Uncle Sam wants young people in the Midwest. But they don’t seem to want Uncle Sam.
The U.S. Army, the oldest and largest branch of the nation’s military, has a problem that millennials and Generation Z-ers in states such as Indiana and Michigan can help fix: adding more soldiers to its ranks.
In the past several years, recruitment in the region has consistently fallen short of the Army’s goals. The repeated failures here have amounted to less diversity in the U.S. Army, in terms of age and location, according to Army officials and experts. And the challenges ahead for recruiters are numerous.
Col. Eric Lopez, of the U.S. Army 3rd Recruiting Brigade, told IndyStar there’s a “growing divide between America and its Army.”
“So, thanks for your service, right, we got that, but sometimes thanks for what you do, but either I don’t want to do that or I don’t want my kids to do that,” he said.
Data provided to IndyStar by the 3rd Recruiting Brigade — which covers Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Indianapolis, Great Lakes, Milwaukee, Minneapolis and Nashville — shows that since 2012, the brigade has not met its recruiting mission in those areas. Recently, the Army's 3rd Recruiting Brigade missed the mark by more than 3,000 in Fiscal Year 2018.
Waning interest in the Midwest has contributed to disproportionate numbers in the country.
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