Thinktanks & Research

Looming Crisis: Young Americans Unable to Serve in the Military

By T. Spoehr and B. Handy ● Heritage Foundation ● 02/13/2018

The military depends on a constant flow of volunteers every year. According to 2017 Pentagon data, 71 percent of young Americans between 17 and 24 are ineligible to serve in the United States military. Put another way: Over 24 million of the 34 million people of that age group cannot join the armed forces—even if they wanted to.

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