Friday’s government report showing a rise in unemployment shines a light on a new hurdle facing young people in need of work: The military isn’t the reliable source of employment that it used to be. The Army and Marine Corps are getting smaller, and now there’s a nearly year-long waiting list just to get into boot camp, no matter which branch you want to join.
The shrinking Army and Marine Corps are part of a long-planned reduction in the size of the armed forces.
Not surprisingly, when times are tough, recruiting is easier. I’m still a little surprised with two wars going on that the Army is still able to recruit as high a quality as they are. That’s a testament to the incredibly hard work a lot of recruiters are putting in, and the very high level of confidence the public has in the military.
But truth be told, for many years, the Army hasn’t been the “employer of last resort” that a lot of people conceived it to be. I turned down more people than I ever enlisted. They just could not meet the standards needed to enlist.