The following HTML text is provided to enhance online
readability. Many aspects of typography translate only awkwardly to HTML.
Please use the page image
as the authoritative form to ensure accuracy.
Assessing Fitness for Military Enlistment: Physical, Medical, and Mental Health Standards
TABLE 7-5 Navy 12-Month Attrition Rates by Smoking Status and Education
Number in Sample
GED or NG
GED or NG
GED or NG
HSDG = high school diploma graduate; ALT = alternate credential, such as home schooling, adult education, etc.; GED or NG = General Educational Development or not a high school graduate.
eral Educational Development (GED) certificates or alternate credentials who were nonsmokers had attrition rates somewhat lower than high school graduates who smoked (24 to 26 versus 33 percent). In addition, and perhaps more important, those recruits with GEDs or alternate certificates who were heavy smokers had very high attrition rates (40 to 44 percent), even higher than heavy smokers who were high school graduates.
Given the fact that smoking behavior can magnify the relationship between education and attrition, the question becomes how this information can be used to the military’s advantage in screening applicants for enlistment. Several options are worth considering, all without seeking to eliminate all smokers or reduce the pool of prospective recruits. First, assuming that there are unobtrusive ways of determining nonsmoking status, military recruiters could target nonsmoking graduates with high school diplomas because they have the lowest level of attrition among all groups. Second, given that an appreciable number of applicants with GEDs and alternative certificates will be accepted, the Services could target or give priority to the nonsmokers in this group, who have attrition rates only a few points higher than graduates with high school diplomas. Third, if it became feasible to assess quantity of smoking for applicants with GEDs and alternate certificates, then those who were heavy smokers