National Gun Forum banner
1 - 20 of 45 Posts

·
Ancient Gaseous Emanation
Joined
·
55,659 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Monica Showalter
July 20, 2019


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.

Other arguments have it that child soldiers is a bad idea, with no doubt some thinking of Africa or Colombia's FARC terrorists, or else the idea that teenagers are pretty immature.

But the idea of letting 16-year-olds in, sometimes on the front lines, is actually a pretty old one. Kids in the past worked farms and went to war at very young ages, learned self-reliance, responsibility and independence and as result, grew up rather fast. On those grounds alone the idea should be considered.

We often think of the migrants flooding in from Central America as military-aged young men, and generally they are, even if they are around 14, which is a correct reading of things - except that instead of joining a legitimate military, they've joined a quasi-military gang such as MS-13. It's another argument for the idea that this actually could be done.

And quite rightly, the argument is made by one analyst in the Washington Times piece that fewer people within the recruit pool of 16 year olds have criminal records which disqualify them from service than older teens. Some kids, historically, join the military precisely to stay out of trouble. Anyone who wants to join at 16 is more likely to have a focus and a mission and a role in the world he can't get in high school, which is ideal for keeping him out of aimless crime.

Which brings up what the military's angle of approach to potential recruits, youthfully 16 or a bit older, really ought to be: The failure of the public schools, the boredom, the ennui, the perpetual adolescence, the artificial isolation of the public school experience, which a certain number of kids simply can't stand and will otherwise act out on. Target the dullness of public schools run by deadening teachers unions, and many 16 year olds will sign up. Tell the kids they don't have to take it anymore and some will choose to come. Anyone who feels himself or herself a misfit in this regard may find a very satisfactory solution in joining the military - a role, a place in a tribe, a feeling of belonging. Historically, the military has always served that role well, even leading the path to racial integration as a result. It might even be a good idea to open recruitment -- and the promise of a path to citizenship -- to 16-year-old illegal aliens. Most Americans on the outside would have no problem with an illegal who has a serious desire to earn respect and prove his loyalty to the country through military service. And it might keep some of them out of MS-13.

The other area where the military can compete is among those young people whose family structures have failed. Again, the historic role in giving a sense of worth and belonging is an attractive alternative to those who haven't had the blessings of any intact family.

How much stronger the recruitment appeal could be if those two areas were zeroed in on, both ideal to 16 year olds, over the be-all-you-can-be bennies approach, which can't be matched by private industry.

And lastly, the appeal to patriotism has long been ignored. 16 year olds are likely to respond to it as much as anyone, given their idealist nature and longing for action.

At a minimum, the matter should be looked into. But I think 16 year olds having that chance of joining the military could very well be an idea whose time has come.




https://www.americanthinker.com/blo...military_service_to_16_an_excellent_idea.html
 
  • Like
Reactions: ARMARIN

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,885 Posts
" And it might keep some of them out of MS-13."

How about keeping MS-13 out of here?

The "adolescent factor" of today's 18 to 26 year olds ("Chelsea" Manning, Bowe Bergdahl) have been bad enough. Sure thing, Monica. Let's get 'em even younger. I'm a always amazed by the idiots who want to use the military as the "petri dish" for their social experiments.
 

·
"You talkin to me?"
Joined
·
4,299 Posts
next thing ya know they'll be wanting to strap a vest of C-4 to 6 year olds
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
564 Posts
No easy answers, I doubt lowering the age is a good idea. A change in the morality of the country would probably have better results, but I don't see that happening. Reducing the student loans that don't get paid back might force some to get their college while working for Uncle Sam.

ETA I think(safety warning) that technology will lower the number of troops needed to be effective in coming years. I suspect in the future that drones will not be limited to the sky so much, but also see use in armor, and ships.
 

·
Ancient Gaseous Emanation
Joined
·
55,659 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I knew a 16 year old infantrynam in Nam. He lied about his age when enlisting.

Troops as young as 13 years old served in combat during WWII

Soldiers as young as nine years old served during our War Between the States.

Dunno if that's good, bad or somewhere in between.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BigNastyCowboy

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,453 Posts
" And it might keep some of them out of MS-13."

How about keeping MS-13 out of here?

The "adolescent factor" of today's 18 to 26 year olds ("Chelsea" Manning, Bowe Bergdahl) have been bad enough. Sure thing, Monica. Let's get 'em even younger. I'm a always amazed by the idiots who want to use the military as the "petri dish" for their social experiments.
War is hell. As it is, we're sending high school graduates to nightmare situations that screw many of them up because they see and do things no 18 year old should ever experience.

America cannot afford war and they cannot afford to fix combat veterans.

Maybe the minimum age for military service in combat zones should be raised to 40. That way, we've got grown men able to decide, in a mature way, whether they can handle it.
Neither the military nor lawmakers have given any indication that they are entertaining the idea
That should have been the first sentence and the rest is immaterial and a waste of read.

How savvy does a person have to be to examine suicide rates among active duty and especially veteran military to predict how much that number would rise if we included 16-year olds?

It's utter nonsense.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,453 Posts
No easy answers, I doubt lowering the age is a good idea. A change in the morality of the country would probably have better results, but I don't see that happening. Reducing the student loans that don't get paid back might force some to get their college while working for Uncle Sam.

ETA I think(safety warning) that technology will lower the number of troops needed to be effective in coming years. I suspect in the future that drones will not be limited to the sky so much, but also see use in armor, and ships.
Agree.

