Up to 90 percent of young adults in Philadelphia can’t join the military because they’re undereducated, too physically unfit or have serious criminal records, reports the city’s Daily News. A conducted by the nonprofit Mission: Readiness said that the percentage of 17 to 24-year-olds ineligible for miltary service was worse in Philadelphia than the estimated 75 percent who are unfit nationwide. Recruits must have a high-school diploma, pass a physical-fitness test and have no a criminal record.
District Attorney Seth Williams and others said at a news conference yesterday that funding for early-learning programs would be a good way of battling the problem. “There’s a direct relationship between the lack of education, the lack of economic opportunity and too many young people feeling they have lives of hopelessness, frustration and despair,” Williams said. Amy Dawson Taggart, national director of the nonprofit that conducted the study, stressed that the military routinely makes its recruitment goals. But she noted that in recent years recruiters were experiencing “more challenges in meeting the goals and had to give out much more waivers” because too few candidates met the requirements.