A recent Pentagon study showed that almost 3/4 of 17 to 24 year old Americans are “unsuitable” for military service. They are either obese, did not graduate High School, are serious drug and/or alcohol users, or are criminals. Maybe a combination of all those factors.
There is more to this than meets the ear, though. Since it is an all-volunteer military, and they currently have more applicants than they have slots for them, the military can be choosy, taking only the slim, smart, straight ones. So it is not a crisis now.
But that would change in wartime, or if the country needed to reactivate the Draft. Then the military would have to get much larger, and they would have to start taking those that they won’t now.
You may remember Vietnam. The Draft then took everyone that could not come up with a rich or powerful parent, a wife and child, a medical problem, or a college enrollment.
What it means is that the military is warning us that our youth are getting too fat, too dumb, too spaced out, and too crooked to wear the uniform. They can whip the fat off in Basic. But they cannot fix dumb or addicted or criminal. So I guess we should hope that no unhinged President causes a wartime situation where the military needs a lot of young people. Because they are not there.