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Official Debunks Myths About Military Recruits
American Forces Press Service ^ | Dec. 5, 2005 | By Donna Miles

Posted on 12/05/2005 1:31:56 PM PST by bnelson44

WASHINGTON, Dec. 5, 2005 – Recruits entering the military are head and shoulders above their contemporaries, and myths that imply otherwise reflect the Vietnam era, not today, a top Pentagon official told the American Forces Press Service. "They are so clearly a cut above America," Bill Carr, acting deputy undersecretary of defense for military personnel policy, said of today's recruits.

Carr bristles when he hears unfounded charges that the men and women entering the military are less educated, less affluent or less likely than other 18- to 24-year-olds to have alternatives to military service. Rather, a combination of volunteerism and commitment to service is prompting young people to enlist, Carr said, noting that a measure of shrewdness plays into their decision. "They are planning their future and considering what part we can play in it," he said.

Carr likes to think of himself as a "myth buster," helping break stereotypes he said are flat-out wrong and cheat servicemembers out of the pride they've earned and deserve.

He rattled off examples of those myths and set the record straight for each one.

Myth 1: Military recruits are less educated and have fewer work alternatives than other young Americans. In fact, military recruits are far better educated than the general youth population, Carr said. More than 90 percent of recruits have a high school diploma, compared to about 75 percent of the U. S. youth population. That's an important issue to the military, Carr said, because a traditional high school diploma is the single best indicator of a recruit's stick-to-it-ness and likelihood of successfully adjusting to military service. Recruits with a high school diploma have a 70 percent probability of completing a three-year enlistment versus a 50 percent chance for nongraduates.

The military has exceeded the 90-percent benchmark for recruits with high school diplomas every year since 1983, Carr noted.

Myth 2: The military tends to attract people with lower aptitudes. Recruits actually have much higher average aptitudes than the general youth population, Carr said. In fiscal 2005, 67 percent of recruits scored above the 60th percentile on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery. The test is designed so that the average young person will score 50 percent, he explained. But high achievement on the test isn't new, Carr said. Sixty percent of new enlistees have scored at or above the 50 percentile -- the military's benchmark for recruits -- every year since 1985.

Myth 3: The military attracts a disproportionate number of poor or underprivileged youth. In reality, military recruits mirror the U. S. population and are solidly middle class, Carr said. He cited a recent Heritage Foundation report that shows most recruits come from middle-class families, rather than poorer or wealthier ones. Patterns in recent years reinforce this trend, showing a slight dip in recruits from lower socioeconomic groups and a slight increase from upper-class groups, Carr said.

Myth 4: A disproportionate number of recruits come from urban areas. Inner cities are actually the most underrepresented area among new recruits, Carr said. Both suburban and rural areas are overrepresented, he said.

Myth 5: The military isn't geographically representative of America. The southern part of the United States generates the most recruits, 41 percent, but also has the biggest youth population to draw from, 36 percent, Carr said. Twenty-four percent of recruits come from north-central regions, which have 23 percent of the youth population. The west, with 24 percent of the nation's youth, contributes 21 percent of the new enlistees. And the northeast, with 18 percent of the youth population, provides 14 percent of new recruits.

Clearing up misconceptions about military recruits paints a truer picture of the young men and women joining the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps, and the capabilities they bring to their respective services, Carr said. It also reinforces what Carr said military leaders have recognized all along: "There's enormous talent in their midst," he said.


TOPICS: Extended News; Government
KEYWORDS: army; dod; military; myth; recruitment

1 posted on 12/05/2005 1:31:56 PM PST by bnelson44
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To: bnelson44
I read an article in a Canadian newspaper where the writer said we can't expect high standards from the U.S. military -- in light of the fact that the average IQ was so low. (He said it was around 90.)

That kind of liberal slander gets me ticked off -- in fact the average IQ in the U.S. military is quite a bit higher than the average in the population. The minimum to get in to any job is about 90.

