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By now, many Americans are
familiar with Senator John Kerry’s remarks about the education level of our
soldiers.His implication was that the
men and women serving in our military are of “inferior” scholastic backgrounds
and had no options available to them other than military service.Perhaps he did not mean it, but his comments
insulted many military members and their families.Given this controversy, I wanted to share
with you some of the rigorous requirements needed to join our all-volunteer
According to the Department
of Defense (DOD), approximately two-thirds of recruits performed in the top
half of the country in math and verbal aptitude tests.Additionally, approximately 99 percent of our
soldiers possess a high school diploma or its equivalent.The fact that nearly 100 percent of newly
enlisted soldiers have completed a high school education is striking when you
consider that only 80 percent of Americans in the 18-24 year-old age range have
achieved this same status.
Americans looking to join the
military today face the most stringent entrance requirements in history.The physical attributes demanded of potential
recruits are rigorous to say the least.Based on physical and medical characteristics alone, DOD estimates that
nearly half of our youth population is not qualified to join the military.Disqualifying medical conditions range from
asthma to obesity.
moral character is paramount – a wide variety of criminal offenses preclude
potential recruits from military service.The military is an organization that relies on teamwork, trust, and discipline.Individuals that might disrupt a unit’s
chemistry or pose a security risk to their fellow soldiers will be
ineligible.Family members waiting at
home for news of their loved ones serving overseas know that our soldiers are
model citizens.All Americans should
look to the shining example our military set.
The bottom line is that the
American military is the finest in the world.Our all-volunteer army trains and develops some of the best and
brightest men and women our nation has to offer.The standards to enter the military are set
high; as are the expectations of conduct and commitment once these brave
soldiers begin their service.
While the men and women in
our military come from all walks of life, they share a common bond forged
through their ability to meet some of the most strenuous admission
requirements, and further, through their completion of the world’s most
difficult training.Americans should be
proud of all of the soldiers serving in our military.With Veterans’ Day drawing near, I ask that
we all take a moment to recognize these brave servicemen and women.