Defense Secretary Ash Carter has introduced a national discussion that works to establish a diverse recruitment pool through proposals designed to help attract recruits aged 17 to 24 from across the country, DoD News reported Wednesday.
Jim Garamone writes most of the military recruits come from southeastern states such as Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Mississippi and Georgia to represent the U.S. region with the country’s highest recruit-to-population ratio.
“It’s certainly important to reflect the nation we serve, to have a force that’s representative of all the states and all the various different populations across the country,” said Stephanie Miller, Defense Department director of accession policy.
“We also need to ensure that from a recruiting perspective we are tapping into all the various populations throughout the U.S.”
Carter’s “Force of the Future” proposals also look to encourage the propensity to serve and cater to 70 percent of the surveyed youth that according to Miller listed “making a contribution to society” as a life goal.
The report added officials aim to update the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery of tests and develop algorithms for social media content to reach target audiences and expand the recruiting bases.
Garamone noted the military force size has shrunk to approximately 1.3 million members which poses a challenge of fewer veterans entering the civilian population and veteran-influencers to recommend military service to prospective enlistees.