New data released by the US Defense Department shows that more than 25 percent of new American troops have at least one parent who has served in the military, Time reported on Friday.
According to a Pentagon report detailing recruits between 2012 and 2013, 86 percent of new Air Force airmen had a close relative (parent, grandparent, sibling, aunt, uncle or cousin) in uniform. The rate for the Navy was 82 percent, followed by the Army with 79 and Marines with 77%.
The Pentagon refers to relatives as “influencers” who are able to steer young people towards the military, and in particular, the very position they themselves had served.
For example, 59 percent of the Army recruits said they had a relative who had served there. This was the case for 37 percent of the Marine recruits, while the figure for the Air Force and the Navy was 46 percent and 51 percent respectively.
The subject was discussed earlier this week during a Senate Armed Services Committee, when Senator Angus King slammed the trend and questioned the US military’s reliance on relatives of those who have served.