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The article further stated, "A study of mental disorders in the U.S. military found the highest rates of all disorders, including alcohol abuse, anxiety syndromes, depression, and post traumatic stress disorder, among the youngest cohort, those aged 17 through 24 years. Another study found that younger soldiers had 30 percent to 60 percent more substance abuse disorders than did older soldiers, and younger women in particular had the highest incidence of attempted suicide or self-inflicted injuries. The youngest group of veterans also recently experienced a 26 percent increase in suicides from 2005 to 2007. A review of hospitalizations among military personnel in the 1990s showed the highest rates among the youngest recruits. We also know that the youngest active duty military personnel engage in the riskiest sexual behaviors and that almost one third of first births to active duty females are to women younger than 21 years."
Although the draft hasn't occurred since 1973, "With only few exceptions, the registration requirement applies to all male U.S. citizens and male immigrants residing in the United States who are 18 through 25 years of age," states the government notice on the Selective Service. The law states that all U.S male citizens must register within 30 days of their 18th birthday.
Since Defense Secretary Ash Carter lifted gender-bans earlier this year, women are able to serve in front-line combat positions, and the issue of whether they must register for the Selective Service was before Congress. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) introduced legislation in the U.S. House that would require women to register. After passing in the Armed Services Committee, the issue was just voted down by the House.
Colonel Michael Matthews of the United State Army, released a strategy research project entitled, "Pinnacle: The Army's Effort to Reform its Accession Process." A member of the 2011 class from the masters program at U.S. Army War College in Pennsylvania, Matthews outlines the changes that army recruiters have been adopting in response to challenges to reach recruiting goals.
"In 2005, after several years of war," Matthews wrote, "the Army, as well as several other services, failed to meet their recruiting goals by over 9,000 soldiers. Not since 1979, had USAREC (United States Army Recruiting Command) failed to meet its mission… USAREC found itself faced with a new external environment. Never before in the history of the all-volunteer force had USAREC been asked to recruit during a period of persistent conflict. Casualties from Iraq were increasing at a dramatic pace and pessimistic reports from the field were constantly in the news."...continued on page 7