The U.S. Department of Defense sees two major problems with future
recruiting. First, there's an image problem. Opinion surveys among young
Americans shows that military personnel are, in general, not considered cool.
Military recruiters encounter this as well, although potential recruits often
change their minds when they actually meet someone in the military. That's
because, U.S. military personnel are smarter and better educated than their
civilian counterparts. The problem is that, with an all volunteer force, there
just aren't that many veterans, or troops on active duty, for young people to
run into. The war in Iraq and Afghanistan, depicts troops as troubled veterans who
have seen too much combat, battle crazed killers, or both. Another problem,
which is getting worse, is the growing lack of physical fitness among young
Americans. Currently, a third of potential recruits are turned away because
they are overweight. The army has established a program to help the
out-of-shape get fit for service.
from the Department of Defense on how they are going to spiff up the public
image of military personnel. That won't be easy, as it is so dependent on how
the media feels like portraying the troops, and at the moment, the media isn't
feeling the love.