Retired Military Officials Call on Defense Secretary to Address Shrinking Pool of Military-Eligible People

Some military leaders are calling on Acting Defense Secretary Christopher C. Miller to do something about the shrinking pool of young, military-eligible people, Military.com reported.

Acting Defense Secretary Christopher C. Miller

More than 70% of young Americans cannot join the military due to obesity, education problems, or crime and drug records.

Mission: Readiness – which includes approximately 800 retired generals and admirals – has asked Miller to immediately create a task force to see how to fix these problems.

“The leaders are calling on the Defense Department to work with the departments of Agriculture, Education, Health and Human Services and Justice to help address the issues,” Military.com reported. The group said many of the factors leaving young people ineligible are outside the DoD’s scope.

“We believe this is a critical step to the sustainability of the all-volunteer force and critical for our future strength and national security,” the group wrote.

Maj. Gen. Jason Bohm, head of Marine Corps Recruiting Service, said less than 30% of young people are eligible for the Marine Corps.

“If you break it down further into those skill sets, intelligence level, and the physical ability level, those that we’re looking toward bringing into the Marine Corps … quickly decreases to about 7%,” he said.