Author Topic: Recruits’ Ineligibility Tests the Military More Than Two-Thirds of American Youth Wouldn’t Qualify for Service, Pentagon Says  (Read 1115 times)

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Recruits’ Ineligibility Tests the Military More Than Two-Thirds of American Youth Wouldn’t Qualify for Service, Pentagon Says

Posted on June 28, 2014 by Jimmy the Torch | 1 Comment
 
Just another example of dumbing down our youth in the name of a failing concept called  “Common Core.”

Is there a better way to eviscerate our military than to make sure potential recruits will not be eligible?

The entire deal about tattoos seems like total B.S. to me and it would seem other deficits are playing a primary role in rejection.


The Wall Street Journal


By Miriam Jordan 

June 28, 2014


Army recruiter Staff Sgt. Pablo Valdez Martinez, right, chats with a potential Army recruit at a recruiting station in New York in 2009. The Defense Department estimates 71% of the roughly 34 million 17- to 24-year-olds in the U.S. would fail to qualify to enlist in the military if they tried. Getty Images

More than two-thirds of America’s youth would fail to qualify for military service because of physical, behavioral or educational shortcomings, posing challenges to building the next generation of soldiers even as the U.S. draws down troops from conflict zones.

The military deems many youngsters ineligible due to obesity, lack of a high-school diploma, felony convictions and prescription-drug use for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

ear-tunnels

But others are now also running afoul of standards for appearance amid the growing popularity of large-scale tattoos and devices called ear gauges that create large holes in ear lobes.



A few weeks ago, Brittany Crippen said she tried to enlist in the Army, only to learn that a tattoo of a fish on the back of her neck disqualified her.

Determined to join, the 19-year-old college student visited a second recruiting center in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and was rejected again.

Apologetic recruiters encouraged her to return after removing the tattoo, a process she was told would take about year. “I was very upset,” Ms. Crippen said.

Entire article below.



The military services don’t keep figures on how many people they turn away. But the Defense Department estimates 71% of the roughly 34 million 17- to 24-year-olds in the U.S. would fail to qualify to enlist in the military if they tried, a figure that doesn’t even include those turned away for tattoos or other cosmetic issues.

Meanwhile, only about 1% of youths are both “eligible and inclined to have a conversation with us” about military service, according to Major Gen. Allen Batschelet, commanding general of U.S. Army Recruiting Command.






Comparable data aren’t available for earlier years because the Pentagon began tracking eligibility only recently. But experts said seniors graduating from high school this year face the longest odds to qualify for military service since the draft was abolished in 1973.

“The quality of people willing to serve has been declining rapidly,” said Gen. Batschelet.

Each year, about 180,000 young men and women successfully volunteer for America’s active-duty forces. An additional 110,000 join the services’ reserve and National Guard units. Individual services manage their own recruiting and have the authority to grant waivers to applicants who don’t meet broad standards.

When the military faced escalating foreign engagement in recent years, recruiting standards were loosened: In 2007, only 79% of those who enlisted in the Army had completed high school, compared with 90% in 2001, while the Army also accepted recruits with more excess body fat during the height of the Iraq war.

“We have not adopted a zero-defect mentality. We evaluate each applicant from a whole-person perspective,” said Nathan Christensen, a Defense Department spokesman, who added that military services have been meeting their recruiting targets in recent years.

To some degree, that has been aided by enlistment bonuses. From 2000 to 2008, the Defense budget for enlistment bonuses more than doubled to $625 million, and it jumped more than 50% to $1.4 billion for selective re-enlistment bonuses, according to a Rand Corp. analysis.

Entire article below.



Obesity, the single biggest reason for disqualifying new recruits, and other obstacles, such as poor educational attainment, led 90 retired military leaders in 2009 to form Mission: Readiness, a nonprofit aimed at raising awareness and seeking solutions. The group has lobbied state and federal officials to improve nutrition in schools and expand access to early education.

“We’re trying to make decision makers see this is a national-security matter—and they need to prioritize it,” said retired Major Gen. Allen Youngman. In the past, he said, “a drill sergeant could literally run the weight off a soldier as part of the regular training program,” but now, “we have young people showing up at the recruiter’s office who want to serve but are 50 or more pounds overweight.”

About a quarter of high-school graduates also can’t pass the Armed Forces Qualification Test, which measures math and reading skills, Gen. Youngman said. “They aren’t educationally qualified to join the military in any capacity, not just the high-tech jobs,” he said.

