This is old, but it is important and truly depressing. From the Army Times:
only 4.7 million of the 31.2 million 17- to 24-year-olds in a 2007 survey are eligible to enlist, according to a periodic survey commissioned by the Pentagon. This group includes those who have scored in the top four categories on the Armed Forces Qualification Test, or AQFT; eligible college graduates; and qualified college students.
According to the Pentagon, the ineligible population breaks down this way:
•Medical/physical problems, 35 percent.
•Illegal drug use, 18 percent.
•Mental Category V (the lowest 10 percent of the population), 9 percent.
•Too many dependents under age 18, 6 percent.
•Criminal record, 5 percent.
In summary, 85% of American youths are disqualified for military service, primarily by obesity, lack of cognitive skills, drug use, or criminal records. Do we get it that there is a problem here?