Military recruiting – rural areas better than urban one but not for why you might think

“There are some other trends at work. In the last few decades there has been a growing divide in the United States when it comes to how many recruits different regions provide. A disproportionate number of recruits come from the southern and the Rocky Mountain states. The northeast, upper Midwest, and west coast are much more difficult to recruit from and the recruits are not as good (less education, overweight, bad attitudes).

Recruiters have the hardest time in urban areas. Back in 2005, the Department of Defense concluded that urban high schools were the source of most problems. Not because of leftist teachers in some of those schools trying to keep recruiters out, but because so many potential recruits had to be turned down because of the poor education they had received in those schools. While only a fifth of Americans live outside cities and suburbs, nearly half of the qualified recruits come from these rural areas. What’s strange about all this is that the rural areas spend much less, per pupil, on education but get much better results than urban schools. Part of this can be attributed to differences in cost of living, but a lot of it has to do with simply getting more done with less. Per capita, young people in rural areas are over 20 percent more likely to join the army, than those of the same age in urban areas.

The rural recruits are also a lot easier to train and generally make better soldiers. The urban recruits often have a bad attitude, as well as a difficult time getting along with others and following instructions. The urban schools deserve some of the blame for this, while rural schools tend to be far more orderly and put more emphasis on civic responsibility. Many of the urban recruits are aware of these problems and joined the service to learn useful (for getting a job) social skills. Those skills are more often found among rural recruits because out in the boondocks, people are more involved with local government and more involved in general. This has been noted in urban neighborhoods and for decades many urban parents have sought to send their kids to live with kin in the country to get the child away from the bad influences of urban life. Over the last decade there’s been a movement by parents back to the rural areas. Urban areas may be more exciting, and offer more employment opportunities, but they are a tough place to raise kids or find suitable recruits for the military.”

I lived in an urban area for years while in school – and it made me determined NOT to raise my kids there.  Pretty much, living here in rural NH, I think I nailed it on that decision.  Sure, all of the problems in the urban areas are here in the rural ones – but far less frequent and less in intensity (the present heroin / fentanyl problem aside).  As a parent, you can’t get away from them completely (because humans, are, well, humans even those not considered to be adults) but you can give your kids a running start.

(H/T: Strategy Page)