Army Shuns 75 Percent of Age Eligible Recruits
According to a shocking Associated Press report, the United States military is discriminating in recruiting against a whopping 75 percent of those of eligible age.
Uncle Sam wants YOU, that famous Army recruiting poster says. But does he really? Not if you’re a Ritalin-taking, overweight, Generation Y couch potato — or some combination of the above. As for that fashionable “body art” that the military still calls a tattoo, having one is grounds for rejection, too.
With U.S. casualties rising in wars overseas and more opportunities in the civilian work force from an improved U.S. economy, many young people are shunning a career in the armed forces. But recruiting is still a two-way street — and the military, too, doesn’t want most people in this prime recruiting age group of 17 to 24. Of some 32 million Americans now in this group, the Army deems the vast majority too obese, too uneducated, too flawed in some way, according to its estimates for the current budget year.
Of course, it makes perfect sense for the military–a business that involves trusting people with firearms, explosives, tanks, and other lethal equipment–to shun the mentally unstable, the stupid, and the lazy. The tatoo exclusion is rather silly, especially since a large portion of NCOs have traditionally had them, although I presume this remains waiverable for those with art that would be covered by the uniform.
Related posts below the fold.
Elsewhere: James Joyner, “Backdoor Draft?” TCS, 11 January 2005.
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