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Of course, it doesn’t exactly say that …
Report says too many whites, men leading military
Pauline Jelinek, Associated Press
WASHINGTON – The U.S. military is too white and too male at the top and needs to change recruiting and promotion policies and lift its ban on women in combat, an independent report for Congress said Monday.

Seventy-seven percent of senior officers in the active-duty military are white, while only 8 percent are black, 5 percent are Hispanic and 16 percent are women, the report by an independent panel said, quoting data from September 2008.

Two decades ago, when the military was at the height of its prestige during the first Gulf War, 7% (I believe) of the generals in the U.S. Army were black. The #1 and #3 generals in the Gulf War (Colin Powell and Calvin Waller) were black. 

One barrier that keeps women from the highest ranks is their inability to serve in combat units. Promotion and job opportunities have favored those with battlefield leadership credentials.

The report ordered by Congress in 2009 calls for greater diversity in the military’s leadership so it will better reflect the racial, ethnic and gender mix in the armed forces and in American society.

Efforts over the years to develop a more equal opportunity military have increased the number of women and racial and ethnic minorities in the ranks of leadership. But, the report said, “despite undeniable successes … the armed forces have not yet succeeded in developing a continuing stream of leaders who are as diverse as the nation they serve.”

“This problem will only become more acute as the racial, ethnic and cultural makeup of the United States continues to change,” said the report from the Military Leadership Diversity Commission …


Having military brass that better mirrors the nation can inspire future recruits and help create trust among the general population, the commission said.
An interesting question that the press has strenuously not interested itself in is: Who has been dying in recent wars? You used to hear all the times that minorities are more likely to get killed in America’s wars, but now you never hear anything about the subject. 
When I checked on the Iraq War in 2007, American whites, relative to their share of the young population, were getting killed in combat at 1.86 times the rate of nonwhites. 
In Afghanistan through 2009, whites were dying at a rate 2.47 times their share of the population of 20-24 year olds.
I asked then:
How could this statistic be spun so it’s “appropriate” for the mainstream media? Here’s a feasible headline:

Minorities Discriminated Against at VA Cemeteries
Whites Get More Free Burials

The AP article continues:

Because they are technically attached to, but not assigned to, combat units, [women] don’t get credit for being in combat arms, something important for promotion to the most senior ranks.
Through 2006, U.S. women had suffered 2% of the fatalities in Iraq.
The most interesting part of the AP article is this exercise in reading between the lines:
Lyles said the commission consulted a panel of enlisted women on the issue. “I didn’t hear, `Rah, rah, we want to be in combat,’” Lyles said. “But I also didn’t hear, `We don’t want to be in combat.’ 
In other words, enlisted women don’t want to be in combat. The only women who do are the most promotion-crazed female officers, and the enlisted women aren’t excited about getting themselves killed to help get these officers promoted.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: Diversity, Military 
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You always come across smug dismissals of The Bell Curve as being discredited, but you never hear explanations from them of why the U.S. military has put such emphasis on cognitive testing for several generations now. In fact, I once interviewed the retired head pscyhometrician of one of the major branches of the military, who had provided the military’s AFQT testing data to Charles Murray. He said Murray and Herrnstein had done a bang up job with it.
In general, the military tries to keep a very low profile about their addiction to IQ-like testing, mostly releasing data to projects like Rand Corporation studies that nobody in the press ever reads, but now the Army has cooperated with The Education Trust, a Nice White Lady organization.
From the Associated Press:
Nearly one-fourth of the students who try to join the military fail its entrance exam, painting a grim picture of an education system that produces graduates who can’t answer basic math, science and reading questions.

The report by The Education Trust found that 23 percent of recent high school graduates don’t get the minimum score needed on the enlistment test to join any branch of the military. 

That’s 23% of high school graduates who want to join the Army and the Army wants them because they don’t have other black marks against them like obesity or a bad criminal record, who can’t get in because they score too low. Add in high school dropouts, and, overall, the Army sets the minimum score for the heavily g-loaded AFQT (the very IQ-like test featured in The Bell Curve) for enlistment at the 31st percentile.

The study, released exclusively to The Associated Press on Tuesday, comes on top of Pentagon data that shows 75 percent of those aged 17 to 24 don’t qualify for the military because they are physically unfit, have a criminal record or didn’t graduate high school.