U.S. Army First Sgt. James Sawyer, who heads recruiting across a swath of Los Angeles County, said tattoos have become the most common cosmetic reason that applicants are disqualified. The Army already banned tattoos on the face, neck and fingers, but according to regulations in effect May 1, soldiers also can’t have more than a total of four visible tattoos below the elbows and knees, and tattoos must be relatively small. The goal of the tattoo rules is to maintain a professional-looking Army, Sgt. Sawyer said. He added that “the average person in California has a tattoo.”

Gabby Guillen, director of tattoo removal at Homeboy Industries, a Los Angeles nonprofit that provides services to former gang members, said that “on a daily basis, people come in saying they don’t qualify for the military because of their tattoos. They have visible tattoos. Sometimes it’s behind the neck area, on the hands, face, ears.”

Sgt. Sawyer’s El Monte, Calif., recruiting center serves towns with a total population of 325,000 people. It enlists 10 to 15 people a month. “A lot of times, we don’t even get to the interview stage,” said the sergeant on a recent afternoon as some would-be soldiers dropped in.

One young man showed up with two gaping holes in his earlobes, the result of wearing ear gauges. “Come back when they’re closed,” the recruiter said, after jotting down the applicant’s information.

David Monzon, a 23-year-old East Los Angeles man, said he had long wanted to join the Army but wasn’t able to enlist after graduating; at 5 feet 6 inches tall, he weighed 300 pounds. After researching weight-loss programs, Mr. Monzon eliminated pizza, chili-cheese fries and other fatty foods from his diet, and he began riding his bike everywhere.

In February, Mr. Monzon walked into the recruiting center weighing 210 pounds. Sgt. Sawyer told him he was impressed but that he still needed to drop a few more pounds.

“I was pretty confident I would make it,” Mr. Monzon said. He did. Now 190 pounds, Mr. Monzon is heading to South Carolina for basic training in September.

Ms. Crippen, meanwhile, said she was still considering whether to remove her fish tattoo, the only one of four tattoos she has that is problematic. “My parents said they’ll pay for it, but right now I really don’t know what I’ll do,” she said. “My tattoo isn’t offensive.”
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Offline PzLdr

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Must be why there's a big push on for gay and transgendered troops. They must be in FABULOUS shape.
Hillary's Self-announced Qualifications: She Stood Up To Putin...She Sits to Pee

Offline Ford289HiPo

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This is the same military that took anyone and everyone, not more than a generation ago, and molded them into soldiers under the draft.
I think the military itself needs a re-do.
I wonder when the lies will stop and truth begin, even as grim as the truth may be. And then I remember that for 70 years, the reign of terror in Russia called itself "the people's government." We have so far to fall, yet we are falling fast and Hell yawns to receive us.

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This is the same military that took anyone and everyone, not more than a generation ago, and molded them into soldiers under the draft.
I think the military itself needs a re-do.


I was thinking the same.

Offline Dexter

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The vast majority would not qualify because of physical reasons. You only need a 32 on the ASVAB to join the Army. An average 5th grader would likely be able to score higher than that.
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Get your BS and go to Officer Candidates School.

Offline Dexter

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Get your BS and go to Officer Candidates School.

When I joined the Army there was a girl with a BS that was OCS bound. She was promoted to Sergeant at the end of Basic and the drill sergeant let her smoke the shit out of us just for laughs.
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This is the same military that took anyone and everyone, not more than a generation ago, and molded them into soldiers under the draft.
I think the military itself needs a re-do.

No disagreement.

I am going to state, clearly, that every single active duty soldier in the US military I have met and worked with in some 32 years has been an amazing person. Tough, smart, dedicated, able to fix something with trash from the roadside, mostly fit as hell and happy to prove it (I'm saying mostly, here, there have been exceptions.) Even the POGs and motor pool step up when it counts.

They ain't Rambo - most of them got a good idea of what is going on in the background and even the more liberal ones have both their boots firmly on the ground. Yet there has been a change, and it reminds me of something written about Vietnam.

"Don't spend years beating love of country and patriotism out of a boy then expect him to be happy when his draft number comes up."
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Offline truth_seeker

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I served during the draft, with other draftees. Once inducted, most did their best.

A draftee buddy during infantry training, got killed in Vietnam. He went in with very long hair, but once the training started, he was a model soldier in every way. We shared a philosophy--if you were going to be sent to where people were shooting at you, it was best to get all the skills you could.

Another draftee friend of mine retired with 37 years, as a 3-star general. Probably couldn't make 4-star without West Point.

