LINCOLN, NE (March 4, 2013)—Three retired generals from Nebraska today called on state lawmakers to support an increase of $10 million per year for the Early Childhood Education Endowment Cash Fund as a necessary step to ensure that more young adults meet the basic qualifications for military service. They released a new report at the State Capitol showing that military service is now out of reach for most young adults in Lincoln and statewide.
The retired generals — Mark R. Musick, Major General, US Air Force (Ret.), Randolph M. Scott, Brigadier General, US Air Force (Ret.) and Paul G. Cohen, Brigadier General, US Air Force (Ret.) — were joined by State Senator John Harms, who proposed the $10 million per year increase.
“High-quality early childhood education has gained bipartisan support in Nebraska because it is a solid investment in our future,” said General Musick. “We call on our state lawmakers to support Senator Harms’ legislation to help more of Nebraska’s children develop in mind, body, and character so they can succeed at whatever career path they choose, including military service.”
General Cohen cited Department of Defense estimates that 75 percent of young Americans are unable to serve in the military for three primary reasons: they are too poorly educated, they are physically unfit, or they have a criminal record. “Our military remains the strongest in the world, but I am very concerned about the reduced number of young men and women who can meet all of the qualifications required to serve in our Armed Forces,” said General Cohen.
According to data cited in the report, entitled Lincoln Youth: Ready, Willing but Unable to Serve, most young adults in Lincoln and statewide lack the basic skills and qualifications to serve in the military.