Thursday, April 13, 2006

Recruiting Quality Update FY-2006: Not So Good

The Secretary of the Army shared some news with the Senate Armed Services Committee in February:

[Army Secretary Francis] Harvey told the Senate Armed Services Committee in February that the Army in the first four months of fiscal 2006 used up two-thirds of its annual limit of recruits from its pool of those least-qualified (based on education and scores on a cognitive aptitude test) - and that limit was doubled last year. Harvey said up to 2,873 of these applicants would be taken this year, 16 percent more than the 2,476 in fiscal 2005 and an increase of 131 percent over the 1,245 taken in 2001. [I'm assuming he's talking about Category IV recruits.]

Here's the math: The annual quota is 80,000; four percent of that is 3,200; it's not exactly clear what, exactly, the figure 2,873 represents, but since it comes from the government let's take it at face value. Two-thirds of 2,873 is 1,915; add the remaining third, or 958, and you get 2,873. In other words, based on Army Secretary Harvey's own testimony, the Army must make its quota for February-September 2006 with a maximum of only 958 in this category.

Sorry, Yankee Sailor, this doesn't look like an "outlier" to me. [Note that the recruiting year follows the fiscal year October 2005-September 2006. October's the first month; it's not a selective "outlier" any more.] Even you find this "troubling."

Army Secretary Harvey added some context to his remarks, however:

"I am not concerned at all with having 4 percent" taken from the pool of those least-qualified, he said. Twelve percent of the Army's current top noncommissioned officers were in that category when they entered the Army, he said.

3 Comments:

At 13 April, 2006 20:42, Blogger Yankee Sailor said...

You quote me incorrectly, but the sentiment is correct. I am not concerned by raising the cap on Cat-IVs from 2% to 4%.

If they have to raise the cap again, it might be a cause of concern. Just gotta see how the rest of the year plays out.

Oh, and it looks like there's more data that refutes your original argument (that the better off aren't fighting the war).

 
At 14 April, 2006 04:45, Blogger Karl said...

If I've quoted you incorrectly, please be specific and I'll fix it. But you need to say exactly what is a misquote.

Thanks for the study, which can mean anything its sponsors want it to mean. But accepting it at face value, here's our question:

If so many upper-class and wealthy Americans are serving in our military, why hasn't a single member of the Bush clan, or anyone closely connected to a Bush Ranger (raised $200,000+) or Bush Pioneer ($100,000-$199,999), prominent neocon or right-wing journalist, etc., come forward to assure Operation Yellow Elephant that well-connected rich Americans are doing their part?

Who cares about studies. Please find one example of each of the categories listed and we'll be happy to publicize them.

 
At 16 April, 2006 19:08, Anonymous JillK. said...

Sorry, Yank,

The study proves nothing. The only income levels shown are median, not mean, and show that most recruits come from what they call "middle-class" incomes (median household income of $25-50k/year). They show a slight increase in the rates of recruitment for "upper class and wealthy" recruits, but do not define those income levels.

A more forthright study would show how many recruits came from which income levels in each year. That simple; no statistical tricks.

I'm with Karl; find examples of kids from truly rich families ($100k+/year household income) who have enlisted and I'll start to believe you.

 

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