Recruits’ Ineligibility Tests the Military

Recruits’ Ineligibility Tests the Military
Photo credit:The Wall Street Journal

Would it surprise you to learn that a whopping 71 % of today's youth 17 to 24 could not pass the requirements to serve in the U.S. military? That news comes directly from the Pentagon, which is concerned about what this could mean to our future fighting force.

The U.S. Army Recruiting Commanding General, Allen Batschelet says: “The quality of people willing to serve has been declining rapidly.”

There are a variety of reasons given for why this group is not making the cut–ranging from obesity, prescription medications for conditions like ADHD, to not being educationally qualified or not meeting the appearance requirements because of tattoos. Standards have reportedly been adjusted during crucial times like the Iraq war, including accepting more candidates without a high school degree or who have excess body fat.

Mission: Readiness is a non-profit created by retired military leaders, who are seeking solutions to the problem. Retired Major General Alan Youngman points to potential applicants who come in 50 pounds or more overweight or the approximately 25% of high school graduates who can’t pass the Army’s reading and math tests necessary to qualify: “We’re trying to make decision makers see this as a national security matter–and they need to prioritize it.”

The Wall Street Journal, 6/27/14

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