National Security

“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.

Additional Resource: A Commitment to Pre-Kindergarten Is A Commitment to National Security


  • We Are Committed to Young Children

    We believe that when all young children are given the best opportunity to realize their potential and contribute as productive citizens, North Carolina prospers. See who else has signed the commitment and join us!
  • Samantha Dooies
    Wilmington
    New Hanover / Pender District Attorney's Office
  • Judge Louis A. Trosch, Jr.
    Charlotte
    Juvenile Court
  • Wayne Johnson
    Eden
    Trinity Wesleyan
  • Julius H. Corpening
    Wilmington
    5th Judicial District Court
  • George Sawyer
    New Bern
    Sawyer's Lawn Care