Recruiting for the Long War: Has Military Recruiting Reached its Efficient Frontier?
Recorded on March 6, 2008
Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium
In January, Maj. Gen. Thomas Bostick, Commander of U.S. Army
Recruiting Command, told Congress that "propensity, the desire to
enlist in the Armed Forces, is at its lowest point in two decades."
Since its inception, the all-volunteer force has sustained
itself by relying upon the pool of America's talented and patriotic
youth. However, today it is estimated that only 3 out of
every 10 American youth are eligible for military service.
Sustained overseas deployments for the past six years have
also placed the all-volunteer force under immense stress.
As the Long War continues, military recruiters have found it
increasingly difficult to attract acceptable candidates. With
recruiting percentages slowly leveling off, is it possible that the
military has reached its efficient recruiting frontier? What
will it take to ensure the continued health of military recruiting
and preserving the all-volunteer force, especially while America's
ground forces grow by 92,000 in the coming years?