November 5, 2009

Only 1 in 4 youths good enough to enlist in the military

From Ready, Willing and Unable to Serve, a report by Mission Readiness, a group run by retired generals and admirals:
The Pentagon reports that 75 percent of Americans aged 17 to 24 cannot join the United States military – 26 million young Americans. ...

Three Crucial Reasons Why Young Americans Cannot Join the Military:

Although there may be multiple reasons why an individual is ineligible to serve in the military, the three biggest problems are that too many young Americans are poorly educated, involved in crime, or physically unfit.

Inadequate education: Approximately one out of four young Americans lacks a high school diploma. Students who have received a general equivalency degree (GED) can sometimes receive a waiver if they score well enough on the military’s entrance exam. However, most of those who dropped out and obtained a GED instead of a regular degree do not possess sufficient math or reading skills to qualify.

Not only are too many young people failing to graduate, many of those who do graduate still lack the academic skills necessary to take their place alongside others in the workforce or in the military.

The “Nation’s Report Card,” the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), reports that in 2007, 69 percent of the nation’s eighth graders scored below proficiency level in math, and 70 percent scored below proficiency level in reading.

Even with a high school degree, many potential recruits still fail the Armed Forces Qualification Test (the AFQT) and cannot join. The test is used by the military to determine math and reading skills. About 30 percent of potential recruits with a high school degree take the test and fail it.

Criminality: One in 10 young adults cannot join because they have at least one prior conviction for a felony or serious misdemeanor (and for five percent of young adults, trouble with the law is the only thing keeping them out). ...

Physically unfit: 27 percent of young Americans are too overweight to join the military. Many are turned away by recruiters and others never try to join. Of those who attempt to join, however, roughly 15,000 young potential recruits fail their entrance physicals every year because they are too heavy.

The percentage of Americans who are not just overweight but actually obese has risen rapidly. The rate of obesity among American adults has more than doubled over the past four decades, with one in three adults being obese. So, the number of enlistment-age young adults who cannot join the military because of weight problems – currently 27 percent nationally – is likely to continue to rise in the next few years.

Nearly a third (32 percent) of all young people have health problems – other than their weight – that will keep them from serving. Many are disqualified from serving for asthma, eyesight or hearing problems, mental health issues, or recent treatment for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

When weight problems are added in with the other health problems, over half of young adults cannot join because of health issues. Additional young people are not eligible to join because of drug or alcohol problems.

Even when recruits qualify, health problems can cause significant deployment and expense problems later; for example, 20 percent of the Army’s reservists arrived at mobilization sites with dental conditions that made them non-deployable.

Additional reasons beyond education, crime, and physical fitness: Other young people are not eligible to join because they are too tall, too short, or have other non-medical reasons making them ineligible. For example, single parents with custody of a child cannot join. The cut-off points for different service branches vary on many standards.

Not surprisingly, the words "demographic" and "change" don't appear in the report.

Here are the states that are not worse than average on at any of the three measures of obesity, dropout rate, or criminality: Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

Here are the states that are worse than average on all three measures: Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas.

That's interesting that "About 30 percent of potential recruits with a high school degree take the test and fail it." I don't think that's saying that 30 percent of all high school graduates would fail the AFQT, which would mean you'd need an IQ of about 100 to qualify to enlist. I think it's saying that of those high school graduates who take the test, 30% score below the cutoff. High school graduates who hope to enlist in the military are probably somewhat below the average high school graduate. Still, from 1992-2004, the Pentagon took virtually no enlistees who scored below the 30th percentile in IQ.

Not surprisingly, the solutions proposed are ones close to the heart of the Obamaites controlling the pursestrings today: More Preschool Spending!

It's like what I keep saying: The Obama Age is heading toward a consensus that the only solution for NAMs is roughly the same as the Australian and Canadian governments came up with for indigenous people about 80 years ago, and for which they are continually apologizing today: Take the children away from their families as much as possible.

I suspect that a couple of generations from now, the U.S. government will issue an official apology to NAMs for the policy for the Stolen Generations of 2010-2030, and will assert that this explains their continued underperformance in the late 21st Century.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

50 comments:

Anonymous said...

Doesn't the military require a decent credit rating too? I suspect that would disqualify a lot of recruits.

Wonder what Clausewitz would think of that.

SFG said...

Does this mean we can all pork up to get out of the next draft? ;)

RandyB said...

