Pentagon: 7 in 10 Youths Would Fail to Qualify for Military Service

TIME

Approximately 71 percent of the 34 million 17- to 24-year-olds in the U.S. would not qualify for military service because of reasons related to health, physical appearance and educational background, according to the Pentagon.

The ineligible typically includes those who are obese, those who lack a high-school diploma or a GED, convicted felons, those taking prescription drugs for ADHD and those with certain tattoos and ear gauges, the Wall Street Journal reports, though some requirements can be waived.

Only 1 percent of young people are both “eligible and inclined to have conversation with” the military about possible service, according to the Defense Department.

“The quality of people willing to serve has been declining rapidly,” Major. Gen. Allen Batschelet, the U.S. Army Recruiting Command’s commanding general, told the WSJ.

Approximately 180,000 men and women volunteer for and enter active-duty forces each year, though U.S. military activity in recent years has…

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