Lower the age for military service to 16? An excellent idea

American Thinker:

The U.S. military is having a tough time recruiting members in the vibrant Trump economy, and is falling short of its recruiting goals. One idea, and it’s a good one, is in lowering the recruitment age for members to 16. The idea is now being considered, according to this report in the Washington Times. Here’s a non-subscription version of the story, too.

The best way to fix the U.S. armed forces’ recruiting challenges may involve dipping further into the nation’s high schools.

As the Army, Navy and other services contend with a thriving economy and a directive to expand their ranks, there is a growing debate over whether the military should consider lowering the minimum enlistment age from 17 to 16. More than a dozen countries, including the United Kingdom, already have adopted the policy.

Critics say the idea is deeply flawed and presents a host of societal problems, but supporters argue that the Pentagon needs to think outside the box if it wants to continually overcome one of the toughest recruiting environments in decades.

Neither the military nor lawmakers have given any indication that they are entertaining the idea, but some analysts say that opening the ranks to younger Americans could provide unique benefits and may be the kind of fundamental overhaul the recruiting system needs for the 21st century.

The analysts quoted, such as one from the Rand Institute, Beth J. Asche, have a kind of circular logic, saying that for potential youth recruits, the Army needs to skip the ‘Be all you can be’ slogan and …. focus on ‘Be all you can be.’ Here’s the passage:

But analysts say the military’s past tack of using marketing slogans such as the Army’s “Be all you can be” mantra no longer works.

Instead, they say, the branches should craft multiple appeals centering on the host of benefits that come from military service, including educational assistance, patriotism, career benefits, and the host of jobs a man or woman can perform in the military outside of a combat zone.

“I think what’s happening now — and it’s not that messages aren’t important — but I think there’s a realization that different people are interested in different things,” said Ms. Asch. “It’s not one message. People want to join for a variety of reasons, so the message has to be somewhat tailored.

Ummm, that’s what it has been doing for the past 40 years since the Vietnam War, Beth. Poor gal has no originality. And it sure as heck isn’t what’s working now. read more

25 Comments on Lower the age for military service to 16? An excellent idea

  1. beware this at our peril … progtard will surely clamor for the 16-year-old vote

    after all, they risk their lives for our country … n’est pas?

  2. If this fails to fill the ranks, there’s always the D-R-A-F-T.

    A Draft will suck in all the ANTIFA scum and, like the Moslem Congress members are planning, destroy America from within.

    Good times.

  3. Open the military to 16 year olds and now you have the conundrum of allowing those ‘minds filled with mush’ to access alcohol and worse….vote.

  4. No way. Like everybody says, it’s a stepping stone to the teeny-bopper vote. And I know the left thinks we are in 1945 Germany, but it’s not quite time for little Volkssturmers.

  5. Better yet: Draft worthless, liberal, America hating teachers. Turn those useless pussies over to Marine Corps Drill Instructors. Double the amount of time in Basic Training. Cry babies, bed wetters, Teddy Bear huggers to Forever-Basic. Then off to socialist countries for real world eye-opening. After that, put them on the front lines. Guarandamntee you that after 4 years those guys will want to use men’s bathrooms. Wise and patriotic women will fight to their deaths to protect their own children, their students, and their country.

  6. …maybe don’t let liberals in Congress talk crap about the miliary, treat them like shit, and prefer Antifa scum and illegal Muslims to them would help with recruiting, too…

  7. judgeroybean
    JULY 20, 2019 AT 11:17 PM
    “Better yet: Draft worthless, liberal, America hating teachers.”

    …as cannon fodder, meat shields, and live-fire training targets…

  8. judgeroybean
    JULY 20, 2019 AT 11:17 PM
    “Better yet: Draft worthless, liberal, America hating teachers.”

    …if planning to invade, say, Iran, dress them like soldiers and drop them on the border far from where the ACTUAL invasion will go in. Point them at the nearest Iranian militay installaton – they don’t know geography so they won’t know it’s Iran – and tell them it’s full of MAGA hat wearing deplorables. Film it for comic relief later, to amuse the REAL troops after their successful invasion elsewhere that was helped by this diversion…

  9. Nnnnnn…. we’re really only talking one year, because 17-year-olds can enlist with parental consent. If high school dropouts they need to be able to pass and be given the equivalent of a GED. (A lot of “17-year-olds” already have graduated.)

    As the parent of three military kids, I’m not sure though. Seems awful young. Other problems are noted above. Maybe in a different kind of 2-year pre-enlistment commitment — remove them to the military to be educated, trained, provided a small stipend, work at support jobs, and then required to enter the combat-deployable service at age 18 or even be allowed to apply for a service academy. What would be the costs/benefit of this.

  10. I think, in the end, there is no kind, no decent kind, of education from the public school system, or even the GED.

    And I do understand that the art of killing, at least in the face to face sense, has little need in corporate America — except in the face of duplicitous cavorting. The man who kills with a rifle, or a mortar, or with Naval guns is generally bereft of a berth when he becomes… civilian.

    It’s fine to train him, but what we (they) must do is make a berth for him. That was the entire point of the GI bill.

  11. Why not 14 year olds? According to leading democrat bribers (weinstein, epstein) and office holders (clinton, bob menendez), they’re old enough to penetate with penises, so why not bayonets?

    We REALLY need mandatory national service in the military. Young people are useless, other than as leftist useful idiots. We need young people who can think critically, not stupidly.

  12. If you want recruits then you have to give young people something to believe in again.
    From day one at public schools they’re fed disparaging lies about this country and it continues to this day. Why this undermining is allowed to continue is criminal negligence.

  13. At 16 how did the get a HS diploma? The Army zlso says
    it needs troops with enough education to handle complicated
    tasks and equipment. At 16 what you get is enemy mine field
    finders and cannon fodder.

  14. At 16 how did they get a HS diploma? The Army also says
    it needs troops with enough education to handle complicated
    tasks and equipment. At 16 what you get is enemy mine field
    finders and cannon fodder. A stupid, sick idea.

  15. A friend of mine (and we were friends) from church died in May. He was our congregation’s last WWII combat vet – he served aboard the USS Shaw.

    Ran off an joined the Navy at 15. Reported to the ship a couple of weeks before his 16th birthday. The ship got 11 battle stars – he was there for 9 of them.

    Worked out pretty good for him.

  16. Tradition!
    Bring back military bearing the traditions that we have lost. This includes the harsh punishments for being stupid and being kicked out for being obnoxiously gay.

    Forget your “feels” you weak-kneed conservatives and harden the F up

  17. I am for weakening the physical training standards and increasing the acceptable age to 80! Fuck it. I’d join!
    “Speaking the truth in times of universal deceit is a revolutionary act.” Geo. Orwell

  18. Everyone out of high school needs to do 2 year of service to our country whether its joining the armed forces or protecting our borders or picking up trash.

  19. NO!!! Why do people think that our military is a dumping ground for anyone who “can’t make it” in “the real world”? Military service is a privilege and an honor and should only be offered to people who view it that way. At the very least, it should only be a consideration for those who understand the basic tenet is to, you know, “SERVE”!

    I’ve seen families help their loser kids join up for all the freebies (most often tuition) after their kids have worked their way through all their college savings. One lasted about six months and cost taxpayers A LOT of money only to decide — surprise, surprise — that they “didn’t like it” and got out (just like that). It left me scratching my head over how easy it was for someone these days to just whine their way out of their solemn oath.

    Military service should NEVER be “marketed” as just another job option for confused teenagers. I’d rather see the draft first.

    I hope they don’t foist this onto people who actually made a plan and had the desire to put on the uniform. It debases the pride of our military men and women.

  20. …besides, if they’re going to lower the age, it should be 17, not 16. Most 16 year-olds aren’t mature enough.

  21. People don’t want to join the army because its no longer a beacon to the strong, its a beacon to the weak. Dickhead leaders treat junior enlisted like crap and, imagine that, they don’t reenlist. The army claims the generation is weak and that’s why nobody joins, then why do those that join not reenlist? The EO and SHARP programs are dumb and how many female LTs are there that stay in cushy hotels while everybody else is in the field or substandard barracks? Plus the PT standards are so low that anybody can pass (and those that don’t pass don’t get the boot). The reason we win wars in because of our special forces. If the army needed a theatre force of 100,000+ again it’d be a shitshow, especially if opposition was a near-peer adversary.

  22. The Armed Forces have been turned into a great social experiment since the Civil War. Most of the great generalship on both sides of that conflict came out of West Point and our governing bodies want to ensure that nothing similar can recur. Our officer corps is (supposedly) so demographically varied that no prevalent notion of Section or Ideology takes hold. I think the same notion is foundational to the enlisted ranks, where a small cadre is kept to carry on tradition and expertise, but most are returned to civilian life – preventing an “encased” soldiery (no offense to Marines, Sailors, Airmen, Artillerists, Staff people, &c that they’re included in that word).

    Just an idea.

    izlamo delenda est …


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