Army Fights to Keep Up Quality

Report shows dip in quality of new soldiers
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 1, 2007 12:13 PM CDT
Army Fights to Keep Up Quality
Army recruiters hand out pamplets like this when visiting schools and out recruiting in the community.   (KRT Photos)

The Army is attracting the lowest rate of high-quality recruits in a decade, the Boston Globe reports. Almost 40% of volunteers scored below-average on verbal and math scores in 2006, according to an analysis of Defense Department personnel statistics. Four years ago, that figure was 29%. The number of recruits who hold high school diplomas also fell.

The news comes amid plans to increase the Army by 65,000 troops over the next 5 years. That worries some Army-watchers, who say aptitude, not training, is the key to a successful corps. "There's no lateral entry. If you want a high-quality staff sergeant, you'd better recruit him," says a Rand analyst who studies military personnel issues. (More military stories.)

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