If a robot suffers from amputation, no one really cares and a fix is cheaper than the crap job the VA is doing.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,453 Posts
I knew a 16 year old infantrynam in Nam. He lied about his age when enlisting.

Troops as young as 13 years old served in combat during WWII

Soldiers as young as nine years old served during our War Between the States.

Dunno if that's good, bad or somewhere in between.
It's not a moral dilemma for me.

I support automation all up and down the chain of command.

We're getting there with cyber warfare. Taking out grids and utilities, spreading propaganda, stealing designs ... that's the future.

Statesmanship has left the building.
 

·
Aim true !
Joined
·
11,949 Posts
Do young folks still have to register for the draft?
 
  • Like
Reactions: BigNastyCowboy

·
Aim true !
Joined
·
11,949 Posts
Ok thanks at least we still have that option. Just not enough already trained recruits incase the need would arise i take it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,370 Posts
How about taking a different view?
Maybe instead of trying to grow more recruits, we - as a country - stop trying to the world's police and military and bring our boys/girls home from many current locations.......
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,780 Posts
There is a more simple answer, smack the crap out of the guy that messes with us. Just think how fast Afghanistan would have gone if they would have used a tactile nuke on the mountain that Bin Laden was hiding in. Yes there would have been some public outcry but behind the scenes there would have been a bunch of high fives and he and his cronies would have been gone. The world would have seen that we mean business when you piss in our pool. I doubt that ISIS would have even raised up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,884 Posts
I knew a 16 year old infantrynam in Nam. He lied about his age when enlisting.

Troops as young as 13 years old served in combat during WWII

Soldiers as young as nine years old served during our War Between the States.

Dunno if that's good, bad or somewhere in between.
No it's not a good thing, kids should never have to fight in battle unless maybe there is no operating government left. With that said there is something to be said about the bravery for the young people who volunteered to join in our past.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BigNastyCowboy

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,453 Posts
How about taking a different view?
Maybe instead of trying to grow more recruits, we - as a country - stop trying to the world's police and military and bring our boys/girls home from many current locations.......
I agree in spirit, but there's a problem with that:

The military economy is too big to fail.

WWII boosted the US out of the Great Depression. Unemployment was high and men went to war. That called for job-creating logistics as regards to clothing, food, transportation, training camps, weaponry, and all that stuff.

The Trump administration has proposed $686 billion for the Department of Defense. That money is spent on bases, weapons, aircraft, ships, drones, computers, feeding and clothing men and women, and I don't know what all.

We've spent 6 trillion dollars on the wars in the Middle East. That money is supporting a lot of big businesses like Lockheed-Martin, Boeing, Halliburton, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, and so on.

War is the most effective answer to unemployment.

America can't afford to support the veterans returning from war; she certainly can't afford to support all those who don't even sign up when there are no big military players.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,453 Posts
There is a more simple answer, smack the crap out of the guy that messes with us. Just think how fast Afghanistan would have gone if they would have used a tactile nuke on the mountain that Bin Laden was hiding in. Yes there would have been some public outcry but behind the scenes there would have been a bunch of high fives and he and his cronies would have been gone. The world would have seen that we mean business when you piss in our pool. I doubt that ISIS would have even raised up.
That scorched Earth strategy works well against defenseless adversaries.

It's a grand scheme if we do it.

Not so much if North Korea or Russia or China want to retaliate.

Or go first.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
War is hell. As it is, we're sending high school graduates to nightmare situations that screw many of them up because they see and do things no 18 year old should ever experience.

America cannot afford war and they cannot afford to fix combat veterans.

Maybe the minimum age for military service in combat zones should be raised to 40. That way, we've got grown men able to decide, in a mature way, whether they can handle it.

That should have been the first sentence and the rest is immaterial and a waste of read.

How savvy does a person have to be to examine suicide rates among active duty and especially veteran military to predict how much that number would rise if we included 16-year olds?

It's utter nonsense.

Hmm that age 40 idea of yours may have some merit. How about a required draft at age 40. All genders so as to be politically correct. By then a person should be somewhat of a adult. Had a family if your going to. Paid some taxes. Had plenty of time to vote over the years. Had plenty of time to influence things that you deemed important in life. Lower suicide rates probably. Because of the advanced age quite a bit of LESS time and thus expense required to take care for if needed in case of battle damage or mental issues . Probably lots more good reasons. About the only bad point off the top of my head is lack of physical fitness, but it seems most youngsters have the same problems anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,370 Posts
I agree in spirit, but there's a problem with that:

The military economy is too big to fail.

WWII boosted the US out of the Great Depression. Unemployment was high and men went to war. That called for job-creating logistics as regards to clothing, food, transportation, training camps, weaponry, and all that stuff.

The Trump administration has proposed $686 billion for the Department of Defense. That money is spent on bases, weapons, aircraft, ships, drones, computers, feeding and clothing men and women, and I don't know what all.

We've spent 6 trillion dollars on the wars in the Middle East. That money is supporting a lot of big businesses like Lockheed-Martin, Boeing, Halliburton, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, and so on.

War is the most effective answer to unemployment.

America can't afford to support the veterans returning from war; she certainly can't afford to support all those who don't even sign up when there are no big military players.
Plenty of opportunities for these troops here on the border and even working with the Mexican Federales
 
  • Like
Reactions: BigNastyCowboy
1 - 20 of 45 Posts
Top