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Another draftee friend of mine retired with 37 years, as a 3-star general. Probably couldn't make 4-star without West Point.

3 star is an extremely comfortable rank to retire at. Good chance he just didn't care to go 4.
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Someone I know who works at the USMA once told me a lot of the cadets freak out when they have to do outdoor stuff - hikes, etc. - because so few of them spent any time outdoors as children. Our sedentary video game-playing lifestyle has caught up to us.
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Offline Ford289HiPo

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The vast majority would not qualify because of physical reasons. You only need a 32 on the ASVAB to join the Army. An average 5th grader would likely be able to score higher than that.
When I enlisted, you needed 17% with a HS diploma, or 21% w/o a diploma.
The ASVAB wasn't a pushover exam either.
I wonder when the lies will stop and truth begin, even as grim as the truth may be. And then I remember that for 70 years, the reign of terror in Russia called itself "the people's government." We have so far to fall, yet we are falling fast and Hell yawns to receive us.

Offline Ford289HiPo

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When I joined the Army there was a girl with a BS that was OCS bound. She was promoted to Sergeant at the end of Basic and the drill sergeant let her smoke the shit out of us just for laughs.
HuH?
Sorry, but I'll have to call BS there. You do NOT get promoted to E5 at the end of basic just because you are going to OCS. That defies all Time in Service/Time in Grade guidelines.
If she has a BS, she most likely went through ROTC, in which case she would have been an E4 if she washed out of the ROTC course and had to make up her time on active duty. If she graduated, she would have been commissioned as a reserve officer. In any case, she would not have gone through Basic.
I wonder when the lies will stop and truth begin, even as grim as the truth may be. And then I remember that for 70 years, the reign of terror in Russia called itself "the people's government." We have so far to fall, yet we are falling fast and Hell yawns to receive us.

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Last week a very good friend of mine finally retired from active duty after 38 years as a Navy Captain. 

He and I were First Class Petty Officers in the precommissioning unit of the USS Theodore Roosevelt.  Our service records were both selected for advancement to Chief Petty Officer in 1987, and we went through the first underway CPO Inititation onboard the Roosevelt together.  He later selected to go Limited Duty Officer and just finished 38 years on Active Duty.  I have been retired from the Fleet Reserve for a couple of years now, and my former shipmate has still been on duty all this time.

I could not be more proud to know him.  I saw pictures of his retirement ceremony last week and he has grey hair now, but still the same big smile I knew when we stood on the foc'sl on Roosevelt with eggs in our hair screaming "YOU CAN'T MAKE ME PUKE, bleep!!" at the top of our lungs together.....

As an afterword, RD was one of the most confident, positive and motivated young black men I have known.  He was always a good shipmate and a superb leader, and I think he has left a big pair of shoes for someone to fill.  I wonder if anyone will ever get that chance given what has happened to our military.


Offline Ford289HiPo

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Another draftee friend of mine retired with 37 years, as a 3-star general. Probably couldn't make 4-star without West Point.

Surprising. Normally, a mustang could only expect to get to O-6. He must have been exceptional.
I wonder when the lies will stop and truth begin, even as grim as the truth may be. And then I remember that for 70 years, the reign of terror in Russia called itself "the people's government." We have so far to fall, yet we are falling fast and Hell yawns to receive us.

Offline Ford289HiPo

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Last week a very good friend of mine finally retired from active duty after 38 years as a Navy Captain. 
38 years! That's an acheivement!

Quote
  I wonder if anyone will ever get that chance given what has happened to our military.
I wonder the same.


[/quote]
I wonder when the lies will stop and truth begin, even as grim as the truth may be. And then I remember that for 70 years, the reign of terror in Russia called itself "the people's government." We have so far to fall, yet we are falling fast and Hell yawns to receive us.

Offline Dexter

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HuH?
Sorry, but I'll have to call BS there. You do NOT get promoted to E5 at the end of basic just because you are going to OCS. That defies all Time in Service/Time in Grade guidelines.
If she has a BS, she most likely went through ROTC, in which case she would have been an E4 if she washed out of the ROTC course and had to make up her time on active duty. If she graduated, she would have been commissioned as a reserve officer. In any case, she would not have gone through Basic.


You're obviously misinformed because that most certainly DID happen. She came in as an e4 and was promoted to e5 because it is standard when you go to OCS. It was the very last day of basic training and the DS gave her the e-5 velcro (ha). Maybe it wasn't typical, I have no idea, but that is what happened. Nobody minded much because it was mostly to amuse the DS, and she was a pretty bad ass chick (scored highest PT in the company).