Perhaps this is right, but I suspect that to get to 75% unfit to serve before cognitive testing, they are simply summing the percent disqualified for each of those reasons and ignoring the overlaps: e.g., kids who are fat, dumb, and crooked get counted three times, not once. Hopefully, I’m right that the Youth of Today aren’t quite that bad, but, maybe I’m just a cockeyed optimist …

“Too many of our high school students are not graduating ready to begin college or a career — and many are not eligible to serve in our armed forces,” U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan told the AP. “I am deeply troubled by the national security burden created by America’s underperforming education system.”

… This is the first time ever that the U.S. Army has released this test data publicly, said Amy Wilkins with The Education Trust, a Washington, D.C.-based children’s advocacy group. She said the organization worked with the U.S. Army to get raw data on test takers from the past five years.

… The Education Trust study shows wide disparities in scores among white and minority students. Nearly 40 percent of black students and 30 percent of Hispanics don’t pass, compared to 16 percent of whites.

The funny thing is that this particular white-black racial gap isn’t quite as large as the normal one standard deviation gap seen in La Griffe du Lion’s Fundamental Constant of Sociology. Probably due to self-selection and range restriction, the black-white gap is less than one standard deviation here. But, the authors of the report and the AP don’t notice that the Army represents a below-average sized problem because we aren’t supposed to know about the Fundamental Constant.

Even those passing muster on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, or ASVAB, usually aren’t getting scores high enough to snag the best jobs.

The AP article is a little confused about a tricky aspect of the military’s admission test. The AFQT is, last I checked, a highly g-loaded four-test subset of the the ten test ASVAB, which includes less g-loaded tests of specific skills, such as vehicle repair. The AFQT is not exactly an IQ test — it includes questions on trigonometry, for example, which almost nobody learns outside of school. So, yes, if schools did a better job of teaching trig, then more of their graduates would pass the AFQT.

But, results on the AFQT correlate closely with leading IQ tests, so it’s close enough for government  work. You must score at the 31st percentile or above on the AFQT (roughly a 92 IQ) to be allowed to join the Army. Once you clear that hurdle, they look at your ASVAB scores, which includes tests of things like auto repair, for help in determining vocational specialties. If you are already a first rate shade tree auto mechanic, then you might be able to skip truck repair school.

“A lot of times, schools have failed to step up and challenge these young people, thinking it didn’t really matter — they’ll straighten up when they get into the military,” said Kati Haycock, president of the Washington-based Education Trust. “The military doesn’t think that way.”

If there are 310 million people in the country, then about 100 million aren’t smart enough to enlist in the Army. Over 140 million aren’t smart enough to enlist in the Coast Guard.

Those are gigantic numbers that simply don’t register on the pundit class. And when they are reminded of them, of course, the only thing they can say is “fix the schools.”

But, tautologically, 30% of youth are going to be in the bottom 30% of youth. 

I knew a kid who was totally focused on enlisting in the Army. The recruiter thought he was great, but then he flunked the AFQT. So, the Army paid to send him to an AFQT boot camp for about six weeks, where the kids live in barracks and where uniforms while they bone up on the AFQT. He loved it. The sergeants picked him as Best Recruit in the program. Then he took the AFQT again. And still failed.

He was a good kid but he just wasn’t smart enough to enlist in the Army. In the conventional wisdom, Americans like him don’t exist.

In the real world, they do.

The average enlistee in the U.S. military is above the national average in intelligence.

Christina Theokas, the author of the study, said the test was updated in 2004 to reflect the current needs of the Army, and the Army didn’t want to release data from before the realignment.

Recruits must score at least in the 31st percentile on the first stage of the three-hour test to get into the Army or the Marines. Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard recruits must have higher scores.

From the Education Trust’s report, Shut Out of the Military:

Table 1: Enlistment Eligibility 2010
The minimum AFQT score required to qualify for entry into the
military varies by branch.
Service Branch Minimum Required AFQT Score
Army 31 [i.e., 31st percentile]
Navy 35
Marines 32
Air Force 40
Coast Guard 45

… For the Army, those who score at the AFQT level of 31 and higher—Category IIIB and above—qualify for enlistment. Those scoring at 50 and higher on the AFQT [i.e. 100 IQ], falling into Categories IIIA and above, are eligible for Army
incentive programs including enlistment bonuses, college repayment programs, and the Army College Fund (a monetary incentive that increases the value of G.I. Bill benefits).  …

Recruits that rank at the highest AFQT levels are eligible for special opportunities. While most military jobs are tied to the kind of composite scores described above, certain elite categories are available only to those who also possess an especially high AFQT. For instance, jobs in technical fields require significantly higher AFQT scores than the minimum score needed for regular enlistment. These high level jobs, because they come with education, training, and skills development, open doors to high-level career paths, provide better active-duty experience and pay, and set up enlisted personnel for greater success following life in the service.

