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 recruiters hand out pamplets like this when visiting schools and out recruiting in the community.   (KRT Photos)
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(Newser) – 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.