July 11, 2006

Military Recruiting Exceeds Goals

Military recruiting for June once again met or exceeded goals across all four branches (h/t Paul at Adventurepan:

  • Marines: 105%
  • Army: 102%
  • Air Force:101%
  • Navy: 100%

You'll note that the Marine Corps and Army, responsible for fielding most of the forces on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan, have exceeded their goals by the largest margins, despite having higher target numbers than the other branches. They achieved this in the face of a mainstream media attempting to portray the military as rapists, racists, and murderers based up the alleged actions of a handful of men.

Since October 1, all four branches have met or exceed their goals:

  • Army: 104%
  • Marines: 101%
  • Air Force: 101%
  • Navy: 100%

Reserve forces recruiting has not been as even, but interesting enough, the Reserve and Guard forces most likely to be called upon for ground combat overseas (Army National Guard, Army Reserves, Marine Corps Reserves) have been the most successful in recruiting.

Who are the recruits?

Despite myths to the contrary, today's military is a far cry from the Vietnam-era draftees. Today's volunteers (PDF) are better educated than their peers, come from middle-class or upper middle-class homes, and tend to come from suburban and rural areas.

Certain areas of the country are somewhat under over and underrepresented geographically according to recruiting data, with the southern and rural states over-represented, the urban northeast, north central and west coast states are under-represented. Interestingly enough, their seems to be a rough correlation to this map.

Make of it what you will.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at July 11, 2006 09:21 AM | TrackBack

Who would have thunk that the most cowards and anti-americans live in the Northeast and far Western states? Say it ain't so.

Posted by: Scrapiron at July 11, 2006 09:37 AM

This report by the Southern Poverty Law Center is tangentially related to your post. SPLC has made accusations that the screening process for extremists -- particularly those in hate groups -- has become more lax lately to meet recruitment goals. I don't know how much that affects these numbers (my guess would be that there hasn't been a substantial effect on recruitment goals) and obviously these extremists are a very small percentage of our soldiers, but the report raises some interesting questions.

Check out for the story

Posted by: Syd at July 11, 2006 12:57 PM

A young man that I work with just joined the Marines. I hugged him and told him how proud I was of him.

He's only 19. I don't think he has enough peach fuzz to shave.

God bless our troops...

Posted by: lady redhawk at July 11, 2006 05:33 PM

Yeah, we blue-state folks have decided to sit out Operation Great Social Engineering Project In The Desert. We'll wait for a real war, with an actual plan and a mission that doesn't involve babysitting a civil war.

Yes, CY, I know I'm pushing the envolope. But your derisive post asked for it. Fighting fire with fire is okay, right?

Posted by: Nate at July 11, 2006 11:50 PM

This report by the Southern Poverty Law Center is tangentially related to your post.

Dees needs something new to pimp now that its apparent to even the worst drooling idiots that the SPLC's past dire warning about "militias" was a big bust.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at July 12, 2006 04:40 AM

Could have something to do with the lowered standards, which now allow in neo-Nazis and psychopaths, and recruiters telling naive kids living in boring towns and working dead-end jobs whopping lies about the travel and educational opportunities they'll get by joining. Along with equally false reassurances that if they join they won't get sent to Iraq.

The case of Suzanne Swift is instructive:

Posted by: noborders at July 12, 2006 05:54 AM

Look at the little liberals spit and moan!

Nate, I'm sorry if the military's own recruiting data happens to closely correlate to your voting patterns, but at least it has a historical basis. Most folks in that blue area known as NYC sat out that little spat in 1775-81, or openly sided with the enemy, so you have precedent on your side.

noborders, you should consider changing your name to "noliteracy." If you read the linked files, you'd note that the military is better educated than their civilian peers, not less, and your one-off links citing anomalies in a massive system is a child's effort at relevancy. The simple fact of the matter is that standards are much higher for the military than, whch seemingly has no standards at all.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at July 12, 2006 07:35 AM


Actually the report doesn't say that millitary recruits are more educated than their peers. It asks that question and then provides a non-answer. The report stated that more recruits have high school diplomas than their peers (90% to 75%). Just having a high school diploma is not a sufficient measure of one's education. If it was then most hiring companies wouldn't want to know one's GPA. To say they were better educated, we would have to know what the avg GPA for a millitary recruit was vs their peers. For an extreme example, if the 90% of the recruits that had diplomas all made C's and D's and still graduated and 75% of their peers with diplomas had A's and B's, I dare say the peers were better educated.

Without GPA's, the claim that millitary recruits are better educated is baseless...

