Friday, November 19, 2004
Post-Vietnam, the military raised the performance bar--for acquired skill sets, new-recruit intelligence and not least, self-discipline. The thing one noticed most when watching the embedded reporters' interviews last year on the way into Iraq was the self-composed confidence reflected throughout the ranks. And this in young men just out of high school or college.
It was no accident. Consider drugs. In 1980, the percentage of illicit drug use in the whole military was nearly 28%. Two years later, mandatory and random testing--under threat of dismissal--sent the number straight down, to nearly 3% in 1998.
Today recruits take the Armed Forces Qualification Test. It measures arithmetic reasoning, mathematics knowledge, word skills and paragraph comprehension. The current benchmark is the performance levels of recruits who served in Operation Desert Storm in 1990. The military requires that recruits meet what it calls "rigorous moral character standards."
This article explains why Charles Rangle and Michael more are full of it. We have a professional Army. A skilled Army. My friend in the reserves says they don't even recruit in poor neighborhoods anymore because its a waste of time.