Tag Archives: young adults

Increasing Number of Youth Ineligible for Military

P1-BQ573_INELIG_G_20140627175409At a time when dependence upon our military for safeguarding the nation and our freedoms is increasing, it’s disconcerting to learn that an increasing number of young people are ineligible for our armed services. The reasons are manifold, and often overlapping, but most of them boil down to behavioral obstacles. Many more who wish to join the armed services would be allowed if they made better choices. The same kinds of issues often limit opportunities, even outside of the military.

The military’s prime recruiting age is 17-24 years of age, and according to data released by the Pentagon, over 2/3 of young Americans in that demographic would not be eligible for service. By far the greatest reason for ineligibility is obesity, but other reasons for disqualification include physical appearance, physical health, lack of educational preparedness, police records, and drug use. There are over 34 million young people who would qualify by age, but a full 71% of them would be declined if they applied.

Enlistment requirements vary slightly depending on the branch of the military, but the candidates must be between 17-34 years of age; have a high school diploma or GED with some college credits; have no felony convictions; no persistent illegal drug use; no insulin-dependent diabetes; meet height/weight standards for their age group; be a U.S. citizen or foreign national with legal status; have no ADHD medication for the 12 months preceding application; have no ear gauges and no tattoos on the fingers, head, or hands.

3805908_GEvery year approximately 180,000 new recruits, or about .5% of the prime recruitment-age applicants are added to our military branches. If all other requirements are met, they must also pass the Armed Forces Qualification Test, which provides an assessment of their English, math, and science skills, as well as their cognitive abilities. According to the Pentagon, about a quarter of applicants, who have graduated from high school, or have their GED, can’t pass the Qualification Test. Major General Allen Youngman says, “They aren’t educationally qualified to join the military in any capacity, not just the high-tech jobs.”

Although the military doesn’t release figures on how many applicants are rejected for service, the Defense Department does indicate that only about 1% of prime recruitment-age young people are both “eligible and inclined to have conversation with” any of the branches of the military. Crunching the numbers indicates only about half of those ultimately are admitted.

Would you hire me?

Would you hire me?

Major General Allen Batschelet, who serves as the commanding officer of the Army Recruiting Command, told the Wall Street Journal in June that, “The quality of people willing to serve has been declining rapidly.” Because of this, they have avoided a “zero-defect” mentality, which means they often consider cases individually, which has still allowed them to meet their recruitment objectives in recent years.

There are many, both in the military and out, who see this as a threat to national security. This acknowledgment led to the formation of Mission:Readiness, a nonprofit organization comprised of 450 retired generals and admirals. The group claims that, “Investing early in the upcoming generation is critical to securing our nation’s future. These retired admirals and generals understand that whether young people join the military or not, we must increase investments so that all young people can get the right start and succeed in life – whatever career path they choose. To ensure that we have a strong nation and a secure future, we need to help America’s youth succeed academically, stay physically fit, and abide by the law.”

Retired Major Gen. Allen Youngman, speaking on behalf of “Mission:Readiness, said, “We’re trying to make decision makers see this is a national-security matter—and they need to prioritize it.”

An increasing number of candidates are rejected because of tattoos. Recruiters around the nation are reporting that many recruits don’t advance beyond the initial visit to the recruitment office, since their tattoos are visible and out of compliance with military policy. According to military sources, the objective behind the tattoo guidelines is to maintain a “professional-looking Army.”

Or would you hire me?

Or would you hire me?

Here’s where the broader cultural and societal interests of the nation intersect with the military’s objective. The same conduct that precludes so many from joining the military likewise presents obstacles to employment outside of the military. Aren’t all of these qualifiers important whether one intends to join the military or not? Aren’t all potential employers invested in the idea of having well-educated, physically healthy, and professional-looking personnel? Common sense would lead us to believe that the enlisting qualifications for the military are not all that different for life outside of it.

Young people can choose to drop out of high school or approach their educational opportunities cavalierly. They can choose to not be conscientious about their overall health, or disfigure themselves with piercings and gauges, and paint their bodies with tattoos, if they choose to. But they should realize that their future options are limited by doing so. They certainly limit their opportunities with the military, as well as many future potential employers. We can choose what we do, for the most part, but we’d better think through what the consequences and ramifications are.

Associated Press award winning columnist Richard Larsen is President of Larsen Financial, a brokerage and financial planning firm in Pocatello, Idaho and is a graduate of Idaho State University with degrees in Political Science and History and coursework completed toward a Master’s in Public Administration. He can be reached at [email protected].

 

Institutions of Higher learning… About SEX!

If you’re like most parents you want what’s best for your kids.  You want them to get the kind of education that will help them get have a great life and a good, steady job where they love what they do and have a chance to advance.

And like most parents, other than that initial trip to visit college campuses with your kids, you didn’t really check out all the little “extras” that they will learn while away at school!

One expects that institutions of higher learning (you know, our wonderful university and colleges throughout the country) that, in many cases, are subsidized by our tax dollars, would focus on teaching the foundations required for our children to excel in their chose field of study.

When they enter the universities as young adults, we hope the knowledge they gain will help prepare them for the real world and teach them to be an adult, show up on time, be engaged and involved in school, in classes, and so on. Right?

Unfortunately, a majority of the colleges in our fine education system are run by some very left-leaning, progressive, socialist Americans. Follow me here.

I expect colleges to hand out information at the beginning of the school year about “Dealing with the anxiety of attending college”, “How to manage your time”, and “How to study”. But if you plan on attending the College of Charleston, one of the first introductions you will receive is “Find your Erotic self”… in comic book form! This comic book is a memoir about a woman coming to terms with her sexual identity and her closeted gay father who had a relationship with an underage male babysitter.

