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Who Makes Up Most of Our Military Recruits


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#1 LFC

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 12:01 PM

Interesting piece on the geographic regions they come from and the huge impact of the military family tradition. There are maps that show some of the shifts (and non-shifts) of where recruits came from in 1998 compared to 2018.

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Soldiers like him are increasingly making the United States military a family business. The men and women who sign up overwhelmingly come from counties in the South and a scattering of communities at the gates of military bases like Colorado Springs, which sits next to Fort Carson and several Air Force installations, and where the tradition of military service is deeply ingrained.

More and more, new recruits are the children of old recruits. In 2019, 79 percent of Army recruits reported having a family member who served. For nearly 30 percent, it was a parent — a striking point in a nation where less than 1 percent of the population serves in the military.

For years, military leaders have been sounding the alarm over the growing gulf between communities that serve and those that do not, warning that relying on a small number of counties that reliably produce soldiers is unsustainable, particularly now amid escalating tensions with Iran.

“A widening military-civilian divide increasingly impacts our ability to effectively recruit and sustain the force,” Anthony M. Kurta, acting under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness, told the National Commission on Military, National and Public Service last year. “This disconnect is characterized by misperceptions, a lack of knowledge and an inability to identify with those who serve. It threatens our ability to recruit the number of quality youth with the needed skill sets to maintain our advantage.”

To be sure, the idea of joining the military has lost much of its luster in nearly two decades of grinding war. The patriotic rush to enlist after the terrorist attacks of 2001 has faded. For a generation, enlisting has produced reliable hardship for troops and families, but nothing that resembles victory. But the military families who have borne nearly all of the burden, and are the most cleareyed about the risks of war, are still the Americans who are most likely to encourage their sons and daughters to join.

With the goal of recruiting about 68,000 soldiers in 2020, the Army is now trying to broaden its appeal beyond traditional recruitment pools. New marketing plays up future careers in medicine and tech, as well as generous tuition benefits for a generation crushed by student debt. The messaging often notes that most Army jobs are not in combat fields.

But for now, rates of military service remain far from equal in the United States, and the gap may continue to widen because a driving decision to enlist is whether a young person knows anyone who served in the military. In communities where veterans are plentiful, teachers, coaches, mothers, uncles and other mentors often steer youths toward military service. In communities where veterans are scarce, influential adults are more wary.

That has created a broad gap, easily seen on a map. The South, where the culture of military service runs deep and military installations are plentiful, produces 20 percent more recruits than would be expected, based on its youth population. The states in the Northeast, which have very few military bases and a lower percentage of veterans, produce 20 percent fewer.


We also used to allow immigrants to join and treated them properly for their service by extending citizenship. Now? Not so much. After all who needs more brown people to be sticking around in the White Republican Fascist States of America? (Stephen Miller says that out loud when he touches himself.)
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#2 JackD

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 01:00 PM

Maybe potential military recruits are beginning to consider their potential employer's military policies' results and they're not interested in assisting in that.

#3 LFC

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 01:11 PM

View PostJackD, on 13 January 2020 - 01:00 PM, said:

Maybe potential military recruits are beginning to consider their potential employer's military policies' results and they're not interested in assisting in that.

Has there been a remotely reasonably well thought out "boots on the ground" military intervention since the First Gulf War? Have there been many after WWII? On the flip side we have Korea, Vietnam, Somalia, Gulf War 2, Afghanistan,... (But we sure did kick ass in Grenada!) Here's a list if you want to make the case for any.

I'm sure there are plenty of veterans of poorly planned out wars and actions who have dissuaded people from a career in the military.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

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""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#4 JackD

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 01:50 PM

I think one can make a case for Korea; otherwise, no.

#5 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 02:11 PM

View PostLFC, on 13 January 2020 - 12:01 PM, said:

We also used to allow immigrants to join and treated them properly for their service by extending citizenship. Now? Not so much. After all who needs more brown people to be sticking around in the White Republican Fascist States of America? (Stephen Miller says that out loud when he touches himself.)

