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#1 User is offline   Ben Cranklin 

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 02:18 PM

Military eyes 16-year-olds as ranks and candidates dwindle
By Ben Wolfgang - The Washington Times - Thursday, July 18, 2019


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.

“For one, many of the factors that disqualify older youths from joining — like criminal records — are not as present in younger teens,” said Shane McCarthy, chief marketing officer of Sandboxx, a leading technology platform that connects military members stationed abroad with families and friends at home. Mr. McCarthy also has advised military commands on how to better target recruits.

“Currently, of the 75% of 17- to 24-year-olds who are ineligible to serve, for example, 10% are ineligible due to criminal records,” he wrote in a recent piece for the Military Times. “And, according to the Department of Justice, there are twice as many arrests of 18- to 20-year-olds as there are arrests of 15- to 17-year-olds.”

Mr. McCarthy’s argument touched off a firestorm, with skeptics saying the move could create more problems than it would solve. Peter Warren Singer, a senior fellow at the Washington think tank New America, countered that lowering the enlistment age to 16 would undermine combat effectiveness and unit cohesion and create other problems.

Mr. Singer, author of the book “Children at War,” also said the very idea shows a “misunderstanding [of] the different brain chemistry of youths and their ability to make informed judgment” and would destroy “the day-to-day lives of the poor drill instructors and commanders of these teens’ first unit.”

He made his case in a piece for the military-focused website Task & Purpose.

Despite those and other concerns, the notion certainly isn’t new. At least 13 nations allow enlistees younger than 17, according to the CIA World Factbook. They include major powers such as the United Kingdom and smaller countries with much less capable militaries, such as Tonga, Bolivia and Papua New Guinea.

In the U.S., analysts say, there is a lack of data about the issue and it’s unclear exactly what effects military services would encounter if they begin admitting younger teens.

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#2 User is offline   SARGE 

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 03:09 PM

As a vet, my response is, "HELL NO!!!".
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#3 User is offline   Mr. Naron 

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 03:29 PM

Why not just have high schools run by the Armed services?
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#4 User is offline   gravelrash 

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 05:15 PM

View PostMr. Naron, on 19 July 2019 - 03:29 PM, said:

Why not just have high schools run by the Armed services?


Because they're already run by squad leaders of the Hitler Youth brigade.
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#5 User is offline   Taggart Transcontinental 

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 06:06 PM

All part of the scheme to get 16 y/o's to vote. SO absolutely not, we aren't somalia or some other african nation no matter how bad certain groups want us to become.
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#6 User is offline   gravelrash 

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 06:46 PM

View PostTaggart Transcontinental, on 19 July 2019 - 06:06 PM, said:

All part of the scheme to get 16 y/o's to vote. SO absolutely not, we aren't somalia or some other african nation no matter how bad certain groups want us to become.


Somalian 16 year-olds and 9 year-olds don't vote. They are press-ganged into fighting factions with no clue as to why. Ill-heart Omar's family was party to the psuedo-theocratic communist regime that ruled until the opposition gained ground.

They fled Somalia and were granted asylum as refugees even though they are suspected of war crimes. Ill-heart tells a sob story that she was targeted in school for dressing different. No, the other refugees knew her family and what they did to "the resistance".

It's propaganda. Ill-heart is all about hating America, Israel, Christians, under the protection of being a Congresscritter.
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#7 User is offline   Howsithangin 

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 03:26 AM

View PostSARGE, on 19 July 2019 - 03:09 PM, said:

As a vet, my response is, "HELL NO!!!".



As a non-vet, but having worked as a military subcontractor for 12 years, I agree with you! 16yo is still a child
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#8 User is offline   USNRETWIFE 

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 08:17 AM

View PostSARGE, on 19 July 2019 - 03:09 PM, said:

As a vet, my response is, "HELL NO!!!".

Agreed! My husband complained many a time about feeling like a babysitter with the 28-20 year olds in his shops. Made for some long WestPacs.
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#9 User is offline   Rock N' Roll Right Winger 

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 08:51 AM

It's just a really bad idea.
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#10 User is offline   Mr. Naron 

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 10:31 AM

View Postgravelrash, on 19 July 2019 - 05:15 PM, said:

Because they're already run by squad leaders of the Hitler Youth brigade.

The high schools or Army?
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#11 User is offline   kestrel 

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 12:49 PM

View PostSARGE, on 19 July 2019 - 03:09 PM, said:

As a vet, my response is, "HELL NO!!!".

Have you ever heard of the "Delayed Enlistment Program"...I was still Sixteen when I signed up way back in 1970 I don't remember exactly how many months away I was but it required parental permission (I was living on my own at the time and Dad was afraid I was getting started on a life of crime and signed off on the deal..actually more than "Started a life of crime:):):)...I figured Id get drafted like everybody else and then they cancelled the draft after I was already in. Maybe sixteen year olds were different back then..I had no desire to live in my parents basement till I was forty.
Kestrel...

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#12 User is offline   ASE 

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 01:27 PM

Nothing like recruiting 16 year old females to give predatory types more victims to prey upon :eyebrows: (male AND female)
I wonder that if they can't get the bodies, they may try the draft again. I'm not convinced a draft was or is even Constitutional, considering what I read in the Declaration of Independence.
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#13 User is offline   scotsman 

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 11:39 AM

Adapted?.

The UK has ALWAYS enlisted young teenagers. Its been 16 for decades, it was 16 long before I turned that age in 1986, and that's nearly 35 yrs.

For our part, the UK armed forces are vg at taking that age of 16/17 and moulding some of the best young soldiers/sailors/airmen on the planet. You can also famous elite UK units such as the Paras or Royal Marines at such a young age.

This post has been edited by scotsman: 08 August 2019 - 11:39 AM

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