Why Can’t the Majority of Americans Join the Military?



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Why can’t the Majority of Americans Join the Military? While the military has changed to embrace openly-gay members and women, there are still a number of Americans unable to enlist. Before you decide to join the military, you will need to make sure you fit the requirements.

Of course, the requirements for joining the military become rather relaxed during a war. When the Iraq War was going on, the military’s standards were so low the Marines and the Army both accepted convicted felons.

However, today, the standards are rather strict and more than 60% of those living in the United States will not qualify for military service. This will be due to educational, physical or behavioral issues.

For many years, the military has requires at least a high school education to even be considered. At one time, the Army offered a GED assistance program for those wanting to join without a high school diploma.

If you’re a convicted felon, you’re not getting into the military by today’s standards. Some tattoos, piercings and hyperactive medications will keep you out, as well. According to the Pentagon, 71% of those age 17 to 24 would not qualify for enlistment. The Army estimates that only about 1% of those eligible are even interested in enlisting. Top enlistment requirements of the United States Army include:

• Must be 17 to 34 years of age
• Must be a U.S. Citizen or legal foreign national
• Must have a High School education or GED
• Muse score at least a 33 on the Armed Forces Qualification Test

• No face, neck or finger tattoos
• No ear gauges
• No felony convictions
• No addiction to illegal drugs
• No insulin-dependency
• No ADHD medication in the past year
• Must meet the weight and height requirements

The major reason why so many don’t qualify is obesity. It has become a national security issue according to Major General Allen Batschelet of the U.S. Army Recruiting Command. Stats show that the obesity rate could be as high as 50% by 2020. If this happens, only about 2 out of 10 could even qualify to join the United States Army. According to the Washington Times, about 80% of walk-in applicants are turned down by the military. This was confirmed by the Kansas City Star, as well. Some of the rejections are due to the military becoming pickier about education, however.

While obesity is the major reason many are turned away, education and felony records are two other big reasons for turn downs. Joining the military has become a bit harder and those being turned down often need about a semester of college credits before they reapply.

A new war may change the requirements, but for now, the U.S. Military isn’t going to allow people in that don’t fit with their stringent requirements. Many cannot get in to the Military simply because they don’t meet the weight requirements. This number is growing every year, as well. If it keeps growing, it could cause a major issue for the United States military.

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