Federal Employees News Digest

Number of suitable military recruits declining

A new Defense Department report indicates that recruiters may have a tougher time finding suitable recruits in the near future.

One reason, according to the summary report on population representation for the military services for fiscal 2014, is that the unemployment rate among the key 16- to 24-year-old age group dropped to 13.4 percent in 2014—and likely will continue to decline.

Second, the study noted, high school graduates were becoming more likely to enroll in college immediately, making them less available to recruit into military service.

Making matters worse, a third factor—budget constraints—have compelled DOD slow the growth of military pay, making the military appear a less attractive career path for young Americans.

While those three factors shrink the population of potential new recruits, the study also noted that potential recruits have become increasingly unqualified for military service.

DOD conducted a study in 2013 to estimate the proportion of the 17-to-24-year-old U.S. population who would qualify without needing a waiver, were not enrolled in college, and were available to enlist in the active military—and concluded that only 17 percent of that group were available.

But in fact, the report notes, the services usually deny enlistment to youth who score in the bottom 30 percentiles on the Armed Forces Qualification Test.

According to the report, after subtracting those low scorers, only 13 percent of the target group remains available—and that population is reduced further through disqualifications due to medical/physical issues, obesity, drugs, conduct, dependents and aptitude. 

See more at: https://www.cna.org/pop-rep/2014/summary/summary.pdf.


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Edward A. Zurndorfer Certified Financial Planner
Mike Causey Columnist
Tom Fox VP for Leadership and Innovation, Partnership for Public Service
Mathew B. Tully Legal Analyst

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