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Army recruiting less qualified

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Disagreeable

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Recruiting less qualifed hurts our Army and country in several ways. If your child or friend is serving, they're in more danger when working with the lower qualifed people the Army is recruiting today. Excerpts; link below; my emphasis.

"Three months ago, I wrote that the war in Iraq was wrecking the U.S. Army, and since then the evidence has only mounted, steeply. Faced with repeated failures to meet its recruitment targets, the Army has had to lower its standards dramatically. First it relaxed restrictions against high-school drop-outs. Then it started letting in more applicants who score in the lowest third on the armed forces aptitude test—a group, known as Category IV recruits, who have been kept to exceedingly small numbers, as a matter of firm policy, for the past 20 years. (There is also a Category V—those who score in the lowest 10th percentile. They have always been ineligible for service in the armed forces and, presumably, always will be.)

The bad news is twofold. First, the number of Category IV recruits is starting to skyrocket. Second, a new study compellingly demonstrates that, in all realms of military activity, intelligence does matter. Smarter soldiers and units perform their tasks better; dumber ones do theirs worse.

Until just last year, the Army had no trouble attracting recruits and therefore no need to dip into the dregs. As late as 2004, fully 92 percent of new Army recruits had graduated high school and just 0.6 percent scored Category IV on the military aptitude test.

Then came the spiraling casualties in Iraq, the diminishing popularity of the war itself, and the subsequent crisis in recruitment.

In response to the tightening trends, on Sept. 20, 2005, the Defense Department released DoD Instruction 1145.01, which allows 4 percent of each year's recruits to be Category IV applicants—up from the 2 percent limit that had been in place since the mid-1980s. Even so, in October, the Army had such a hard time filling its slots that the floodgates had to be opened; 12 percent of that month's active-duty recruits were Category IV. November was another disastrous month; Army officials won't even say how many Cat IV applicants they took in, except to acknowledge that the percentage was in "double digits."

"The evidence is overwhelming. Take tank gunners. You wouldn't think intelligence would have much effect on the ability to shoot straight, but apparently it does. Replacing a gunner who'd scored Category IV on the aptitude test (ranking in the 10-30 percentile) with one who'd scored Category IIIA (50-64 percentile) improved the chances of hitting targets by 34 percent. (For more on the meaning of the test scores, click here.)

In another study cited by the RAND report, 84 three-man teams from the Army's active-duty signal battalions were given the task of making a communications system operational. Teams consisting of Category IIIA personnel had a 67 percent chance of succeeding. Those consisting of Category IIIB (who'd ranked in the 31-49 percentile on the aptitude test) had a 47 percent chance. Those with Category IV personnel had only a 29 percent chance.

The same study of signal battalions took soldiers who had just taken advanced individual training courses and asked them to troubleshoot a faulty piece of communications gear. They passed if they were able to identify at least two technical problems. Smarts trumped training. Among those who had scored Category I on the aptitude test (in the 93-99 percentile), 97 percent passed. Among those who'd scored Category II (in the 65-92 percentile), 78 percent passed. Category IIIA: 60 percent passed. Category IIIB: 43 percent passed. Category IV: a mere 25 percent passed.

The pattern is clear: The higher the score on the aptitude test, the better the performance in the field. This is true for individual soldiers and for units. Moreover, the study showed that adding one high-scoring soldier to a three-man signals team boosted its chance of success by 8 percent (meaning that adding one low-scoring soldier boosts its chance of failure by a similar margin).

Smarter also turns out to be cheaper. One study examined how many Patriot missiles various Army air-defense units had to fire in order to destroy 10 targets. Units with Category I personnel had to fire 20 missiles. Those with Category II had to fire 21 missiles. Category IIIA: 22. Category IIIB: 23. Category IV: 24 missiles. In other words, to perform the same task, Category IV units chewed up 20 percent more hardware than Category I units. For this particular task, since each Patriot missile costs about $2 million, they also chewed up $8 million more of the Army's procurement budget.

Some perspective here: Each year the Army recruits 80,000 new troops—which amount to 16 percent of its 500,000 active-duty soldiers. Even if 12 percent of recruits were Category IV, not just for October but for the entire coming year, they would swell the ranks of Cat IV soldiers overall by just 1.9 percent (0.12 x 0.16 = .0192).

