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U.S. Military Struggles to Fill Its Ranks

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U.S. Army trainees participating in the Army's new Future Soldier Prep Course stand in formation following a physical training session at Fort Jackson on September 28, 2022 in Columbia, South Carolina. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Enlistment in the U.S. military has been in continuous decline since its peak during the Vietnam War. Evolving societal attitudes towards military service, as well as demographic shifts and competition from the private sector have drawn many young people away from serving. One major hurdle is the diminishing pool of eligible candidates, with factors such as obesity rates, educational requirements and drug use impacting the recruitment pool. We’ll talk about what it means for a country to struggle to staff its all-volunteer military and the lengths recruiters are going to fill its ranks in California and nationwide.


Beth Asch, senior economist and PhD in economics, Rand Corporation<br />

Roberto Camacho, race, equity, and social justice reporter


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