diploma or GED compared with 93.8% in the reserve components and 84.5% of the civilian population over 25 years old (DOD, 2007).

The vast majority of commissioned and warrant officers—87.3% on active duty and 85.6% in the reserve components—hold at least a college degree (Table B.1). In general, a college degree is required for appointment as a commissioned, but not warrant, officer. Among all enlisted members, 4.4% on active duty and 7.4% in the reserve components are at least college graduates. In the combined officer corps and enlisted corps, 17.8% of the active-duty force and 19.1% of the reserve force have at least a bachelor’s degree. In comparison, 27.5% of the civilian population over 25 years old have at least graduated from college (DOD, 2007).

In both the active and reserve components, minority groups (self-reported as African American or black, Hispanic, Asian, American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific islander, multiracial, or other or unknown) make up greater proportions of the enlisted ranks than of the officer corps. Put another way, of all minority-group members of the reserve components, 10.4% are officers and 89.6% enlisted; similarly, of active-duty minority-group members, 10.7% are officers and 89.3% enlisted. In both cases, the proportion of minority-group members who are officers—16.2% on active duty and 14.9% in the reserve components—is lower than the overall proportion who are officers. Of women, 17.1% on active duty are officers, and 15.2% in the reserve components are officers (DOD, 2007). Breakdowns of the military population by race and ethnicity are shown in Table B.2.

TABLE B.1 Minimum Educational Levels of Officers and Enlisted Members of the Armed Forces

 

At Least High School (%)

At Least College (%)

Total active duty

98.6a

17.8

Enlisted

98.4

4.4

Officer

99.9

87.3

Total reserve components

94.7a

19.1

Enlisted

93.8

7.4

Officer

99.9

85.6

Civilians over 25 years old

84.5

27.5

aInformation calculated from data in DOD demographics report.

SOURCE: DOD (2007).



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