Monday, October 24, 2011

Education Level of American Military Recruits

A general misconception among many is that the average recruit for military service in the United States is poorly educated when compared to the average American.  Well, it just is not true. So, where does this idea come from?  It likely stems from what was true in the waning days of the Vietnam war. Read on:

Since at least 1978, only about 80 percent of American civilians aged 18-24 are high school graduates.  That has been consistent according to statistics recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau.  Back in 1973, only about 62% of recruits had a high school diploma.  However, with the advent of the all-volunteer military, that percentage rapidly increased and reached parity with the general 18-24 population by 1982.  Today, over 92 percent of all military recruits have a high school diploma, and an additional 6% hold a GED.  The Army's percentages of recruits with high school diplomas is the lowest of all the services, but since 1981 it has been higher than the national average.

Thus, our recruits are generally better educated than the average 18-24 year old civilian.