That also used to include others with "dark" skin (including Native and Hispanic). That Southern bias used to be at least proportionately composed of African-Americans. My not-terribly-scientific impression is that it's shifting away from that. I don't know if that's due to the increase in low-melanin Southerners or not.
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#6 Practical Girl

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 10:23 AM

None of this is particularly new. Military life has always been a family business, not unlike medical and legal families. The difference in a decade is also a bit unsurprising to me. Lots and lots of retirees living in places-with people- of comfort. That's where the kiddos are, and the recruitment tends to be stronger.
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#7 gmat

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 11:40 AM

It‘s a pretty good career path because there are quite a few different careers contained in the broad rubric of military career.

All kinds of tech, medicine, journalism, logistics, whatever, you name it, really. And even as an entry level person you can get your hands on the latest and greatest stuff.

Some of the services will advance you rapidly based on how fast you can learn stuff and demonstrate proficiency.

But living under the UCMJ is no joke.

Pretty selective nowadays: high school diploma (and they look at your grades!); criminal background check; pass a drug test; can‘t be obese, or otherwise challenged physically

That really tends to effectively exclude most poor people.

#8 MSheridan

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 12:08 PM

View PostLFC, on 13 January 2020 - 01:11 PM, said:

Has there been a remotely reasonably well thought out "boots on the ground" military intervention since the First Gulf War? Have there been many after WWII? On the flip side we have Korea, Vietnam, Somalia, Gulf War 2, Afghanistan,... (But we sure did kick ass in Grenada!) Here's a list if you want to make the case for any.


Although I'd agree the First Gulf War was "well thought out" in terms of implementation, I don't think we should have gotten into that conflict in the first place, so I'd disagree it was well thought out in overall terms.

However, although I opposed it at the time (didn't think it would work, based on past history), Operation Joint Endeavor in Bosnia and Herzegovina demonstrated that U.S. participation in truly multinational military peacekeeping efforts could lead to better results. So there is one.

#9 gmat

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 12:34 PM

View PostMSheridan, on 16 January 2020 - 12:08 PM, said:



Although I'd agree the First Gulf War was "well thought out" in terms of implementation, I don't think we should have gotten into that conflict in the first place, so I'd disagree it was well thought out in overall terms.

However, although I opposed it at the time (didn't think it would work, based on past history), Operation Joint Endeavor in Bosnia and Herzegovina demonstrated that U.S. participation in truly multinational military peacekeeping efforts could lead to better results. So there is one.

That was a good operation. And one of the main lessons learned was that it takes about 20 trigger-pullers per thousand of population to do that kind of work.

Everybody except Shinseki forgot that one in Iraq

#10 Traveler

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 03:54 PM

Canning Shinseki was the start of a tsunami of ineptitude.
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#11 George Rowell

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Posted 21 January 2020 - 06:22 AM

View PostLFC, on 13 January 2020 - 01:11 PM, said:

Has there been a remotely reasonably well thought out "boots on the ground" military intervention since the First Gulf War?
That depends on what precisely you are trying to achieve. If you are trying to dismantle and destabilize sovereign countries then I would suggest it was all thought out extremely well. When Bremer disbanded the Iraqi army he knew full well there would be 300,000 military trained 'terrorists' in the waiting. Of course it could all be put down to incompetency but that excuse is wearing a bit thin. In my opinion there was a rush to crush unfriendly middle east countries before Russia got to it's feet again after the break up of the soviet union. That would explain General Clark's comments about taking out 7 countries in 5 years and the degree of urgency.
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#12 gmat

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Posted 21 January 2020 - 10:05 AM

View PostGeorge Rowell, on 21 January 2020 - 06:22 AM, said:


That depends on what precisely you are trying to achieve. If you are trying to dismantle and destabilize sovereign countries then I would suggest it was all thought out extremely well. When Bremer disbanded the Iraqi army he knew full well there would be 300,000 military trained 'terrorists' in the waiting. Of course it could all be put down to incompetency but that excuse is wearing a bit thin. In my opinion there was a rush to crush unfriendly middle east countries before Russia got to it's feet again after the break up of the soviet union. That would explain General Clark's comments about taking out 7 countries in 5 years and the degree of urgency.

That really was a fascinating interview.

https://www.democrac...residential_bid





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