You can see the source at here.  The Education Trust report continues:

Our sample consists of the nearly 350,000 high school graduates aged 17-20 who applied for entry into the Army between 2004 and 2009 and took the ASVAB at a Military Entrance Processing Station. These young people are among the 25 percent of young Americans who do not have problems preventing them from applying for enlistment in the military. Approximately 50 percent of these applicants, a total of 172,776, joined the Army. The group is not representative of individuals across or within states and the nation, but is a self-selected sample of individuals aged 17-20, with a high school diploma,
and an interest in joining the Army. We chose only to examine the results of recent high school graduates to have a sample of individuals who had experienced similar high school requirements and standards. … In the sample, 58 percent of the test-takers were white, 19 percent African-American, 12 percent Hispanic, 8 percent unknown, 1 percent each of Asian, American Indian/Alaskan Native, and Native Hawaiian/ Pacific Islander, while 76 percent were male and 24 percent female.

About 23 percent of the test-takers in our sample failed to achieve a 31 —the qualifying score—on the AFQT. Among white test-takers, 16 percent scored below the minimum score required by the Army. For Hispanic candidates, the rate of ineligibility was 29 percent. And for African-American youth, it was 39 percent.

That’s the IQ ineligibility rate among non-obese, non-crooked, high school graduates who want to join the Army.

The AP story goes on:

The average score for blacks [in this self-selected sample of high school graduates wanting to join the Army] is 38[th percentile] and for Hispanics is 44, compared to whites’ average score of 55. The scores reflect the similar racial gaps on other standardized exams.

Actually, these are pretty narrow for racial gaps. All the other filters reduce the variation. Moreover, there’s now a multi-generation tradition of lower middle class blacks enlisting in the Army (as opposed to the other branches).

The Education Trust report goes on to complain that:

To qualify for specific occupational specialties, recruits must earn certain scores in nine different Army aptitude areas. For example, to qualify for any of the Special Forces positions, a recruit must earn a score of 110 on the General Technical composite score, which is a weighted average of Arithmetic and Verbal Expression. Approximately 66 percent of applicants did not meet this minimum score. However, nearly 86 percent of African-American applicants and 79 percent of Hispanic potential recruits did not meet the minimum for these specialties, as compared to 60 percent of white potential recruits.

But, once again, these are narrower racial gaps than are found in the overall population.

The Associated Press article suffers from one obvious mistake:

The study also found disparities across states, with Wyoming having the lowest passage rate, at 13 percent, and Hawaii having the highest, at 38.3 percent.

No, this sentence is a typo in the AP news story that gets the meaning 180 degrees wrong. Figure 2 in the Education Trust report is entitled “AFQT Ineligibility Rates by State.” The worst failure rate is in Hawaii (followed by MS, DC, LA, SC, NM) and the least bad failure rate is in Wyoming (followed by IN, ID, NE, NH, MN).

More interesting numbers from the report’s state tables:

Among white youths with high school diplomas applying to join the Army, the lowest failure rates were in Indiana (10.1%), Alaska, Wyoming, and Nebraska. Among whites, the highest failure rate was, by far, in Maryland (27%). Next was DC, then Kentucky. The high failure rates for whites in liberal MD/DC is probably due to the military being seen by MD/DC as a good place to dump the dud in the family.

Best performances by blacks were in Oregon, Arizona, Alaska, (all small sample sizes), Indiana and New York. Worst performances by blacks were in Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Wisconsin.

Best performances by Hispanics were in small sample size states like Montana, Alaska and Indiana. Worst performances by Hispanics were in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Texas’s Hispanics did slightly better than California’s.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: IQ, Military, Tests 
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The newsapers are talking about the new study saying only 1 in 4 youths is eligible to enlist in the military. Of course, the study doesn’t break it down by race, but the information is readily available.

A 2007 Rand Corporation report prepared the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Military Enlistment of Hispanic Youth: Obstacles and Opportunities, has a lot of interesting information (although nothing, so far as I can tell, on whether devout Muslim majors are likely to shoot up Fort Hood):

Hispanics are underrepresented among military recruits. In 2007, Hispanics made up 17.0 percent of the general population (ages 18 to 40) but only 11.4 percent of Army enlistment contracts and 15 percent of Navy enlistment contracts. While the trend is upward (in 1994, 6.6 percent of Army contracts and 8.9 percent of Navy contracts were Hispanic), Hispanics are still underrepresented.

