I think the benefits arent that obvious to most people
The target pool used to be young straights white blokes, that demographic hasnt gone away. Its also been added to by non whites, females, gays and slightly older people. Yet the Army is still struggling to recruit.
In the 1980 hot showers and indoor toilets were considered a luxury by some soldiers, soldiers today might not view hot showers or indoor toilets as anything special in 2020 but fast and cheap(ish) wifi might be, yet the army cant manage even that.
What are the Army offering?
Travel? Very limited
AT? Very limited, normally accessible as a civvie without a tenth of the bullshit
Housing, still cheaper than civvie street but you have no choice where to live and parts of it arent fit for purpose.
Tax free perks? Not available to a lot of soldiers anymore.
Sports? Generally good if you make it higher than unit level, otherwise its nothing special.
Free medical? Not really a massive perk unless you are sick.
Pension? The majority of soldiers dont do enough time to get an immediate pension.
Mess function from 7pm to 6am before a champagne breakfast and 15 pissed up seniors/officers piling into the duty land rover? Died out years ago.
NAAFI bars? Some camps dont even have bars anymore.
There is a struggle to offer something to offset the crap side of the Army.
I wish it was possible to re join again after 56. Best years of my lifeEven when Iraq and Afghanistan was all over the news, it didnt affect recruiting much (There were a couple of years where it did go up slightly, before dropping down again).