This is “reality”? This helps prepare our young adults for the “real world”? What does that have to do with entering college and excelling in a career? Shouldn’t I find “myself” before I find my “erotic self”? How about I find my dorm room first and then the bookstore? A grocery store would be nice and even the nearest clinic or dry cleaner. Somewhere, about 400 items down on the list, might be what’s in the comic book that explores gender and sexuality issues.

Apparently, the college thinks this is one of the first things that every incoming freshmen needs. Do you suppose they shared that “welcome packet” with the parents when they came for that school site visit, before they signed on the dotted line for all that tuition? Doubtful. One of the directors at the school said, “This book will open important conversations about identity, diversity, sexuality and finding one’s place in the world.” Newsflash… this is a professor who could be teaching your son or daughter!

What they are really trying to impart is that no matter what the young person was taught at home, no matter what their moral compass or religious belief is, they need to check out their erotic side, sleep with members of the same sex, pretend you’re a man when you have female parts, you get the gist. The college believes you need to explore this “real world knowledge” to be successful in life. In what universe?!

Isn’t it more important to teach these kids how to cope with being away from home for the first time? That they need to push themselves to do well and excel in life? That they need to choose their friends wisely? Why is it that the “educated left” thinks anyone with moral values or a religious belief is backwards?

The board at the University of Connecticut recently unanimously voted to forbid “amorous, intimate, or sexual contact” between school faculty and students. Wait! This wasn’t already a rule? And if not, why wouldn’t it be? Forget about the sexual issues, how about the moral issues? Does the student get a better mark depending on how many dates there are? Or how the student kisses? Or even how they perform sexually? And what happens if/when there is a breakup? Isn’t it just common sense to keep things professional?

Not in the world of higher learning. It took finding out a teacher had had sexual relations with many students over his many years at the college. For him, it was like shooting fish in a barrel. These campuses are supposed to be safe places where we entrust our children to be educated.

Colleges now have courses on sex and sexual behavior, the proper sex tool and how to use it, how to have safe sex (even bestiality), and how to navigate pornography. Harvard University sanctions a “Hook Up Week” where they encourage students to blow off steam by engaging in their raw, sexual desires.

I guess “Do your homework day”, “Return your books to the library day”, “Help out another student week”, and “volunteer at the local food bank month” are out of the question. Why do we have to pollute the college experience with immorality and encourage unbridled sexual behavior?

Having a mindset of “free love and free sex” and exploring any and every sexual thought is dangerous. Having a healthy fear of and respect for God and a solid moral compass is healthy. Check out the stats. It proves me right.

The Next Generation Identifies China as a Threat

WASHINGTON, Nov. 21, 2011 — Generation Opportunity, one of the largest and fastest growing grassroots voter education organizations, released results from its national poll exploring how America’s young adults view the world, the American economy, and their personal futures. The Generation Opportunity poll focuses specifically on young Americans ages 18-29, popularly referred to as the “Millennial” generation. The data is particularly relevant in light of President Barack Obama’s recent Asia-Pacific trip, and it reveals the opinions of young Americans on issues such as U.S. debt and indebtedness to China, a variety of economic challenges, and domestic concerns.

The Generation Opportunity poll found that seventy-six percent of young American adults view China as either an economic or military threat. Sixty-two percent believe the top American national security issue is the U.S. debt followed by energy dependency and indebtedness to foreign powers.

“America’s future leaders are well aware of the world around them and the competition the United States faces both now and in the future. They know America’s ability to lead and our national security have been put at risk by reckless deficit spending and increased indebtedness to foreign powers such as China. Young Americans are prepared to change the status quo because they refuse to settle for a future defined by an ongoing lack of jobs, a poor economy, and the possibility that the U.S. will no longer be a leader on the world stage,” said Paul T. Conway, president of Generation Opportunity and the former Chief of Staff of the U.S. Department of Labor under Secretary Elaine L. Chao. Conway has also served as an official at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and is an alumnus of the Senior Executives in National and International Security program at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

To reduce these vulnerabilities and manage America’s national security challenges, young Americans believe elected officials in Washington, D.C. need to get the country on more stable economic footing by cutting federal spending rather than raising taxes. They also believe the U.S. needs to increase the production of domestic energy sources such as oil, natural gas, and coal.

Generation Opportunity commissioned a poll with the polling company, inc./WomanTrend (April 16 – 22, 2011, +/- 4 percent margin of error) and highlights some of the results below.

America’s Young Adults: The China Threat, American Exceptionalism, and U.S. Economic Priorities:

  • 76 percent of Young Americans view China as a danger: 48 percent as an economic threat and 28 percent as both an economic and military threat.
  • Top 3 greatest threats to American National Security: National Debt (62 percent), Energy Dependency (61 percent) and Indebtedness to Foreign Powers (50 percent). The threat of terrorism at (39 percent) followed as the fourth major national security concern.
  • 56 percent — more than half — indicated their agreement with “American Exceptionalism” — described as an ideal of freedom and democracy exclusive and unique to the United States, only 29 percent disagreed.
  • Only 31 percent approve of President Obama’s handling of American youth unemployment.
  • When asked on a scale of 1 (meaning not at all) to 5 (meaning a very big concern) how much of a concern America’s current” financial debt”/”deficit” rates, 66 percent of young Americans indicated very big concerns with America’s “financial debt” and 71 percent indicated very big concerns about America’s “deficit.”
  • 54 percent — more than one half — of Young Americans are not confident that the U.S. will be a global leader in just 10 years. Only 9 percent said they were “very confident” that the U.S. would be in 10 years.
  • 70 percent (net) would increase production of domestic energy sources like oil, natural gas and coal; only 22 percent (net) would decrease production of the same energy sources.