This is discouraging, but I still favor the idea of a kind of boot camp targeted at minority males 16-24. They'd live in dorms, get a HS diploma, and learn a trade in exchange for community service like re-building slums and making sure kids get to school safely.

You hear sometimes that "60 is the new 40." We need to realize that 25 is the new 18, particularly for males with no education, work or family attachment.

Anonymous said...

A large percentage of recruits were rejected for service in WWI because of malnutrition.



The current trend is either self selection bias or a dysgenic trend.

Dutch Boy said...

There couldn't be a starker condemnation of this society than the Sad Sack youths it produces.

Anonymous said...

I am from Canada. The concept of "The Stolen Generation", at least with the Indians here, is actually better than the alternative of letting them raise themselves. The only reason that we apologize for it today is because that sort of paternalism is considered un-PC, and there are a lot of claims of the priests who ran many of the schools being overly affectionate.

But, seeing what many Indian communities are like (at least black ghetto kids don't drink lysol, inhale gasoline, or put their heads in running microwaves to get high), 18 years in boarding school would do these kids a lot of good (at least the ones without fetal alcohol syndrome), though I am opposed to it on taxpayer grounds.

John Seiler said...

If we want to raise the military's IQ, how about drafting the Neocon chickenhawks warmongers, beginning with young masters Rich Lowry and Jonah Goldberg?

stari_momak said...

Doesn't the military require a decent credit rating too?

Not as far as I know -- that's why you traditionally have a lot of shady used car lots, not to mention pawn shops, near military bases.

However, specialities which require high level clearances most definitely are contingent on not having current credit problems.

josh said...

What more diabolical stealth white genocide machine could there be than the military?? You weed out the dumb-assess,the fatties,the criminals,the generally screwed up...and you TAKE the reasonably intelligent,able bodied,ambitious,brave,patriotic,(often,tho not always)well-informed and politically concerned,conservative,(probably)religous, all around well put together,and disproportionately kill and maim them in endless wars.Its like a self-inflicted Katyn Forest! Today some idiot filling in for Rush lauded the brave W for going to war in Iraq to protect US "back here-dag nabbit"!What a moron. NOTE to "anonymous" re WW1 recruits rejected for malnutrition:How'd you like to be a recruiting sergeant for the Ethiopian Army? :0 Sorry...

jody said...

i had a white high school friend who was too fat to be a pittsburgh police officer by age 22. he was 300 pounds and to pass the physical you had to be able to bench press your bodyweight. after 6 months of training he still could not do it. after failing, it took him 3 years to lose enough weight to pass.

when i was at the indianapolis 500 this year, i met a black guy on the street asking for money. turns out he was booted from the army because he got a felony...shoplifting conviction. in indiana, misdemeanor shoplifting turns into felony shoplifting at only $300 worth of stuff, and he stole $400 worth of cigarettes and food from a grocery store. he made a mistake, but man, the law seems wrong there. that is a really low dollar value to put a felony permanently on your record. that guy wanted to still be in the army, and he should have been.

speaking of the australian/canadian plan, that is exactly the scenario in "the blind side", the movie coming out about michael oher. if it weren't so totally common, it might be noteworthy, but it happens dozens of times every day. aside from the literally thousands of normal black americans adopted by white americans, oher is hardly the first good athlete to have been taken in by a white family and then reached the highest level of play in his sport.

tommy said...

OT.

Here is a story concerning genetic tests, asylum fraud, and race denialism in the UK.

albertosaurus said...

I went down to the DC Armory in 1962 to enlist in the National Guard. I took the AFQT. They told us that some of the young men wouldn't score high enough to get in. I scored at the 95th percentile.

I was furious. I complained about how bad the test was. I had never scored below the 98 percentile on any general ability test - usually I was in the 99th.

I had been talking to a nice young black guy. He comiserated with me. We agreed the test wasn't fair. He scored in the 17th percentile, and yet he was accepted. I never did figure out just how dumb you had to be to be rejected.

The Washington DC National Guard in those days had rather low standards.

Mister said...

The title is slightly incorrect.

It should be "Only 1 in 4 yoof good enough to enlist in the military."

Anonymous said...

Josh,

BEST COMMENT EVER. (seriously)

Stopped Clock said...

Why are we exhibiting such precise scrutiny in terms of testing people for health issues while ignoring the presence of anti-American Muslims in the ranks?

Brown Ram said...

The more interesting question is what percentage of the 1/4 is white versus black versus hispanic versus other.

