Way tobreak the army, Chimpy!
The percent of Army recruits with a high school diploma dropped last year, continuing a trend that has worsened since the start of the Iraq war, according to a report released Tuesday.
National Priorities Project, a research group that analyzes federal data, found that nearly 71 percent of Army recruits graduated from high school in the 2007 budget year. It based its findings on data it obtained from the Defense Department through a Freedom of Information Act request.
The Army’s goal is 90 percent high school graduates, which it hasn’t met since 2004. Each year since, the number of recruits with at least a high school diploma has steadily declined.
Strained, in part, by military operations in Afghanistan following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the military has had to increase the number of waivers and raise enlistment bonuses to fill its ranks.
The National Priorities Project said the percent of “high-quality” recruits — those with a high school diploma who scored in the top half on the military’s qualification test — declined from budget years 2004 to 2007. In that period, the number of high-quality recruits fell from about 61 percent to nearly 45 percent, the group said.
It also found that in the 2007 budget year, upper middle- and high-income neighborhoods were underrepresented by an even larger margin than three years earlier.