Then again, viewed from another angle, this would double the Army's least desirable soldiers. These are the soldiers that the Army has long shut out of its ranks; that it is now recruiting avidly, out of sheer desperation; and that—according to the military's own studies—seriously degrade the competence of every unit they end up joining. No, things haven't gone to hell in a handbasket, but they're headed in that direction. Every Army officer knows this. And that's why many of them want the United States to get out of Iraq"
.


http://www.slate.com/id/2133908/
 

Disagreeable

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Mike said:
Consider the source. "Slate" :lol:

Typical spin. Beat up the source and try to get attention away from the facts. Can you come up with something that shows the Army isn't recruiting less qualified people? Or that the RAND study is not accurate? Had you rather depend on a communications unit to keep your commo up and running that has smarter people or one that has not so smart people? How about your child's unit?
 

kolanuraven

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Everyone knows that if you , a qualified person, works with anyone who is not qualified in a dangerous job...be it farming or fighting....it puts the whole group in more danger.

So, the logic here is correct. Surely, that can't be denied.
 

Disagreeable

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kolanuraven said:
So, the logic here is correct. Surely, that can't be denied.

Of course it can be denied. The Bush Groupies will deny everything that reflects badly on this Administration. And there's a lot that reflects badly on this Administration: Iraq war, hurricanes, FEMA, budget deficits, illegal wiretapping.... A longer list than I have time to work on today. Maybe I'll get to it later. :D

Good to hear from you, kolanuraven.
 

Steve

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While your article seems to support your view, one should look at a few facts first and maybe question our society before condemning those who score low to a catagory or classifiication...Is there something wrong with a civilized society who lets people be categoritised by thier smartness? are we not constitutionally "all equal under the law"?.......and is saying a percentage of this catarory may fail not discriminating against the percentage that did succeed?
And what is the measure that bars them from enlisting? brains or a high school diploma.....if you have brains you must score higher then if you have a high school diploma..

said in other words the standard is based more on your having a diploma then if you have brains.....

the first thing I did was look for some facts.... and links for unbelievable...(oops I mean disagreeable)...

No Service should enlist more than 4 percent Category IV, and all should be high school diploma graduates.

Youth with GED certificates are considered nondiploma graduates.
http://www.nap.edu/openbook/0309085314/html/72.html

To even be considered, (for Army enlistment) a high school dropout (with GED) must score at least a 50 on the AFQT.

So to be a category 4 on the aptitude exam and get into the US Military you Must be a High School graduate,

Which begs the question, How can a person score in the lowest 30 percential and still graduate from high school?

diploma a score of 65 shall be considered passing. For a local diploma a score of 55-64, as determined by the school, also may be considered passing

while these are general guidlines and each state is different it appears one must score at least 55 to recieve a diploma.

Which again begs the question, How can a person score in the lowest 30 percential and still graduate from high school?
 

theHiredMansWife

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Steve said:
diploma a score of 65 shall be considered passing. For a local diploma a score of 55-64, as determined by the school, also may be considered passing

while these are general guidlines and each state is different it appears one must score at least 55 to recieve a diploma.

Which again begs the question, How can a person score in the lowest 30 percential and still graduate from high school?

I think you're confusing percentage and percentile.


Percentage refers to the score of 65. Ie, you have to score a minimum of 65 out of 100 to pass.

Percentile refers to how you compare to other people at the time. For example, lets say 9 kids took a test. 3 of them scored 100%, 3 of them scored 95%, and 3 of them scored 90%.

While 90% is nothing to sneeze at, those three are still in the bottom 33rd percentile.
 

kolanuraven

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A lot of sports players get graduated from highschool every day barely able to write their own names as they gotten by on their physical abilities to play " whatever" sport.

So, below average students graduate everyday.
 

$$

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kolanuraven said:
A lot of sports players get graduated from highschool every day barely able to write their own names as they gotten by on their physical abilities to play " whatever" sport.

So, below average students graduate everyday.

Obviously. :wink:
 

Mike

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$$ said:
kolanuraven said:
A lot of sports players get graduated from highschool every day barely able to write their own names as they gotten by on their physical abilities to play " whatever" sport.

So, below average students graduate everyday.

Obviously. :wink:

If you don't mind me asking.........what sport did you excel in?

"get graduated"?

"as they gotten by"?
 

Steve

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I think you're confusing percentage and percentile.

Nope......


The Army uses percentile....

the Schools use score....or percentage

they seem to be the standard.....

but to clear the confusion the Military uses a weighted exam with harder questions getting more points so with out the ability to extract the score it requires we take thier standard... which was set in the early eighties...but looking at the raw score the minimum percentage would be a 45.9 percentage or a score of 45.9

My point was that kids with a diploma were allowed to score at least 20 and up to 30 percential below kids with out a diploma, and how graduating a child with a low score that scored even lower on a standardized test was well appalling towards the education system

furthering my point that if a child could earn a diploma why should we discriminate against him or her because he or she is less intellegent based on the primiss that they might fail?

When many would actually succeed and even excel in the military.
 

Cal

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Is this article sort of self-congratulatory since the far left has been trying so hard to keep recruiters out of schools, job fairs, campus, etc...?
 

