September 21, 2022

Most Military Recruits Come from Families of People Who Served. Experts Say That’s Not Sustainable.

Source: KPBS

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.

Read the full story and more from KPBS.


  • Nathalie Grogan

    Former Research Associate, Military, Veterans, and Society Program

    Nathalie Grogan is a former Research Associate for the Military, Veterans, and Society Program at CNAS. Her research focused on the National Guard and military families. Groga...