by Natalie Johnson, The Washington Free Beacon
Nearly three-quarters of young Americans are ineligible to serve in the United States military due to obesity, criminal record, or lack of education, according to a new report by the Heritage Foundation.
The contracted pool of Americans aged 17 to 24 who are fit to enlist in the armed services poses an “alarming” threat to national security and risks derailing the Trump administration’s path to rebuilding a depleted military, the report found, citing Pentagon data.
The Pentagon estimates that 24 million of the 34 million Americans between 17 and 24 years old, or 71 percent, are unable to serve.
Health problems are the greatest obstacle to military service, with more than half of the young people who are ineligible for service suffering from a health issue.
“The health of young Americans is getting worse, and it’s not just obesity — though that’s the biggest burden — but also growing asthma, joint problems, stuff like that,” retired Army Lieutenant General Tom Spoehr, co-author of the Heritage paper told the Washington Free Beacon recently.
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