2 posted on 12/05/2005 1:45:11 PM PST by 68skylark
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To: bnelson44

BTTT


3 posted on 12/05/2005 1:47:19 PM PST by vin-one (REMEMBER the WTC !!!!!!!!)
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To: bnelson44
I don't know about myths and whether "rural" areas are disproportionately represented and "urban" areas are underrepresented and I'm not even sure that matters. I can tell you this though. I spent 20+ years in the military (USAF) and every time I needed something unusual done, it was not the "urban" guys who got tapped, it was country boys (rednecks, if you wish) who got tapped. I knew, instinctively, that the job would get done.

Perhaps there is a bit of predujice here; if you could call it that. I grew up in a rural environment and was acutely aware of the innovative requirements that that environment exacted on those living in that rural setting.

This is not to say that the urban guys were stupid and the rural guys were geniuses. I'm only saying that I knew who could deliver.

4 posted on 12/05/2005 2:07:15 PM PST by davisfh
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To: bnelson44

The likes of Charlie Rangel impune the integrity of the recruits with their slander of their reasons for joining the military.


5 posted on 12/05/2005 2:11:18 PM PST by OldFriend (The Dems enABLEd DANGER and 3,000 Americans died.)
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To: 68skylark
I read an article in a Canadian newspaper where the writer said we can't expect high standards from the U.S. military -- in light of the fact that the average IQ was so low"

LOL! I've worked with U.S. military and former military my entire life, they are by far the best problem solvers and hardest workers in the US workforce....and yes I've worked with plenty of pin heads from the "elite" schools with degrees out the ying yang.....

6 posted on 12/05/2005 2:11:24 PM PST by ScreamingFist ( The RKBA doesn't apply if I have a bigger gun than your bodyguard. NRA)
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To: 68skylark

"I read an article in a Canadian newspaper where the writer said we can't expect high standards from the U.S. military"

This is hysterically funny!! Our military can kick Canada's military's ass intellectually and in every other way.


7 posted on 12/05/2005 2:11:27 PM PST by hsalaw
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To: bnelson44

None of this should be news to anyone who is even mildly observant.

Enlistees are tested by the military prepatory to going in and anyone who had trouble in HS isn't going to suddenly be a genius on the ASVAB (oe whatever they call it today).

By my observations many Ex military are more intellient, a lot slower to anger and a HELL of a lot more patient than the run of the mill.


8 posted on 12/05/2005 2:12:44 PM PST by TalBlack
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To: bnelson44

The military is the only employer I can think of that hasnt had its testing programs for deciding who does what screwed with by idiotic Court rulings. This is probably one of several reasons it puts other government agencies to shame.


9 posted on 12/05/2005 2:27:20 PM PST by freespirited
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To: hsalaw

Well I'm not going to slam on the Canadian soldiers -- they suffer enough already from their own government (and from their own citizens). But I get pretty sick of effete liberal newspaper writers, on both sides of the border, who just pass along urban legends to slam the U.S.


10 posted on 12/05/2005 3:10:18 PM PST by 68skylark
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To: bnelson44

On a related subject:

Comparing Apples & Oranges: Why The Training of Iraqi Security Forces is Taking So Long.
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1532262/posts


11 posted on 12/05/2005 4:26:10 PM PST by PsyOp (Men easily believe what they want to. Caesar, De Bello Gallico, III, 18.)
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To: PsyOp

After all, it only takes twelve weeks to train a U.S. Soldier or Marine, and the Iraqis have had a year or more of training. Right?

Wrong!


12 posted on 12/05/2005 4:28:24 PM PST by bnelson44 (Proud parent of a tanker!)
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To: davisfh

My 16 year old son announced last night that he wants to go into the military, after college. Knowing him,I think he will. Do you have any advice?


13 posted on 12/06/2005 6:40:31 AM PST by keats5
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To: keats5
My military service ended long ago so it would be difficult for me to advise. I personally would choose the Air Force but that's because I chose that service in the beginning.

I do know that your son can receive a commission but that will depend on his major in college. He should find out what majors are in demand and work toward that.

14 posted on 12/06/2005 7:26:27 AM PST by davisfh
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