This brief released by Mission: Readiness explores how removing barriers that keep children of color from succeeding can help improve national security. According to the report, statistics released by the Department of Defense show that 75 percent of all young people ages 17 to 24 are currently unable to enlist in the United States military. The most common barriers for potential recruits are insufficient education, poor physical fitness, or a criminal record. While these obstacles are a concern for young people from every walk of life, they are even more serious for many young men and women of color.
The brief calls for steps to eliminate both conscious and unconscious bias from the Armed Forces and the promotion of diversity, public investments in vulnerable children, and for individuals to facilitate difficult but essential discussions about race.