We are probably all familiar with the nationwide work force problem relating to the gap between prospective employee skills and employer requirements.
It appears that the U.S. military is facing a similar problem. In 2017 the Pentagon found that 70% of Americans aged 17-24 were ineligible for military service. The interconnected issues of health and inadequate physical fitness constitute the two largest reasons for that.
The military is pursuing solutions to its manpower issue. In a perfect world, a way would be found to reverse the deteriorating state of U.S. fitness and concurrent rise in obesity. In the interim, the military is reviewing the specific needs of the wide variety of missions it is tasked with. While a baseline of good health continues to be a minimum requirement, there remains a wide spread between the physical requirements needed to fly drones, which is basically a desk job, and the ability to hike miles with a full pack.
Perhaps a combination of increased attention to the development of skills, both physical and technical, together with a more robust approach to parsing specific job requirements, will result in greater employment opportunities for more Americans.
All comments and suggestions are welcome.
Walter J. Kirchberger, CFA