Nearly 75% of Louisiana adults between the ages of 17 and 24 do not qualify for military service according to new numbers complied from the Department of Defense, Louisiana's Department of Education, the Annie E. Casey Foundation's Kids Count Data Center, and the Louisiana Policy Institute for Children.  Causes for the disturbing trend range from obesity and educational shortcomings, to criminal backgrounds and drug use.  The study concludes that, due to this trend across the nation, our country is facing a shortfall in the recruiting pool.

The report was issued by the Council for a Strong America - a nonprofit organization comprised of law enforcement leaders, retired admirals and generals, business executives, pastors, and prominent coaches and athletes.  Their stated goal is to find solutions that guarantee the next generation of Americans will be citizen-ready.  They identified the lack of quality, affordable child care as a major contributor to this issue. According to U.S. Marine Corps Major General Ron Richard's interview with NOLA.com;

We believe that prioritizing funding for high-quality early care and education is essential to the health and development of Louisiana children and it is an issue of national security because it helps address the primary disqualifiers for military service"