Those who have been so quick to suggest that today’s wartime recruits represent lesser quality, lower standards, or lower class should be expected make an airtight case. Instead, they have cited selective evidence, which is balanced by a much clearer set of evidence showing improving troop quality. – From “Who Are the Recruits?” by Tim Kane, Ph.D of The Heritage Foundation
Bravo to Tim Kane for pointing out the facts on the tremendous quality of our nation's troops.
According to Kane’s research report (which incidentally was released four days before Kerry’s “botched joke”) “the current findings show that the demographic characteristics of volunteers have continued to show signs of higher, not lower, quality.”
Check out some of these findings:
- The high school graduation rate of 2005 military recruits, 96.72, is higher than the rate for the general population, 79.8 percent.
- The 2004 recruits reading level is a full grade level higher than that of the comparable youth population.
- In 2004, 92 percent of those who became active-duty officers held a baccalaureate degree or higher. And from 2000 to 2005, between 35 percent and 45 percent of active-duty officers held advanced degrees.
As for all the class warriors and race baiters out there, here are some additional facts worth pondering:
- The median household income of the 2005 recruits was higher than in 1999 and higher than the national median, indicating that more recent recruits "come from even wealthier areas than their peers” who enlisted in 1999. The percentage of 2005 recruits with household incomes between $52,071 and $200,000, 22.85 percent, is higher than for the U.S. population ages 18 to 24, 20.02 percent.
- African-Americans and Hispanics comprised a smaller percentage of Army recruits in 2005 than their percentage of the overall U.S. population.
John Kerry ought to read this report.
According to an AP story out today - "Kerry's '72 Army Comments Mirror Latest" - Kerry wrote a Massachusetts peace group over three decades ago saying, "I am convinced a volunteer army would be an army of the poor and the black and the brown."
This nonsense is nothing new from Kerry.
Has Sen. John Kerry ever met a fact that influenced his motor mouth thinking and talking?
The final word goes to Dr. Kane:
"In summary, the additional years of recruit data (2004–2005) support the previous finding that U.S. military recruits are more similar than dissimilar to the American youth population. The slight differences are that wartime U.S. military enlistees are better educated, wealthier, and more rural on average than their civilian peers.
...With regard to income, education, race, and regional background, the all-volunteer force is representative of our nation and meets standards set by Congress and the Department of Defense. In contrast to the patronizing slanders of antiwar critics, recruit quality is increasing as the war in Iraq continues.”