As an aside, I'm a bit surprised that no one has used national security or military preparedness as a reason for national health care (at least for children and teenagers). I mean, if we don't have young, healthy and fit young people joining the military, then it's a national security problem. That being noted, I still feel pretty negative about the idea of national health care.

Tino said...

“Not surprisingly, the words "demographic" and "change" don't appear in the report.”

RAND has put some intellectual effort in understanding why Hispanics don’t join the military.

http://www.rand.org/pubs/documented_briefings/DB484/

http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/MG773/

“Hispanics are a growing segment of the youth population yet have been underrepresented historically among military accessions. The widely cited reason is their below-average rate of graduation from high school and the services’ preference for diploma graduate recruits. But other less-studied factors may contribute. These other possible factors may include lack of language proficiency as reflected in their applicant aptitude test scores, fertility choices, health factors such as obesity, and involvement in risky activities such as the use of illegal drugs.”

Compared to their share of the population Non-Hispanic Whites are about 90% overrepresented in deaths from Iraq/Afghanistan. This has not stopped the media, such as shows like “Family Guy”, from repeating the myth that minorities are fighting and dying more than whites. Contrast this figure with the 28% overrepresentation of Blacks and Hispanics deaths in the Vietnam War, and the impact this had on the representation of the war in movies, popular culture.

Tino said...

Some cute facts about enlistments from a study I am writing:

* The religious group most likely to join the military is atheists. Wouldn’t have guessed that would you. This is even controlling for IQ.

* Mormons are less likely to join (maybe they become men by doing their mission)

* The mean and median family income of those who join is the same or slightly higher than the national average. The poor and the very rich are less likely to join.

* Not having siblings makes you more likely to join (need for fraternity? Before finding this I taught parents with only one child want to stop them from joining)

* Having a sister makes you more likely to join than having a brother (maybe fraternity, maybe girls are better students and take the family college fund)

Fred said...

"Doesn't the military require a decent credit rating too?"

When I joined I didn't even have a credit card. Back then, few teenagers did.

"What more diabolical stealth white genocide machine could there be than the military??"

Last time I ran the numbers, I calculated that you had a less than 1% chance of getting seriously injured (i.e., enough to qualify for partial disability afterwords) or killed serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. So if you're one of the 99+% who comes back in one piece, you'll be light years ahead of the average young American when you get home.

If you don't blow your tax free combat pay on a new F-150, you'll probably have five figures in cash saved up, you'll get free tuition to most state colleges (while getting paid a cash allowance of hundreds of dollars a month), and you'll get preference for cop, firefighter, and other civil service jobs. The smart 18-year-old white kid who joins the Army will probably be locking up some of the kids who didn't make it in when he's 24 (4 year enlistment + 2 years of college getting his 60 credits while waiting for his name to get to the top of the cop list).

Anonymous said...

I remember my older brother's friends trying hard to get out of the draft. It seems all they needed to do was eat a lot or tell the recruiters they were gay. I have read that Germany, which has a draft, takes gays since otherwise everyone would claim they were gay to get out of the military.

sj071 said...

'Additional reasons beyond education, crime, and physical fitness: Other young people are not eligible to join because they are too tall, too short, or have other non-medical reasons making them ineligible. For example, single parents with custody of a child cannot join. The cut-off points for different service branches vary on many standards.'

Ditto the Taliban.

Slightly OT 'Not a problem in 2009 but…During economic downturns, higher numbers of well-qualified candidates seek to enlist and the military can temporarily rely less on waivers for those with academic deficits or criminal records.13 But a weak economy is no formula for a strong military.

'Once the economy begins to grow again, the challenge of finding enough high-quality recruits will return.'


Uh-uh. Let's just leave aside US Army.... I would be grateful if commenters here could shed some light on what will be the future job drivers for majority of young Americans given that job destruction is accelerating at unprecedented pace?

Christo said...

How about the large number of military folk who are just 64% as strong the soldiers the US fielded in Vietnam. Who in study after study have demonstrated they react with panic, rather than react with valor to very unpleasant surprises.

Those same members of the military who have a pain threshold 20% lower than that of a Vietnam vet, and who possess 5% to 10% of the testosterone required to close with the enemy, in hand to hand combat.

They are doing just fine in this post modern outfit of ours. And will save our hides, blessed little things. Christo

l said...

Malik Nadal Hasan was good enough.

Fred said...

"Why are we exhibiting such precise scrutiny in terms of testing people for health issues while ignoring the presence of anti-American Muslims in the ranks?"

