Utah Has Lowest Military Recruitment Rate

Utah Has Lowest Military Recruitment Rate

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A nationwide survey finds Utah has the nation's lowest military recruitment rate.

That's because many of Utah's young men are serving a proselytizing mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-days Saints.

The nonpartisan organization National Priorities Project ranked Utah last among 50 states, five territories and the District of Columbia in per capita military recruitment of 18- to 24-year-olds.

The Mormon church encourages men of that age group who belong to the church to serve a two-year mission in another state or nation.

That makes them unavailable for the Army, Navy or Air Force.

The survey, however, found that Utah men who opt for the military tend to come from wealthier families than the national average.

And church and military officials say Mormons can go on a church mission, then join the military -- the path taken by about a third of Mormons on active duty.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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