Social representation within the armed forces is an ongoing concern of policymakers. Indeed, each year, the Department of Defense is required by Congress to publish statistics on the social representation of the armed forces in terms of such characteristics as race, ethnicity, marital status, and age. An implicit goal is that diversity in the armed forces should approximate diversity in the general population. Furthermore, recruiting challenges in meeting enlistment goals mean that the services need to understand the factors affecting the supply of key demographic groups, including Hispanics. …

Analysis of the NLSY data reveals that a relatively small percentage of youth, regardless of race or ethnicity, would qualify for military enlistment. Figures S.1 and S.2 show the cumulative effect of key enlistment standards in the areas of education (high school diploma or General Education Degree), aptitude (Armed Forces Qualification Test score, [AFQT]), weight, number of dependents, convictions, and drug-related offenses. Results are shown by race/ ethnicity for males and females, respectively, by service. Only 46 percent of white males, 32 percent of black males, and 35 percent of Hispanic males would be eligible to enlist in the Marine Corps, the service with the cumulatively least stringent enlistment standards. For females, the corresponding figures are even lower: 35 percent for white females, 22 percent for black females, and 24 percent for Hispanic females.

It looks like, judging from the graph, that for the hardest service to enlist in, the Air Force, only about 33% of young whites, 16% of blacks and 21% of Hispanics are good enough based on having a high school diploma, having an IQ of at least 92, not being fat, not having dependents, not having convictions, and not being on drugs. (Figure S.1)

We found that the major characteristics that disproportionately disqualify Hispanic youth are lack of a high school diploma, lower AFQT scores, and being overweight. …

Though important, education is not the only major disqualifying characteristic of Hispanic youth. Hispanics who are high school graduates often fail to meet other enlistment standards. The services require that potential recruits take the AFQT. Based on their test results, potential recruits are placed in one of five categories (Category I is the highest). The services strongly prefer recruits whose score places them in Category IIIB or higher. The Department of Defense (DoD) restricts the annual accession of those in Category IV (the next-to-lowest category) to 4 percent of the total, and prohibits all recruiting from Category V (the lowest category).

Only 36 percent of young Hispanic high school graduates would score in AFQT Category IIIB or above, compared with 68 percent of white high school graduates. A key implication of this result is that increasing the high school graduation rate among Hispanic youth may not lead to comparable increases in enlistment eligibility. …

Comparing Hispanics with other groups, we see that weight is another important disqualifying characteristic. Hispanics are considerably heavier than others: on average, Hispanic males weigh almost ten pounds more than white males. Seventy-nine to 91 percent of white males meet the service weight standards (weight standards vary by service), compared with only 71 to 88 percent of Hispanic males. Among females, the percentage who meet the weight standards is even lower; 63 to 82 percent of white females meet the standards, compared with only 49 to 71 percent of Hispanic females.

Our research shows that Hispanics have a lower prevalence of disqualifying major and minor conditions than whites. That is, except for weight, Hispanics tend to be healthier than whites. Research suggests that better-than-expected health in the Hispanic population may be due to the large proportion of immigrants; immigrants in general, regardless of ethnicity, tend to be healthier than the native-born U.S. population.

In general, Hispanics seem pretty healthy, other than weight-related problems like diabetes. Their infant mortality rate is quite low, for example.

However, Hispanics are more likely to be disqualified because of weight. On balance, taking all three health standards together (weight, major conditions, and minor conditions) Hispanic males are disqualified at about the same rate as whites. Hispanic females are substantially more likely to be overweight than white females, and more likely to be disqualified. Our analysis indicated that number of dependents is another disqualifying characteristic for Hispanics. Though not as important as weight, education, or AFQT, it is a significant factor, especially for females. Twenty percent of young Hispanics (ages 17 to 21) have children, compared with only 9 percent of whites. …

Recruiting more intensively from the pool of qualified Hispanics will be challenging. Most likely, increasing representation among the Hispanic population will involve enlisting more marginal recruits. The services already have programs that seek to identify the best of these marginal recruits or to improve the AFQT, weight, or educational outcomes of those recruits.

