News Video: Weekly Topics for Discussion
News Video for: 07/10/2023

U.S. military struggles to find qualified volunteers

It’s been 50 years since the last person was drafted into the U.S. armed forces. Since then the military has relied on volunteers to fill its ranks, building what politicians claim is the world’s finest fighting force. But, the military is facing a recruiting crisis. Only 9% of young Americans would consider military service instead of entering a strong civilian job market. And, fewer than 1 in 4 young people qualify academically or physically to join the military. The Army is now running schools to bring recruits who fall short of the standards into mental and physical shape.

Class discussion: Would you consider a military career? Why or why not? Do you think you could meet the military’s physical and academic standards? Would lowering standards for recruits make the armed forces weaker? Should we offer foreign recruits U.S. citizenship in exchange for military service? The military draft ended after the unpopular Vietnam War. Since then, has it been easier for American politicians to send volunteer forces off to war? Can we continue to rely on an all-volunteer force? If the United States got involved in a much bigger conflict, would need to again draft soldiers?

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Common Core State Standard
L.CCS.1/2/3/4 Grades 6-12: Video of a current news event is presented for discussion to encourage student participation, but also inspire the use of evidence to support logical claims using the main ideas of the video. Students must analyze background information provided about a current event, draw out the main ideas and key details, and review different opinions on the issue. Then, students should present their own claims using facts and analysis for support.