U.S. Army Welcomes Criminals and Convicts

Most folks would be loath to join the U.S. armed forces in the midst of a war where soldiers are getting their limbs, heads and bodies blown off in a faroff land, right?

So, what does the U.S. Army do?

In desperation, the U.S. Army has been forced to hire criminals, convicts, high-school failures and the like or pay hefty bonuses to retain existing soldiers.

As Steve Coll writes in the latest issue of New Yorker (April 14, 2008 P.21):

In 2006, the Army granted eight thousand three hundred and thirty “moral waivers” to new recruits, meaning that it had accepted that number of volunteers with past criminal  charges or convictions. The percentage of high school graduates willing to serve is falling sharply from year to year; so are the aptitude-exam scores of new enlistees. To persuade soldiers and young officers to reenlist after overlong combat tours, the Army’s spending on retention bonuses increased almost ninefold from 2003 to 2006.

Wonder if the U.S. Army will turn to the 20 million illegals in the country next because the Iraq war is unlikely to end anytime soon.

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