Navy drops diploma requirement amid recruiting crisis
Only 23% of young Americans meet the military’s standards.
The Navy’s decision comes at a time of recruiting problems for the military.
Amid its recruiting crisis, the U.S. Navy has dropped its requirement that recruits have a high school diploma or GED.
In 2023, the Navy “missed its recruitment goals for active duty enlisted sailors by more than 7,450,” and also didn’t meet its targets for officer recruitment, as reported by the Navy Times.
Recruits without a high school diploma or GED will be required to score 50 or higher on the Armed Forces Qualification Test that ranges up to 99. The last time that recruits could join the Navy without similar qualifications was 2000, wrote News Nation.
In June 2022, the Army dropped its requirement that recruits have a high school diploma or GED but reversed the change a week later.
The Navy, Army, and Air Force all fell short of their recruitment targets last fiscal year. The services have had trouble attracting candidates who qualify.
According to the U.S. Army, only 23% of young Americans ages 17 to 24 “fully meet the Army’s eligibility requirements.”
71% of American youth “do not qualify for military service because of obesity, drugs, physical and mental health problems, misconduct, and aptitude,” according to the U.S. Army Recruiting Command.
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Amid its recruiting crisis, the Department of Defense has asked for more than $114 million for diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility efforts, according to CBS Austin.
In 2022, the Department of Defense asked for $66 million for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) spending and also asked for $86 million the following year, wrote CBS Austin.
“The Biden Admin’s focus on progressivism over warfighting continues to exacerbate the military recruiting crisis and calls into question our level of military preparedness,” the GOP-controlled House Oversight Committee wrote on X.
Additionally, between January 2016 and May 2021, the Department of Defense “reportedly spent approximately $15 million to provide gender-affirming care (surgical and non-surgical care) to 1,892 servicemembers,” according to the Congressional Research Service.
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Lack of qualified candidates and DEI spending are not the only factors contributing to the military’s recruitment crisis.
The Air Force attributed its recruiting crisis, in part, to the “lack of patriotism in Generation Z,” as Campus Reform wrote.
Generation Z demonstrates that they have trouble answering basic questions about the federal government on civics tests, as seen on Campus Reform.
Members of Generation Z also live at a time in which college and K-12 courses teach a version of history that, by focusing on and exaggerating America’s and the West’s wrongdoing, leaves students with little pride in America specifically and Western civilization more generally.
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“Generation Z is not patriotic, in the traditional sense,” Maj. Gen. Ed Thomas, the Air Force Recruiting Service commander, told Military.com.