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Army: just give us mouth-breathers for Iraq

According to the Baltimore Sun, twelve percent of recruits in October had lowest acceptable scores possible on the Army’s aptitude test. The recruiting situation is so desperate that the next thing we’ll hear is that Real Dolls will be suiting up and shipping over to Iraq. (via Newsday):

Former Army Secretary Thomas E. White said the service was making a mistake by lowering its standards. “I think it’s disastrous. You are throwing the towel in on recruiting quality,” said White, a retired general whom Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld fired in 2003 over other policy differences.

“We have clear experience from the 1970s with recruiting a sizable number of people from the lowest mental categories,” said White. After the Vietnam War, the Army accepted a higher proportion of low-scoring recruits, leading to training and discipline problems, he added.

To achieve last month’s recruiting targets, 12 percent of those accepted by the Army had the lowest acceptable results. They scored between 16 and 30 points out of a possible 99 on an aptitude test that quizzes potential soldiers on general science, mathematics and word knowledge.

And when you’ve tapped out the non-synapse-firing crowd, bend over backwards to welcome aspiring Americans into our fold, with the opportunity to prove their affinity for our great nation by offering to be blown away by an IED.

…Charles Moskos, a military sociologist at Northwestern University, said he was concerned that the reduction in the quality standards for military recruiting signaled a return by the Army to the troubled personnel era of the 1970s. He said the military must come up with new ways to attract better recruits.

…Moskos, an Army veteran, said the recruiting problems could prompt the military to turn increasingly to recent immigrants in filling its ranks. Another option: tapping the pool of recent college graduates by offering an enlistment of 15 months, instead of the current three years, an idea Moskos said has been gaining attention among Army generals.

Where are the bright, patriotic Young Yellow Elephant Republicans? They aren’t at the Army recruiting stations, that’s for sure. I doubt you’ll see Freepers on line there either. Those fire-breathing young conservatives are too busy planning career moves and armchair activism than military service, like this young fellow…

By the time I encountered Cory Bray, a towering senior from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, the beer was flowing freely. “The people opposed to the war aren’t putting their asses on the line,” Bray boomed from beside the bar. Then why isn’t he putting his ass on the line? “I’m not putting my ass on the line because I had the opportunity to go to the number-one business school in the country,” he declared, his voice rising in defensive anger, “and I wasn’t going to pass that up.”

— from Max Blumenthal’s piece, “Generation Chickenhawk,” in The Nation, interviewing Young College Republicans about why they aren’t enlisting.
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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding