Obesity, addiction, mental problems: Army Reserve recruiting increasingly at risk

Obesity, addiction, mental problems: Army Reserve recruiting increasingly at risk

[Ed. – A growing problem.]

The majority of potential Army reservists are either hooked on prescription drugs, have too many tattoos, are overweight or have mental conditions that prohibit them from joining the military, recruiters say.

Seven out of 10 applicants — who return to their civilian lives after training, but can be called into active service at any time — fail to meet Army Reserve standards for on mental, physical and other grounds, said Capt. Eric Connor, U.S. Army Reserve Command spokesman. …

According to Army Recruiting Command statistics compiled last year, 71 percent of young people wanting to join the military would fail to pass service tests because of their physical, moral or cognitive shortcomings. …

The Army Reserve’s goal in fiscal year 2014 was to recruit 33,261 personnel, but military planners have considerably upped that goal in fiscal year 2016. By the end of next year, recruiters must be able to persuade 39,860 men and women to join the reserves. …

But according to Capt. Connor, the Army Reserve has been struggling to meet its recruitment goals for reasons having more to do with the quality of the recruits. …

[S]ome of the biggest competition for the reserve forces is coming from the active forces, which are under similar pressure.

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