Figure 6.1

Percentage of high-quality recruits attracted by the Army during fiscal years 1973–1996.

force. According to Kageff and Laurence (1994:93), military recruits will have to be more versatile: "They will be required to operate and maintain several technically sophisticated systems and, during a course of service, may have to be retrained and transferred laterally." The Army's efforts at attracting high-quality recruits have been quite successful throughout most of the 1980s and early 1990s (Figure 6.1). Applying the Army's own definition of high quality—that is, possession of a high school diploma and a score at or above the 50th percentile (population mean) on the Armed Forces Qualification Test—the trend appears quite positive, although more recently observers have noted test score declines in the military pool of potential recruits (Kageff and Laurence, 1994:92).

One other general demographic trend should be mentioned here. Over the years, considerable concern has centered on the socioeconomic status (SES) of Army personnel relative to that of the U.S. population. When the draft ended, some observers claimed that economic conscription would replace the draft and fill the ranks with disadvantaged young people and that the Army would become an employer of last resort. During the early years

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