Tags: Trump Administration | military | buildup | recruits | national security

Plans to Bolster Military Hampered by Far Fewer Qualified Recruits

Image: Plans to Bolster Military Hampered by Far Fewer Qualified Recruits
(Evan Vucci/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 13 March 2018 04:24 PM

A shrinking field of qualified recruits is making it difficult to rebuild a depleted military, Navy Secretary Richard Spencer said in remarks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, The Washington Free Beacon reported Tuesday.

The search for qualified personnel is not only fierce among the service branches, but also with the private sector.

"Going forward, we're all going to have a real war for talent," Spencer said. "The three of us up here fish from the same pool, and we're all going to be looking for more people to do more things in a more intelligent manner."

Spencer spoke alongside Army Secretary Mark Esper and Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson. They all agreed the top priority in bolstering the military must be continued investment in people.

President Donald Trump's $686 billion defense budget proposal includes plans to expand the military by 25,900 troops through October 2019 and by another 56,600 by 2023.

But a Heritage Foundation study published last month found that some 24 million of the 34 million Americans between 17 and 24 years old (71 percent) are unqualified to serve in the military due to obesity, a criminal record, or lack of education.

The study concluded an "alarming" national security threat exists due to the small pool of young Americans eligible to enlist in the armed services.

Wilson added the problem of adding personnel is exacerbated by a slow-moving hiring process, according to the Free Beacon. It takes about six months to hire a civilian to the service, and the backlog for security clearances has doubled over the past 18 months.

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Navy Secretary Richard Spencer told the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington a shrinking field of qualified recruits make it difficult to rebuild a depleted military, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
military, buildup, recruits, national security
267
2018-24-13
Tuesday, 13 March 2018 04:24 PM
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