“All of North Carolina’s youngest citizens should have the opportunity to succeed at whatever they choose. Having access to high-quality early education can help children develop the skills and strengths they need to excel.”
Retired Four-Star General William F. “Buck” Kernan
U.S. Army, Pinehurst, NC
Military leaders call investments in early child development a matter of national security. Senior retired military leaders formed a national security organization, Mission Readiness, to call for smart investments in America’s children, starting with expanding high-quality early childhood education programs.
Why? 70% of Americans ages 17 to 24 cannot meet the military’s eligibility requirements. (Source: Ready, Willing and Unable to Serve, Mission Readiness)
There are three main reasons:
- They didn’t graduate from high school.
- They cannot meet the physical requirements.
- They have a criminal record.
Students that do graduate from high school are not necessarily prepared to pass the military’s qualification tests. In North Carolina, almost a quarter of high school graduates who take the Armed Forces eligibility test score too low. (Source: Shut Out of the Military: Today’s High School Education Doesn’t Mean You’re Ready for Today’s Army, The Education Trust)
Major General Charles Luckey discusses why early childhood
development is critical to our national security.