The Army is lowering standards to meet recruiting goals, with the percentage of high school-educated recruits dropping to a new low of 70.7% last year, reports the Washington Post. The Army hasn't reached its goal of 90% since 2004. A new study also shows that the number of "high quality" recruits—high school graduates who score in the upper half of a military qualification test—has dropped more than 15% since 2004.
A high school education serves as a good indicator that someone will stick with a tour of duty. About 80% of high school-educated recruits finish their first tour of duty, while only half of those who don't graduate finish. An Army spokesman said recruiters are scrambling to find qualified recruits because of the demand of two wars and “a decline in the percentage of students who graduate" from high school.