What a timely question. The AP reports that the motive is unclear in today's mass murder at Ft. Hood committed by an officer named Malik Nadal Hasan.

Victoria said...

If we want to raise the military's IQ, how about drafting the Neocon chickenhawks warmongers, beginning with young masters Rich Lowry and Jonah Goldberg?

Hear! Hear! And, while we're at it, why the heck should a high school diploma be required, in order to go off and beat up on weaker people, lose limbs or eyesight or brain power, or die for these chickenhawks?

You weed out the dumb-assess, the fatties, the criminals,the generally screwed up...and you TAKE the reasonably intelligent,able bodied, ambitious, brave, patriotic, (often,tho not always)well-informed and politically concerned,conservative,(probably) religous, all around well put together, and disproportionately kill and maim them in endless wars.

Ain't it the truth! And the poor buggers are supposed to have good credit ratings, too! Is this a joke?

Whiskey said...

Steve --

This is a recurring theme. Soldiers in the Civil War, in the Spanish-American War, in WWI, and even WWI had serious problems.

Not obesity, but malnutrition. I don't have a link but I recall reading about an awful lot of guys being rejected by draft board due to poor nutrition. Poor education was a factor in WWI to WWII. Coincidentally, poor marksmanship in WWI recruits led IIRC to the creation of the NRA.

America has gone from in a 100 years from a nation that had significant numbers of (mostly White guys) who did not have enough to eat, and poor education, to a nation where the WRONG kind of food makes Black and Hispanic kids fat, and they also have poor education.

Difference Maker said...

What more diabolical stealth white genocide machine could there be than the military?? You weed out the dumb-assess,the fatties,the criminals,the generally screwed up...and you TAKE the reasonably intelligent,able bodied,ambitious,brave,patriotic,(often,tho not always)well-informed and politically concerned,conservative,(probably)religous, all around well put together,and disproportionately kill and maim them in endless wars.Its like a self-inflicted Katyn Forest!

An extremely good point. One that it is no stretch to say the future of our civilization hinges upon.

If there must be an elite, may it be a military aristocracy.

* Not having siblings makes you more likely to join (need for fraternity? Before finding this I taught parents with only one child want to stop them from joining)

* Having a sister makes you more likely to join than having a brother (maybe fraternity, maybe girls are better students and take the family college fund)


I would have thought people would be just the opposite. I like to imagine that if I had several brothers I would join the military or some other rough and ready violent occupation right away. The brothers can pick up the slack of procreating and running the family estate in the event I get killed whilst wantonly risking my life. As it is I have sisters instead. Well, if this data is true and meaningful, it shows I can be wrong, lolol

Darwin's Sh*tlist said...

Take the children away from their families as much as possible.

I've noticed this trend the past few years. Where I live there's what seems like an endless panoply of pre-K (which has never shown lasting results), before-school breakfast (frequently free) after-school programs, and summer programs. Anything to keep NAM children out of their own homes (and, not trivially, off the streets).

It's funny to look back on how Newt Gingrich was excoriated in the mid-90s for suggesting orphanages as a way of mainstreaming underclass kids.

Hereward said...

Whiskey,
The NRA was founded after the Civil war by a couple of Union officers who were unhappy with the poor marksmanship of their troops - poor compared to the skills of the Southerners, at any rate.

Truth said...

Hasan's problem is not that he was a Muslim; his problem was that he ATTENDED VIRGINIA TECH!

Anonymous said...

I'm a bit surprised that no one has used national security or military preparedness as a reason for national health care (at least for children and teenagers). I mean, if we don't have young, healthy and fit young people joining the military, then it's a national security problem.

You've just described the entire rationale for the Hill-Burton Act of 1946, also known as the Hospital Survey and Construction Act. One of the really shocking findings coming out of the *Second* World War was how large a percentage of draft-age young men from rural areas turned out to be simply unfit for service due to poor or non-existent medical care in their childhoods (as opposed to general malnutrition in the draft pool of the First, noted by commenters above). Broken bones that had never been set properly, chronic abscesses, you name it, it was all over the place. And wit te Cold War looking to be around for awile, yes, tis was tus looked at as a serious National Security issue.

So we get Hill-Burton to provide federal grants and guaranteed loans to build scads of hospitals in the sticks, and keep them going. But in one of those law of unintended consequences things, this was passed just as the mass migration out of the cities was really getting underway, so in a few years, and to this very day, a huge percentage of the subsidized hospital network that used to be 'rural' became SUBURBAN. And they're still sucking at the public teat.

Truth(er) said...

