Scraping the bottom
Struggling to boost it ranks in wartime, the Army has sharply increased the number of recruits who would normally be barred because of criminal misconduct or alcohol and illegal drug problems, again raising concerns that the Army is lowering its standards to make recruiting goals.
Last year, almost 1 in 6 Army recruits had a problem in their background that would have disqualified them from military service. In order to accept them, the Army granted special exceptions, known as recruiting waivers.
…There was a significant increase in the number of recruits with what the Army terms “serious criminal misconduct” in their background. That category includes aggravated assault, robbery, vehicular manslaughter, receiving stolen property and making terrorist threats, said Douglas Smith, a spokesman for the Army Recruiting Command at Ft. Knox, Ky.
The number of recruits in that category increased to 630, from 408 in 2004, reversing at least a four-year trend in which the number of recruits with serious criminal misconduct in their background had declined, Army statistics showed.