The country is broke, there are no jobs and they can get as many kids as they want now. Cut cut cut and keep cutting.
In 1982 there were no jobs. Not even Mickey D's in my state. Every day that I go now out I see Now Hiring signs at various businesses. An 18 year old can flip burgers and still make more per year than likely an E-3 in the military.
In late 1982 the Reagan military was mostly full. When you did four years active and if you got out you came home and had a two year call up obligation with no reserve drills required. The USA was not at war and deployments were usually one time per enlistment or a total of 12-16 months per enlistment. I did a 15 years total overseas under Carter in my four year enlistment. Those were in three deployments. Two were six month and one was for three month. BUT times were different today in many ways. A recruit today may see up too 5 one year tours to Iraq or Afghanistan in his now eight year obligation. These are deployments into hostile nations. The reserves and National Guard isn't much better really. They are now likely to be called up as well. Such has been the state of the United States Military since Poppy Bush.
Here's the problem. Back when the military reductions began under Poppy the End Troop Strengths were lowered. Clinton and congress lowered them more up to what was set in 1996. They have stayed at that level every since that time. Congress sets those numbers. End Troop Strength is the maximum number of active duty and reservist allowed to serve at any time. That means the so called help from the so called adults never arrived even after 9/11.
If I had a son and he asked my advice about enlisting I would say please don't not under the current conditions. Even though my enlistment was great for me things inside the military have changed for the worse. The military is by no means the best place to be today even in this economy. If advertising wasn't being done the recruitment goals would likely not be met. Not many persons want to fight for a POTUS and Congress like the ones we've had since 1989 who lack the will to win and punish you if you hit the enemy back. My guess is many Veteran Parents are discouraging enlistments as well if they do the research on the current obligations. Many persons are not aware of the 8 year obligation.
“Cut somebody else’s pet project!” is the battle cry heard everywhere. Things aren’t THAT bad, I guess.