missions during Operation Iraqi Freedom. On November 12, 2004, her helicopter was hit by an RPG and Duckworth lost her legs and partial use of her right arm. She served in the Reserve Forces for 23 years before retiring from military service in 2014 at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.