Release | April 28, 2021

Mission: Readiness Responds to Unveiling of “American Families Plan”

Retired military leaders urge bipartisan cooperation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Mission: Readiness, the organization of nearly 800 retired admirals and generals, responded today to President Biden’s proposal to prioritize new investments in children’s health, education, and care that are directly correlated with America’s national security.

“Our future strength and security depends on America’s ability to defend itself. The pandemic and economic crisis have exacerbated the health and educational barriers that disqualify most of our nation’s youth from serving in the military,” said Brigadier General (Ret.) Rich Gross, U.S. Army. “Prioritizing investments in nutrition security, early education, and child care are not only critical for our economic recovery, but for our military readiness and national security as well.”

According to Department of Defense data, 71 percent of Americans between the ages of 17 and 24 could not serve in the military due to poor education, obesity, or a record of crime or drug abuse. Mission: Readiness members have worked with Republicans and Democrats for more than a decade to advance research-proven investments that can reverse our nation’s recruitment crisis. Solutions include nutrition security programs that fight obesity and malnutrition, and early education and care programs shown to improve academic and behavioral outcomes.

“These historically bipartisan policy solutions proposed in the American Families plan, and promoted by Mission: Readiness, are vital for our national security,” said Ben Goodman, National Director of Mission: Readiness. “We urge Congress and the administration to work together to prioritize investments that will enable more of America’s children to serve in the military, or be ready, prepared and healthy for any future career.”


Brigadier General (Ret.) Rich Gross, the host of the Mission: Readiness Podcast, spent more than three decades in service to the United States Army, culminating as the Legal Counsel to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Mission: Readiness is the nonpartisan organization of more than 800 retired admirals and generals working to help kids stay in school, in shape, and out of trouble so that they are prepared to succeed in the military or whatever they choose.


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