The U.S. Army has decided to drop its long-standing requirement that new recruits have at least a high school diploma, as President Joe Biden’s Pentagon finds new soldiers harder and harder to come by.
The move comes, as NBC News reported earlier this week, as the Army has met just 40 percent of its recruiting goal with just three months left in the fiscal year.
To now enlist, according to Military.com, new recruits only need to be at least 18, qualify for a job on active duty, and score at least a 50 on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, a standardized test that helps recruiters guide enlistees into military occupations.
The max score for the ASVAB is 99, while the minimum to enter the service is 31.
According to Stars & Stripes, the U.S. Army Recruiting Command dubbed this a “whole of person” approach.
In its comments, the Army maintains that “some quality candidates may have just reason for being unable to complete their education.”
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“This opportunity means that individuals who left high school prior to graduating due to uncontrollable circumstances, such as caring for a terminally ill family member or working to provide for their family, will not be considered ineligible for service solely because they were unable to graduate,” Recruiting Command said in a statement.
Recruits who enlist under the new initiative may serve only one enlistment contract and are not eligible for current enlistment incentives. They also must obtain a GED in order to re-enlist.
NBC News reported on Monday that every branch of the military is struggling for recruits.
Ret. Lt. Gen. Thomas Spoehr, a military analyst at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, told NBC News that the Pentagon has not had such difficulty enlisting newbies since 1973 when the U.S. left Vietnam and ended the military draft. “2022 is the year we question the sustainability of the all-volunteer force,” he added.
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NBC noted that an internal Defense Department study found that only 9 percent of eligible recruits actually want to serve.
Many are disqualified because of drug use, criminal records, or obesity, NBC reported.
But as The Free Press recently reported interest is down because of Biden’s insistence on mandatory COVID-19 vaccines, and the firing of troops who refuse the jab.
Also left unsaid in some of this reporting is the woke turn the Pentagon took under Biden – with repeated but unsubstantiated claims about rampant white supremacy in the ranks as a major evil the nation faces, promises to accommodate trans soldiers with full medical treatment and highlighting LGBT troops.