Fewer Army recruits have high school diplomas
Data continue trend that has worsened since start of Iraq war, report finds
"WASHINGTON - The percent of Army recruits with a high school diploma dropped last year, continuing a trend that has worsened since the start of the Iraq war, according to a report released Tuesday.
National Priorities Project, a research group that analyzes federal data, found that nearly 71 percent of Army recruits graduated from high school in the 2007 budget year. It based its findings on data it obtained from the Defense Department through a Freedom of Information Act request."
That would mean that 3 out of every 10 soldiers serving today did not graduate from high school. Given that there is no end in sight to the military actions in Iraq or Afghanistan (where the Marines are sending an additional 3200 troops in the next month) and that every presidential candidate (except, possibly, Dennis Kucinich) is calling for increasing the size of the Army;
"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."
is it realistic to believe that that number will not continue to increase? And when you factor in the economics of the country - millions of jobs being outsourced and wages continuing to decline - you have to know where those new "recruits" will be coming from.
"It also found that in the 2007 budget year, upper middle- and high-income neighborhoods were underrepresented by an even larger margin than three years earlier."
So there is 30 percent of our "All Volunteer Army"; teen-aged high school drop-outs from low income households willing to risk life or limb (or their sanity) for a signing bonus and the opportunity to defer their career at McDonalds or Wal*Mart for at least two to three years. I don't know about you, but this sure seems like a form of child abuse to me.
Chad (The Left) Shue