Steve

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A lot of sports players get graduated from highschool every day barely able to write their own names as they gotten by on their physical abilities to play " whatever" sport.

actually most high schools "require" athletes to maintain at least a passing grade in all classes.....or they are not allowed to participate. and this being high lighted by cases such as .....example is Dexter Manley, a former defensive end for the Washington Redskins, who left Oklahoma State University after four years illiterate, unable even to read about his accolades in the sports page on Monday morning. I do respect Manley for admitting his problem and going back to school to learn to read; however, his case is a pitiful reflection of the "education" athletes receive at far too many institutions.. add in the fact that he and some others actually recieved a high school diploma.... and it seems even worse....

In the years since this revalation High schools were supposed to discontinue the free ride......be it an athlete or a poor performing student giving them a diploma"disgraces the education system. or should I word it is a disgrace of the education system.








further thought:..before attacking sports in general,

Research conducted in 1991 by Skip Dane of Hardiness Research, Casper, Wyoming, revealed the following about participation in high school sports: 1) By a 2-to-1 ratio, boys who participate in sports do better in school, do not drop out and have a better chance to get through college. 2) The ratio for girls who participate in sports and do well in school is three to one. 3) About 92 percent of sports participants do not use drugs. 4) School athletes are more self-assured. 5) Sports participants take average and above-average classes. 6) Sports participants receive above-average grades and do above average on skills tests. 7) Those involved in sports have knowledge of and use financial aid and have a chance to finish college. 8) Student-athletes appear to have more parental involvement than other students. 9) Students involved in athletics appear to change focus from cars and money to life accomplishments during the process.
 

Liberty Belle

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Some of you on this board absolutely squeal with glee upon hearing bad news from Iraq in the MSM. I certainly agree with this letter to the editor in today's paper:

Exploiting troops

It seems that all we hear from major media outlets these days is the number of our troops killed each day in Iraq. "Three troops killed in accident" or "five Marines killed in roadside bomb" are common headlines.

Why is this? Why is the media reporting only the bad news when there is so much good news that is happening in Iraq?

I pondered these questions, but the answer was in front of me all the time.

The liberals and the liberal-controlled media are so irrational in their hatred for George W. Bush that they would exploit the deaths of our troops in an attempt to mock and discredit him.

Any casualty of war is unfortunate. But it is despicable to exploit these casualties to discredit and otherwise undermine a president.

There is another story that goes unreported in this war. The smiles on the children's faces knowing that their lives are no longer so uncertain, and the women that now have more rights than they did are notable examples.

It is said that for every finger one points at another, three are pointed back at themselves. How true this is!

Please, stop exploiting our troops for political agendas.

MICHAEL BELL

Rapid City
 

theHiredMansWife

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:???:
That whole article was "exploiting the troops for political agenda". "Exploitation" simply depends on which side of the conversation you're on...

My point was that kids with a diploma were allowed to score at least 20 and up to 30 percential below kids with out a diploma, and how graduating a child with a low score that scored even lower on a standardized test was well appalling towards the education system

This doesn't make any sense... :?

i still don't think you understand what you're reading.
 

Disagreeable

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theHiredMansWife said:
:???:
That whole article was "exploiting the troops for political agenda". "Exploitation" simply depends on which side of the conversation you're on...

My point was that kids with a diploma were allowed to score at least 20 and up to 30 percential below kids with out a diploma, and how graduating a child with a low score that scored even lower on a standardized test was well appalling towards the education system

This doesn't make any sense... :?

i still don't think you understand what you're reading.

Welcome to Steve's la la land, HMW. He spends a lot of time there. :) IMO, it's best to just ignore him when he doesn't make any sense.
 

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It doesn't matter how you try to spin this, Steve, Cal, etc., the truth is the Army is taking people that it refused to take two years ago. They're not only taking them, but actively going after them. The truth is our Army will be less effective as more of them come in and others retire or get out and we have a higher percentage of soldiers from that group. The truth is that our country will be less secure with these less qualified people protecting us. That's what George W. Bush has done to the US Army. It makes me very unhappy and I don't plan to be quiet about it.

No one is "condemning" those who score lower. The Army has a set of standards and has been able to maintain it for years, until Bush chose to start an unnecessary war without enough troops to finish it.

George Bush "exploites" the deaths of American soldiers every day. Every time he tells Americans that if we leave Iraq those deaths would have been in vain, he's exploiting their deaths. So when you see a newspaper headline, realize that George will likely be mentioning those deaths, too, as an excuse for continuing this war. But we are coming out. :) The Iraqis know it, the insurgents know it, the terrorists know it. The only question is how many more will die before we get out? I say what I've been saying for months: get out now so not one more should die.
 

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