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*Only 29% of youth today would qualify to serve in the military; chronic health problems cited

Feb 20, 2018, Homeland: Nearly 3/4 of Youth Ineligible for Military http://homeland411.com/nearly-3-4-youth-ineligible-military/ Of the 34 million youth aged 17 to 24 in the United States, only 29 percent could actually serve, according to a report from The Heritage Foundation. As the military relies on volunteers to fill ranks each year, it’s a crisis authors Thomas Spoehr and Bridget Handy say is not in the future; it’s here now. “More and more young Americans do not qualify to enter the military due to lack of basic education, drug use, criminal background, or—the top reason—simply being too fat,” according to The Looming National Security Crisis: Young Americans Unable to Serve in the Military. However, an individual could fall into more than a single category. Though the Army has the biggest problem, the report said it affects all services. Most alarming, according to the report, is the instance of obesity, and the trend is increasing. A former recruiting commander estimates obesity rates at 50 percent by 2020, meaning only two out of 10 would qualify to join. “[O]f the total number of those who attempt to joint the Armed Forces, approximately 15,000 are rejected every year because they are overweight,” the report stated. Other health contributors to ineligibility “include asthma, hearing and eyesight problems, and mental illness.” …