Listen to this article 77% Of Young Americans Ineligible For Military Service Due To Health Issues And Substance Use, Pentagon Study Shows
A 2020 Pentagon study examined the eligibility of young Americans to join the military without a waiver. The study found that 77% of them were disqualified due to health problems, substance use, and other reasons. This article provides an overview of the study’s key findings and concerns raised about the shrinking pool of potential military recruits.
The Pentagon study revealed that being overweight was the most common reason for disqualification, with 11% of young Americans ineligible due to this factor. Other health issues that contributed to ineligibility included medical/physical health problems (7%) and mental health issues (4%). Between 2013 and 2020, there were significant increases in disqualifications due to mental health and overweight conditions.
The study also found that 8% of young Americans were ineligible for military service due to drug and alcohol abuse. This factor was the second most common reason for disqualification among the eligible population.
Multiple Disqualification Reasons
Interestingly, the majority of ineligible youth (44%) were disqualified for multiple reasons rather than for a single factor alone. This indicates that health issues and substance use are often intertwined and can compound each other.
The shrinking pool of potential military recruits has been a growing concern, and Pentagon leaders have sounded the alarm on its recruiting challenges. According to Major Charlie Dietz, a Department of Defense spokesman, the study confirms the difficulties of recruiting new military members. Youth disconnection and disinterest in military service, declining veteran population, and overreliance on military stereotypes are some of the challenges mentioned by Dietz.Read more: Young Americans Ineligible For Military Service Says Pentagon