"OCS candidates are administratively promoted to the rank of Sergeant (E-5) while attending OCS. OCS candidates that are administratively eliminated or medically disqualified from OCS will be reduced in grade as determined by the Commandant, OCS."

http://usmilitary.about.com/od/armyjoin/a/ocsenlistment.htm
« Last Edit: June 29, 2014, 08:41:36 PM by Dex4974 »
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(scored highest PT in the company) yeah, maybe, based on girl rules.
 
You let a guy PT beside her and be judged on 'her' rules and see how she does.
 
But I have to agree about promotions in the Army. Every morning, when we came to formation, somebody was getting sergeant. It was almost routine. Of course we were losing them as fast as we were getting them.
 
Hey man, you want to be a sergeant? You got it. Now let's roll.
You cannot "COEXIST" with people who want to kill you.

Offline Dexter

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(scored highest PT in the company) yeah, maybe, based on girl rules.
 
You let a guy PT beside her and be judged on 'her' rules and see how she does.
 

Yeah, females only needed like 20 pushups and several minutes less on the run to pass. Still, she did better than I did. haha
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In Airborne you have to do 10 pull ups to get chow.
The guys are, more or less, expected to pick the girls up and make them pass.
You cannot "COEXIST" with people who want to kill you.

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Surprising. Normally, a mustang could only expect to get to O-6. He must have been exceptional.
Airborne Ranger, Bachelors, Masters, Combat Arms - final duty station Commander of Leavenworth, colleges and prisons included.

Prior to that he preceded Abazaid and Sanchez, as top commander of all combat arms in Europe.

Offline Dexter

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In Airborne you have to do 10 pull ups to get chow.
The guys are, more or less, expected to pick the girls up and make them pass.

I've always thought females should be allowed to be in the military, but I also believe the PT standards should be the same. Yeah, a lot of females probably couldn't do it, but some could, the truly awesome ones. I'm sorry but when it comes to life and death I want to know that my battle buddy is just as capable as I am, and that if shit goes south they will be able to pull my ass to safety and vise versa.
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I've always thought females should be allowed to be in the military, but I also believe the PT standards should be the same. Yeah, a lot of females probably couldn't do it, but some could, the truly awesome ones. I'm sorry but when it comes to life and death I want to know that my battle buddy is just as capable as I am, and that if shit goes south they will be able to pull my ass to safety and vise versa.

I modify it slightly. Give me a choice between a 250 pound incredibly fit man who can carry my ass out one handed and a 110 pound fit woman who can follow 30 conversations at once for the task of dealing with coms on a run and I'll take the woman every single time without fail. Same pairing, on running a heavy MG - the man gets the slot. You pick the best person for the job.

Different tasks need different attributes, and a lot of the time strength isn't one of them. You know full well that a brilliant squad leader can make a terrible CO. Different mind set completely, just as soldiers rarely make good cops.
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Offline Ford289HiPo

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You're obviously misinformed because that most certainly DID happen. She came in as an e4 and was promoted to e5 because it is standard when you go to OCS. It was the very last day of basic training and the DS gave her the e-5 velcro (ha). Maybe it wasn't typical, I have no idea, but that is what happened. Nobody minded much because it was mostly to amuse the DS, and she was a pretty bad ass chick (scored highest PT in the company).

"OCS candidates are administratively promoted to the rank of Sergeant (E-5) while attending OCS. OCS candidates that are administratively eliminated or medically disqualified from OCS will be reduced in grade as determined by the Commandant, OCS."

http://usmilitary.about.com/od/armyjoin/a/ocsenlistment.htm


That must be the new Army.
I can't see the benefit of sending someone to Basic, handing them E-5, then sending them off to OCS.
Talk about a serious lack of leadership skills. 
I wonder when the lies will stop and truth begin, even as grim as the truth may be. And then I remember that for 70 years, the reign of terror in Russia called itself "the people's government." We have so far to fall, yet we are falling fast and Hell yawns to receive us.

Offline truth_seeker

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When I served in the US army a trainee could complete Basic, Advanced Individual Training, and then go to OCS or Warrant Officer school. At OCS they got E5 pay, which is sergeant. Warrant officers flew helicopters.

An option was "Instant NCO School" from which a graduate achieved sergeant (E5), and the top 10% achieved staff sergeant (E6). While attending this school, you were paid E4 pay.

I think it is still about the same.


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