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.