Insufficient options for high-quality child care have a measurable effect on the shrinking recruitment pool facing our nation’s military, according to Mission: Readiness, a group of retired military officers. They released a new report Tuesday at the state Capitol.
The report indicates that 71% of young adults of recruitment age in Nebraska and across the nation are ineligible to enlist because they fail to meet the academic, physical and social/behavioral standards required for military service.
The event featured Brigadier General (Ret.) Dayle Williamson, U.S. Army and Major General (Ret.) Mark R. Musick, U.S. Air Force, who reflected on the role children’s earliest development opportunities—including child care—play in their lifelong outcomes. General Williamson pointed out the expense of quality child care as a major obstacle to these outcomes, comparing it to the costs of in-state tuition at Nebraska’s higher education institutions. “If we do not address this trend, we will not have a sufficient pool of talented recruits to serve in our military in our future,” said General Williamson. “The best way to do this is to start early.”
Mission: Readness is a group of 750 retired admirals, generals and other top military leaders who recognize that the strength of our country depends on a strong military. Since 2009, Mission: Readiness has championed evidence-based, bipartisan state and federal public policy solutions that are proven to prepare our youth for life and to be able to serve their nation in any way they choose.