Image credit: Marine Corps Cpl. Grace Kindred/Department of Defense
September 21, 2022
Most Military Recruits Come from Families of People Who Served. Experts Say That’s Not Sustainable.
Journalist Jonathan Ahl
Critics say the military needs to broaden its recruiting base. “Really, the time to change this reliance on the military children pipeline to the military was several years ago,” said Nathalie Grogan, who researches military and veterans for the Center for New American Security, a Washington D.C. think tank that is largely funded by military contractors. “Not every military child goes on to serve, so that pool gets smaller. It's a vicious cycle, and it’s not sustainable in the future,” Grogan said.
Another factor working against the military is that fewer young people are eligible to enlist. According to the Pentagon, 71% of Americans age 17 to 24 are ineligible for the military, primarily because they are overweight, undereducated, or have criminal records. They can also be disqualified for using recreational drugs or taking prescription drugs like Adderall.
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