Posted by: matt a at July 12, 2006 09:01 AM

matt a, that might not be the most stupid argument ever made on this site, but is certainly close. You are going to argue that high school dropouts have an higher GPA than graduates?

Dropouts typically have failing grades, have repeated a grade or more, and/or are older than other students in their classes. Soem studies have them potnetially idetifed fairly accurately by third grade because of academic ad socialization issues, and you're going to argue that they have higher GPAs?

What a load of bull...

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at July 12, 2006 09:18 AM

CY- Only one city? How about the entire region that didn't just fight for the enemy in 1861-1865, but was the enemy?

Again- fight is the wrong word here, since the fighting it largely over in Iraq. Max Boot from LA Times/Real Clear Politics on July 5th:

"Most of our resources aren't going to fight terrorists but to maintain a smattering of mini-Americas in the Middle East. As one Special Forces officer pungently put it to me: "The only function that thousands of people are performing out here is to turn food into [excrement].""

Posted by: Nate at July 12, 2006 10:01 AM


I guess I won't have to ask what your GPA is. I'll try and type slower. I never mentioned anything about drop outs. Didn't even factor into my discussion. Nice try. I simply stated that the focusing on the percentage of recruits getting a diploma vs their peers doesn't mean that recruits are better educated. GPAs are the standard (defacto maybe) for determining one's quality of education, not simply obtaining a high school diploma. To claim that recruits are BETTER educated than their peers, the report needs to show comparitive GPAs of the corresponding GRADUATING groups. If the avg GPA of a graduating recruit is higher than the avg GPA of their graduating peers, then the claim of being better educated has merit.

Again, another extreme example to demonstrate the point (feel free to use fingers and toes (borrow a friend if needed) to follow along):

Lets say 200 students were in my senior year of high school and 100 decide to enlist in the millitary, 100 decide not. based on the statistics given in the report, at the end of the year, 90 of the students enlisting have diplomas, 75 of the students not enlisting have diplomas. So a total of 165 kids graduated. However, without the GPAs of the graduating kids, I can just as easily said the BOTTOM (GPA-wise) 90 kids graduating decided to enlist and the TOP (GPA-wise) 75 kids decided not to. WHOM do you think is better educated based on this example? Or better yet, whom do you think colleges/employers/banks/etc are better educated?

Now this was an extreme example to prove a point, as I know several smart people in and out of the military (my father was an Army staff sgt and one of the smartest men I know) so I don't believe that the example is accurate but merely to discribe the gap in the contention of the report.

The point is without the GPAs of each group measured in the statistic, the claim is meaningless...

Posted by: matt a at July 12, 2006 10:39 AM

Matt a;

You're not terribly intelligent are you? I mean, you can make it sound like you are, if you really have to, but over time it becomes fairly apparent that you aren't.

Yes, your little scenario involving 200 seniors in high school does show that those who graduate with diplomas but do not go into the military could in fact have a higher GPA than those that graduate and go into the military. Congratulations, you have managed to grasp some elementary principles of logic. However, what you have failed to recognize is that when you take into account the two groups as a whole ( enlisting, non-enlisting), the enlisting group only has a 10% lack of diplomas, as opposed to their "peers" in the non-enlisting group, which has a 25% lack of diplomas. Now, if we were to combine all the GPAs of both groups, which group do you think would be higher, the one with 10% zeros, or the one with 25% zeros?

Hey man, feel free to use your fingers and toes on this one, and chances are you may need to borrow several friends to do it.

Posted by: mastashake at July 12, 2006 12:46 PM

CY, as it happens I'm very literate, but discriminating in what I read. You mean to say you take at face value DoD propaganda? Like this "study" touting the high caliber of military recruit? Or the article that glowingly described how B Co. 1-502 had gained the trust of the locals and was keeping the streets of Iraq safe, accompanied by a photo of child-rapist and mass murderer Pfc. Steven Green?
(photo subsequently scrubbed, oddly enough)

In any case, the “study” is largely irrelevant to my first comment, which was a response to your post about the military’s alleged meeting of recruiting goals. My point is that, assuming the claim is true, they’re doing it by employing some pretty scandalous practices, preying on naïve and impressionable young people (usually bypassing their parents), promising them the world to get them to sign up, then shipping their asses to Iraq. Actually in this one respect the “study” candidly aknowledges that “incentives and bonuses are instrumental” in recruiting. What they don’t tell you is that they don’t necessarily abide by the incentives offered once people have been successfully lured in.

