9 years ago
Our buddy GI at Forward Deployed has an article up on the main stream media demagoging high school recruiting rates, in which he takes direct aim at the notion of recruiting problems due to the global war on terror.
The claim that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are responsible for the military accepting more recruits with GEDs is an assumption by the AP writer and not a fact which is something the writer does not make clear. The Army recruiting spokesman told the writer the difficult recruiting environment had to do with the drop in graduation rates but some how the AP writer contributes it to the war on terror.
Why didn’t the AP writer disclose what the current high school graduation rates are? Could it be because it would sink his article because high school graduation rates are currently hovering around the 70% range, which is nearly identical to what the US military is allowing in? It is a whole other topic, but I find our US graduation rate highly embarrassing and have heard our politicians say anything about what they are going to do to improve it. Anyway, it seems like this is a highly pertinent fact that should be included in the article, but it wasn’t probably because it would ruin the AP writer’s narrative that war on terror is responsible for the decline.
Besides the decline in high school graduation rates the Army is going through a massive increase in soldiers:
Plans are to raise the number of active-duty Army, Army Guard and Army Reserve by 74,000 overall, with the active-duty force rising by 65,000 to a total of 547,000. In October, top Army leaders said they planned to move faster to expand the force by adding the full 74,000 soldiers by 2010, two years earlier than originally planned. [Stars & Stripes]
This increase is on top of the prior increases US military recruiters had to deal with in recent years. It is extremely impressive that recruiters have been able to meet recruiting goals, but I predicted last year that recruiters will probably have a hard time meeting this latest increase in troops especially if the economy remains strong, which is another fact that was some how missing from the AP article.
Declining high school graduation rates, an expanding military, and a strong economy all have much more to do with the drop in high school graduates than blaming it on the war on terror, but obviously the AP could care less because the narrative of blaming it on the war on terror fits with their on going theme that the war on terror is breaking the military.
Finally, I just want to say I find it extremely snobby that because someone has a GED they are considered by the AP to be a poor recruit. I know plenty of soldiers with GEDs that were much better soldiers than soldier that I had that had college degrees much less a high school diploma.
I agree across the board with GI. But if we are to grow the military over the next several years, something must be done to encourage not only recruits, but re-enlistments as well. Jeff Jacoby has a commentary up at the Boston Globe in which he advocates the notion of granting automatic citizenship to illegal aliens for military service.
Flooding our armed forces with illegal aliens is without a doubt a highly draconian and dreadful idea. I have a better one. I propose an across the board 40% increase in all salaries for all service members, this proposal having no bearing on other incentives or signing bonuses. The only assumption behind this proposal is that America cares enough about its own self defense to properly fund the armed forces.