As the Pentagon tries to increase troop numbers, the military is accepting recruits it would have rejected in years past. A different option, several experts say, would be to recruit troops who aren’t citizens.
“Military recruiting is in terrible shape right now,” said retired Lt. Col. Margaret Stock, who has written extensively on the issue. “There’s a big recruiting crisis going on because unemployment is at its lowest level in many years. The demographic that the military tries to recruit is a popular demographic for every U.S. employer.”
The military typically looks for recruits between the ages of 18 and 30 who are physically fit, have at least high school diplomas and don’t have arrest records — the same people who are in demand in higher-paying private-sector jobs, according to Kelly Ward, a professor at the National War College.