The US military is experiencing a severe shortage of volunteers and a simultaneous increase in the number of unfit for service, facing the most significant shortage of recruits in almost 50 years, NBC News reports, citing experts and Pentagon officials.
According to NBC News, an internal Pentagon study found that only 9% of eligible citizens expressed a desire to enter the service, the lowest since 2007. At the same time, 57% of respondents said they were afraid of emotional and psychological difficulties upon completion of their service. Half of the respondents indicate that they are afraid of possible physical injuries.
“With a record low number of Americans eligible to serve and few willing to do so, this is the year we are questioning the sustainability of an all-volunteer military,” said an expert interviewed.
The number of citizens eligible for military service has fallen to 23% compared to the recent years’ average of 29% of the total number of men and women aged 17 to 24. Among the reasons for the Pentagon’s medical withdrawal are obesity, drug use and the presence of a criminal record in young people. As a likely scenario, the US Department of Defense is considering a reduction in health requirements for recruits. Thus, it is possible that the conditions for the employment of people with asthma, as well as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, will be relaxed.
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