Of some 32 million Americans now in this group (age 17 to 24), the Army deems the vast majority too obese, too uneducated, too flawed in some way, according to its estimates for the current budget year.
The pool shrinks to 13.6 million when only high school graduates and those who score in the upper half on a military service aptitude test are considered. The 30 percent who are high school dropouts are not the top choice of today's professional, all-volunteer and increasingly high-tech military force.
..... That leaves 4.3 million fully qualified potential recruits and an estimated 2.3 million more who might qualify if given waivers on some of their problems.
The bottom line: a total 6.6 million potential recruits from all men and women in the 32 million-person age group.