According to an article in the Boston Herald, "An alarming 75 percent of Americans ages 17 to 24 would not qualify for military service today because they are physically unfit, failed to finish high school or have criminal records.
While some experts voiced doubt that obesity and other societal ills would keep three out of four young adults out of the ranks, the report titled "Ready, Willing and Unable to Serve" was endorsed by U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, former NATO commander Gen. Wesley Clark and top retired admirals and generals.
Retired Rear Adm. James Barnett said "Our national security in the year 2030 is absolutely dependent on what’s going on in kindergarten today."
Increasingly, applicants are disqualified for having asthma or for taking pills for depression or attention disorders. Nearly one-third of all young adults have health issues other than weight that could keep them from serving, according to the report of the group Mission: Readiness.
Mission: Readiness organizers, including Education Secretary Duncan, are pressing Congress to approve the Early Learning Challenge Fund, which would provide $1 billion annually in grants to states for 10 years to improve childhood development programs.
Even after signing up, 7 to 15 percent of enlistees return home for not meeting all that basic training demands."