Army Doubles Idiot Quotient
The Army has announced that it is doubling the number of idiots allowed to enlist in order to ease recent recruiting shortfalls.
Facing recruiting shortages brought on by the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army has decided to accept a greater number of recruits who score near the bottom of military aptitude tests, the secretary of the Army said Monday.
Coming off a recruiting year in which the Army fell short of its goal of 80,000 active-duty soldiers, Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey announced that the Army would allow up to 4% of its recruiting class to be Category IV recruits Ã¢€” those who scored between the 16th and 30th percentile in the battery of aptitude tests that the Defense Department gives to all potential military personnel.
The Army until now allowed no more than 2% of its recruiting class to be from the Category IV level, fearing that letting too many low-achieving recruits into the Army might dilute the quality of the nation’s largest military branch.
The continuing violence in Iraq has made the Army’s annual mission to bolster its ranks especially difficult in recent months. The Army fell nearly 7,000 recruits short of its goal for the 2005 fiscal year, which ended Friday. Army officials have said that recruiters might be faced with an even bigger challenge during the current fiscal year.
Harvey insisted that the Army was not lowering its standards but merely conforming to Department of Defense guidelines that allow up to 4% of each military service’s recruiting class to be Category IV troops.
Yet one Army official said that the policy change is also a concession to reality. The Army failed to meet its benchmark for 2005, and decided to widen the pool of recruits it could target during the 2006 fiscal year. The Army official spoke on condition of anonymity because the 2005 recruiting figures would not be formally announced until next week.
Not good at all. This is not the first time the bar has been lowered–it happens routinely during economic booms and other times the Army has difficulty recruiting–but the nature of modern warfare in general and counter-insurgency in particular demands smart soldiers who can make instantaneous decisions based on a wide number of constantly changing variables. Cat-IV soldiers are the least likely to be able to do that.
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