The Vast Majority Of Americans In Their 20s Are Unfit For Military Service
taskandpurpose.com ^ | Oct. 13, 2017 | JAMES CLARK
Posted on 10/17/2017, 2:11:45 PM by PROCON
Army Gen. George W. Casey, Jr., the Army’s chief of staff, administers the oath of enlistment to 26 recruits in New York City, April 1, 2009.
The military is facing a growing recruiting crisis: 71% of Americans between 17 and 24 can’t meet the minimum criteria for service, which places the burden of service on an ever-small and shrinking pool of troops with a family history of joining the military.
At an Oct. 12 Heritage Foundation panel in Washington, D.C., Rep. Don Bacon, a Nebraska Republican and former Air Force one-star general told attendees “the single most important ingredient to readiness is the constant flow of willing volunteers.”
Yet with less than a third of the population eligible for service, “it’s a red flag for our country,” Bacon said. “If we don’t turn this around, where does the world’s strongest military recruit from?”
Some quick math shows what the services are up against. For the Army, the recruiting goal for the coming fiscal year is roughly 180,000 new soldiers. According to a detailed analysis by Army Times, only 9.7 million out of the 33.4 million Americans between 17 and 24 meet the Army’s minimum standards. The reasons for disqualification range from failure to meet weight and fitness standards, misconduct, medical issues, mental health, and substance abuse concerns.
Once you take into account whether or not the remaining 9.7 million are enrolled in college — and that the Army doesn’t want the bare minimum for its future soldiers — the recruiting pool shrinks to just 1.7 million. And that’s before you get to those who are even interested in enlisting. What you’re left with is just 136,000 potential recruits interested in joining out of the original pool of 33.4 million, Army Times reports.
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