"Not obesity, but malnutrition. I don't have a link but I recall reading about an awful lot of guys being rejected by draft board due to poor nutrition. Poor education was a factor in WWI to WWII. Coincidentally, poor marksmanship in WWI recruits led IIRC to the creation of the NRA."

The NRA was created in the 1870's.

Anonymous said...

"How about the large number of military folk who are just 64% as strong the soldiers the US fielded in Vietnam. Who in study after study have demonstrated they react with panic, rather than react with valor to very unpleasant surprises.

Those same members of the military who have a pain threshold 20% lower than that of a Vietnam vet, and who possess 5% to 10% of the testosterone required to close with the enemy, in hand to hand combat. "

Interesting. Links please?

-Vanilla Thunder

Anonymous said...

They're lucky they can't get in. I went in during the early 70's. At least half my basic training platoon (maybe 2/3's) was on drugs. Pot and reds every day. LSD on bivouac. Imagine being a "Leave it to Beaver" or "Happy Days" type of kid in that environment.

My advice to white kids - stay the hell out of the military - No matter what. Find anything else to do. You go in - you'll regret it. And it's an 8-year commitment now. Learn from me. Stay OUT !
It's not a John Wayne movie.

Melykin said...

"I suspect that a couple of generations from now, the U.S. government will issue an official apology to NAMs for the policy for the Stolen Generations of 2010-2030, and will assert that this explains their continued underperformance in the late 21st Century."
------------------

And not only that...the government will pay out millions of dollars in compensation to all the poor unfortunates who were so cruelly ripped from the bosom of their families and forced into pre-school.

And furthermore, they will assert that the harm done by the pre-schools not only is responsible for all the problems of the actual children who were in the pre-schools, but also their children and grandchildren.

Jimmy Crackedcorn said...

The religious group most likely to join the military is atheists. Wouldn’t have guessed that would you. This is even controlling for IQ.

Lots of young single men profess no religion. They may have been raised in one and they may yet return to one, but at the time they join they are probably no more likely to be irreligious than other men their age.

Mormons are less likely to join (maybe they become men by doing their mission)

This is true, at least if you use Utah data as a surrogate for Mormon, which is fair - and it's true for the reasons you posit. Mormon men are significantly more likely to serve as officers, however. BYU, USU, UVU, and the U of Utah all have large, successful and longstanding ROTC programs.

The AP reports that the motive is unclear in today's mass murder at Ft. Hood committed by an officer named Malik Nadal Hasan.

But he wasn't a terrorist!!! He was just another person who hated Americans who just happened to be Muslim!!!

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

You've just described the entire rationale for the Hill-Burton Act of 1946, also known as the Hospital Survey and Construction Act. One of the really shocking findings coming out of the *Second* World War was how large a percentage of draft-age young men from rural areas turned out to be simply unfit for service due to poor or non-existent medical care in their childhoods (as opposed to general malnutrition in the draft pool of the First, noted by commenters above). Broken bones that had never been set properly, chronic abscesses, you name it, it was all over the place. And wit te Cold War looking to be around for awile, yes, tis was tus looked at as a serious National Security issue."

Yes, it is interesting just how concerned for the well-being of its people a government can be, when it wants to insure a steady supply of cannon-fodder.

I would not advise any white kid to join the military - they'll only be sent off to fight and die for an overseas empire that is the play-thing of state-department nabobs and pentagon wallahs. Our nation is no longer ours - why fight for it?

Anonymous said...

"This is discouraging, but I still favor the idea of a kind of boot camp targeted at minority males 16-24. They'd live in dorms, get a HS diploma, and learn a trade in exchange for community service like re-building slums and making sure kids get to school safely."

They already have this, it's called "Job Corps."

Svigor said...

It's really an 8 year commitment now? Yikes, no wonder they're having trouble recruiting.

The anonymous anti-recruiter's comments mirror my father's. One of his choicer phrases was "it's a bunch of hurry-up-and-wait bullshit."

coldequation said...

Last time I ran the numbers, I calculated that you had a less than 1% chance of getting seriously injured (i.e., enough to qualify for partial disability afterwords) or killed serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. So if you're one of the 99+% who comes back in one piece, you'll be light years ahead of the average young American when you get home.

Yes, but more importantly, when you're in the army you live on a post where the gender balance is dire, and if you go to war, not only are you not breeding, but your wife, if you have one, is probably banging some civilian. So joining the army should tend to reduce Darwinian fitness, even given relatively low casualty rates.

