Pat Elder | Originally published in Popular Resistance - June 29, 2017
Wars start in our high schools and this is where we can end them.
This year the Army’s goal is to recruit 80,000 active duty and reserve soldiers. The Navy is trying to sign up 42,000; the Air Force is looking for 27,000, and the Marines hope to bring on 38,000. That comes to 187,000. The Army National Guard will also attempt to lure 40,000.
The Pentagon is attempting to recruit somewhere around 227,000 troops this year, and they’re having one hell of a time finding them, even while they enjoy unprecedented physical access to kids in our high schools and equally unprecedented exposure to their minds through popular culture. In 2010 there were 30.7 million Americans between the ages of 18 and 24. 227,000 works out to .73% of prime recruiting age.
The military is forced to relax several standards to bring in soldiers. They say today’s kids are either too fat or too dumb or too misbehaved to make the grade. They claim youth are misinformed about life in the military, but we know most youth don’t want to relinquish their freedom and risk their lives to serve in a military that is overly enthusiastic about going to war.