“But there’s one thing that hasn’t changed much. Each year, the overwhelming majority of new military recruits are young and male. In that sense, the American military of 2012 still looks a great deal like the American military of the 1970s, the 1940s, the 1860s, or the 1770s. For that matter, it still looks a lot like virtually every group of warriors in virtually every society during virtually every period of human history.
It’s time to question the near-universal assumption that the ideal military recruit is young and male. The nature of warfare has changed dramatically in the last century and the capabilities most needed by the military are less and less likely to be in the exclusive possession of young males. In fact, the opposite may be true: when it comes to certain key skills and qualities likely to be vital to the military in the coming decades, young males may be one of the least well-suited demographic groups.”
No Army for Young Men
Soldiers these days need less muscle and more maturity, so why do we still focus on recruiting 18-year-olds?
BY ROSA BROOKS
But she hits the right notes with this piece. For some reason the left wants to screw over our allies. The New York Times wants us to leave Taiwan. War is Boring and the Atlantic want the US to leave Japan.
In the midst of teh peacenik crazies, it’s nice to see someone admit that soldiers are ADULTS.
The US military does not enlist, nor commission children. I’m gonna say that again, the US military does not enlist, nor commission children.
The reason the military recruits in high school is to get young people as they turn 18. Given the 20 year career path many take, that means a young man or woman could enlist at 17 (with their parent’s permission). Starting at E-1, they go up the ranks. The higher ranks are capped per federal regs and age limits, but promotion is based on merit. So a young man or woman can join at 17, get promoted and then retire at the age of 40 if they want. Or they can go to a service academy, ROTC or plain ole’ college then get a commission as an officer. Or they can do the “high school to flight school” and become a warrant officer and fly for the Army. There are officers, warrant officers and enlisted who have 25+ years of service, some with over 40. The point is that high school age Americans had a place in the military of the past.
Flash forward to the 21st century, those over 17, hell those up to 40 can join. Yes, a career in the military is hard on the body. That said, those fresh out of high school have a place. Instead of drinking and parting their way through teen years mark II, they could get a job defending their country. But being 20, 23, or 33 doesn’t make them unfit. If anything older service members bring skills and experience into the mix.
The myth that junior enlisted are “children” dates back to conflicts of old. Yes, even up to Vietnam, the military and civilian leaders kept tossing bodies at the problem. Now we live in the era that makes Vietnam’s tech level look like the Napoleonic Wars. More young soldiers have families, more junior enlisted are older than 20. The draft should go the way of segregation, “don’t ask, don’t tell” and vacuum tubes.
Her blog is the usual leftist screeching that war is too easy, somehow. I applaud her for saying that soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines ARE NOT children. It’s time everyone realizes that. All Americans over 17 should get calls from recruiters.