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Military Recruiting Goes Up As Economy Goes Down

mills_cropIt seems that the Pentagon has had a better year than most of us — and its best year since 1973.  Its best year for new recruits, that is.  All four branches of the military — the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps — met their recruitment goals for both active duty and reserve personnel for the fiscal year that ended September 30.

The banner year was due to increased spending on recruitment, increases in pay, and, of course, the tough job market, said Defense Department head of personnel Bill Carr.  I suspect, also, that the results were helped by having a president more interested in ending wars than profiting from them.  But given that the economic outlook is pretty bleak and unemployment is approaching ten percent, is military service a viable option for a parent who needs work?

Mind you, I know the sacrifice our servicemen and women are making is enormous and, sadly, sometimes final, but not everyone is cut out for the military.  When times are tough, however, you do what you have to do, especially if you have mouths to feed.

My question, though, is about our kids.  Mine are too young to be thinking about any sort of career other than “Princess” and “Train Engineer”, but I’ve seen a lot of ads on television that seem to be targeting kids right out of high school.  Is this a good idea?  One of the challenges is that today about 70% of high school students go to college whereas in the 1980′s, only about half did.

In our house, the expectation is that our kids absolutely will go to college; the only question is which one.  If the economy doesn’t improve, however, perhaps the military would be something to consider.  Do you see the military as an option for your kids?  Would you discourage or support them if they wanted to enlist?

Photo: dijitalproductions

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