Anonymous said...

My brother joined the Marines straight out of high school. He is an independent thinker but wanted the college dough and needed a weight control program he couldn't cheat. He was big strong and smart enough. He scored above the 90%tile on the qualifying test, finished near top of boot camp class. Anyway, he said if he were ever in combat, the first guy he would shoot was the guy next to him because most were so stupid they would get them all killed. Needless to say he got out as fast as he could. He called the Marine Corps, "the big green weenie" and he wasn't going to bend over and take it.

David said...

We are proud that only the BEST of our youth are sent to fight, kill, get maimed, or die.

To defend what? The dreg males at home?

Why not protect and defend the nation a little better than that and only send losers, slackers, weirdoes, criminals, gang members and other Darwinian expendables - if it's a war? Chess players are smarter: they send the pawns in first and they protect the elite pieces. Yet our genetic elite - our best men - have traditionally been the first to die in "protective" wars. Whom are we really protecting?

If we could reduce war to two dumb fatass bloggers arm-wrestling each other, we would be way ahead of the game. What if they gave a way and a bunch of nobodies came?

Victoria said...

My advice to white kids - stay the hell out of the military - No matter what. Find anything else to do.

God bless you. I'm glad you made it out. How to convince these kids that they are not protecting this country? They are losing body parts, and having their lives turned upside down, or dying, for nothing, nothing, nothing!

Christo said...

Anonymous--

The sources for quotes regarding female deficiencies in body strength, and in a multitude of categories are too numerous to mention. Start out with Kingsley Browne's "Co-Ed Combat," then follow up by using his scores of citations of studies undertaken by specialists in gender physiological and psychological differences. Another good book is "Why Men Earn More," Warren Farrell. "The Kinder Gentler Military," by Stephanie Gutmann arrives at similar conclusions, but in a kinder, gentler way.
It has been long known, and should be easily sourced that the army was developing small hand grenades for women to throw at the enemy because the standard deviation in throwing ability between men and women is an astronomical 4.0.
Young men should think it over at least four times before they join today's military. The double standard stinks to high heaven.

MacSweeney said...

Rounding up the dumbest people in the country and sending them off to war to get killed SOUNDS like a good idea, but the odds of actually dying are low. It would also be a PR disaster if there were all these dumbasses in Iraq and Afghanistan committing crime, and getting equipment worth millions of dollars wrecked or lost.

alonzo portfolio said...

@Jody - a requirement of benchpressing one's bodyweight is itself shortsighted. I was a varsity QB, played freshman baseball in a maj. conf., have been swimming 5 days a week for the last 20 years, and at no time could I benchpress more than 70% of my 175 bodyweight.

Jimmy Crackedcorn said...

Rounding up the dumbest people in the country and sending them off to war to get killed SOUNDS like a good idea, but the odds of actually dying are low.

That's what Xtreme sports are for. The government doesn't get the blame, and skateboards are cheap.

But if we really wanted to kill off the dumb people, why not just legalize meth?

So joining the army should tend to reduce Darwinian fitness, even given relatively low casualty rates.

Well we used to make up for that by letting them rape people in the invaded countries. It also solves another problem - instead of driving your enemies out, you breed them out.

Dave R. said...

It's really an 8 year commitment now? Yikes, no wonder they're having trouble recruiting.

The minimum enlistment term remains two years. (Longer if you want to maximize bonuses though.) The total eight year commitment comes from time spent in the inactive reserve. And yes, stop-loss orders mean you may have to serve more than your term, but its not eight years of active duty.

And I'm not so sure they are having trouble recruiting in an absolute sense. In the context of recruiting minorities and women they are, but even there, only because they're laboring under a kind of soft, unstated quota system. If anything, if they were free to abandon that and not worry about proportional representation, they could afford to tighten standards even further. The whole value of a volunteer military lies in the superiority of quality over sullen quantity.

Dutch Boy said...

Dear Whiskey: The NRA was created as a result of poor marksmanship among Civil War soldiers (not WW I). New Union regiments lost about 25% of their numbers prior to battle (screening of recruits being sketchy in those days and camp diseases ubiquitous). BTW - I want to apologize for my previous comment about today's Sad Sack yoots: Pvt. Sack actually qualified for the WW II army and thus was way ahead of most of our current yoots.

rob said...

Thanks Dutch Boy,

Whiskey usually goes to ground for a while after he gets caught lying and making things up. I don't know what he does during the down time. Watches superhero movies, I assume.