Much has been written about the tactics used. Recruiters under pressure to meet quotas even tried to sign up an autistic kid, concealing his disability:

Reports of abuses like this are rife. And it’s a fact, not a myth, that the military is admitting people with “anti-social personality disorders” (in other words, your garden variety psychopath) and members of hate groups. These are not “just a few bad apples” or “anomalies”—it’s a pattern, and a growing problem. Even “normal” guys are turned into indiscriminate killers by the experience. Though as far as that goes I hold the guys higher up in the chain, right up to the top, responsible as much as the individuals themselves for the crimes committed.

And what awaits these fine recruits once the military is done with them? Assuming they survive at all, lifelong mental and physical disability, homelessness, joblessness, poverty…,13319,104102,00.html

If you care about the American military (not to mention the Iraqi people), get these people out of Iraq.

By the way, what on earth is this comment of yours apropros of?

"The simple fact of the matter is that standards are much higher for the military than, which seemingly has no standards at all."

Seems like a total non sequitur.

Posted by: noborders at July 12, 2006 01:15 PM

Mastashake - Well the disputed claim was that recruits were BETTER educated based on diplomas so I merely used the same assumption that those NOT graduating weren't BETTER educated. But I'd be happy to include those that didn't graduate (doesn't mean their GPAs are zero by the way). But lets assume those that didn't graduate did have zero GPAs, the answer to your question is that in my example the peer group is still higher because ALL the peer GPAs in my example were higher than the recruits. Which again was to make a point.

As this is an acedemic exercise without actual GPAs, I'll have to make an assumption about the GPAs in both group. That would be that the zero's cancel out the top GPAs from each group so 25 zero's from peer group eliminate the top 25 GPAs from the peer group as well. 10 zeros from the recruit group eliminate the top 10 GPAs from the recruite group.

So basically, its the TOP 26-75 GPAs averaged against the avg of the BOTTOM 111-190 GPAs. Yeah, that's not really proving your point...

Again, my point is that simply having more diplomas on one side or the other does not prove which side is BETTER educated...

Posted by: matt a at July 12, 2006 01:38 PM


Ok, how does this sound?

Matt A, you are correct in your theory only if

1.) Every single one of the top graduates in a given class magically avoids the military.
2.) Every single one of the lower graduates in a given class magically joins the military.

So, yes, congratulations (golf-clap!) on finding and presenting a possible scenario in which case the recruits MIGHT NOT be better educated than the normal population.

So what this boils down to is that we need real data, hard facts about the GPAs of recruits and non-recruits before we can make a comparison. But based on the percentage of military that has a diploma vs. the percentage of the rest of the population that has a diploma, (90 to 75), it looks pretty concise.

BTW, if you find a real world example of your little scenario, I would be very happy to hear of it. However, good luck doing so, seeing as how your proposal evidently involves, well, magic...:-)

PS- All things being equal, would you rather fight an army whose diploma average is 75%, or one whose diploma average is 90%?

Posted by: mastashake at July 12, 2006 02:04 PM

Mastashake - Thanks for agreeing with me. The point was not to say that the recruits weren't better educated merely that the evidence provided does not support the claim.

As far as my scenario goes, its not magic to avoid the millitary but rather deciding to choose other options. I feel the example was valid to make the point. Real world, given a normal graduating class of X number of seniors, predictably less then 50% will be enlisting (IMO). 50% was used to make the math easier. IMO, the percentage of seniors in a graduating class that would enlist would probably be around 20-30%. So the sample of GPAs for the "graduating" recruits would be much smaller than the peers. So using 200 seniors again, the recruits with diplomas would range about 18-27 people while the peers would be 128-135 people. Just as unlikely as it would be in my example that all the Peers would be in the TOP GPA bracket is it unlikely that the 20-30% becoming recruits are on TOP either.

the millitary could probably find these numbers if they wanted to. Obviously, they can access recruit GPAs, and I'm sure somewhere there is a study on what the national GPA is...

As far as which army to fight, I'd pick the one with the least amount of advanced weaponary, body armor, millitary leadership and experience, not the percentage of diplomas they have...

Posted by: matt a at July 13, 2006 08:58 AM

You Edukated Guys get on my noives with your dagree papars. You learned to write nice unhoidrd,kolege woids,very impressive, Im sure Mommy and Daddy are glad the worked 5 jobs.
BUT--But be aware the Pappa doesnt have in it.
COMMON SENSE We dont lerne it werer born with it. Lack of intelugence is why youse are dragging the my Country down did I wast 4ys9mos of my teen years

Posted by: Barney149 at July 17, 2006 07:14 AM