Here’s my adaptation of Table 6.1, which is based not on enlistment applicants but on a nationally representative sample, the National Longitudinal Study of Youth 1997, the successor to NLSY79 used in The Bell Curve:

White Black Hispanic
Desirable: HS Grad & IQ >= 106 43% 11% 20%
Okay: HS Grad & IQ >92 but30%25%27%
Ineligible: Dropout &/or IQ <= 92 28% 65% 53%

However, all else being equal, minorities are more likely to re-up in the military. So, the report goes on to discuss lowering enlistment standards for minorities. I didn’t see any discussion, however, of whether it’s better to, say, have a 120 IQ Explosive Ordinance Disposal tech who doesn’t re-up after his initial term because he wants to get a degree in a mechanical engineering than one who doesn’t have that opportunity.

By the way, according to Table 2.10, the maximum height for the Navy is 6’6″ (low overhead on ships), so retired NBA star David Robinson, who entered the Naval Academy at 6’5″ and graduated at 7’1″ got special negative treatment by being ordered to serve two years as an officer. Anybody who wasn’t a famous basketball player who grew to 7″ over the limit would have been given an honorable discharge.

Lots more interesting stuff in this 224 page report that you won’t read about in the newspapers.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: IQ, Military 
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As I’ve mentioned, one of the rules of polite journalism in discussing testing firefighters is to assume that paper and pencil tests must be irrelevant to the obviously moronic job of spraying water on burning buildings. Never refer to the voluminous data assembled over the decades by the Pentagon on the relationship between performance on paper and pencil tests and performance on similarly physical jobs.

When researching my 2004 article on John F. Kerry’s and George W. Bush’s IQ scores judging from their performance on the Officer’s Qualification Tests they took in the later 1960s (Bush 120-125, Kerry 115-120, which turned out to fit with their GPAs at Yale), I read a lot of studies from the 1960s by the military’s psychometricians documenting the predictive validity of these exams. I then tried to track down the authors to help me understand Kerry’s and Bush’s scores.

I spent two hours on the phone with a very helpful gentleman, now a college professor of statistics, who had retired after many years as the head psychometrician for one of the major branches of the Armed Services.

Among much else that was interesting, he mentioned that in 1990 he had provided to Charles Murray the U.S. military’s scores from the renorming of its AFQT enlistment test. In 1980, the Pentagon had paid the Department of Labor to give the AFQT to all 12,000+ young people in its National Longitudinal Study of Youth database. The middle section of The Bell Curve is devoted to tracking how these ex-youths, now 25 to 33 in 1990, were doing in life in relation to their IQ scores a decade before.

My source had nothing but praise for The Bell Curve.

The psychometric expert said something that seemed puzzling to me. He said that the General Factor of intelligence completely dominated job performance as a pilot to such an extent that it really wasn’t worthwhile to give multiple intelligences tests of specific piloting skills, such as the one George W. Bush took in 1968 to measure his 3-d visualization skills.

For example, a question might ask:

Which picture represents how the horizon would look straight-ahead out the cockpit window when you are in the midst of turning from flying north to flying east while banking 60 degrees?

A. _
B. /
D. |

Bush only scored, I believe, at the 25th percentile on this test, but I don’t think this kind of thing came up much in the Oval Office.

My source said that he recommended getting rid of flying-specific tests for admission to pilot-training, but the brass wouldn’t go along with it because they insisted their had to be pilot-specific skills separate from the g Factor.

Listening to him, I certainly agreed with the brass. After all, I have a decent IQ, but I’d make a terrible pilot during the brief interval before I became a smoking crater due to making some stupid mistake.

And, this is not something I only recently realized. I can vaguely recall being 16 and looking at the catalog from the Air Force Academy and deciding that, based on my experience driving a car, riding a bike, playing sports, and generally bumbling about in the physical world, that I wasn’t cut out to pilot Air Force jets.

I’ve wondered about this expert’s finding over the years, and I think I’ve finally started to figure it out: People with high IQs who would be bad pilots generally figure out for themselves that they would be bad pilots; so, they never take the tests to be pilots. Thus, the high correlation between the g Factor and pilot performance: high IQ individuals are already selected for having pilot-specific skills.

Similarly, high IQ guys who would make lousy firemen already know it, so they don’t take the firemen’s test much.

Thus, a hiring test like the New York ones ruled too discriminating by Judge Garaufis tend to work well. They are combination aptitude and achievement tests with all the questions solely about firefighting, but all the information needed to answer the questions given on the test. Still, under pressure, it’s not too easy to decipher passages about technical details of chainsaw maintenance.

Thus, to score perfectly on these kind of tests, it’s helpful to be both reasonably bright and to have studied firefighting guidebooks. High IQ guys who wouldn’t make good firemen tend to figure out while they’re studying that this isn’t the career for them and thus don’t take the tests. So, these kind of aptitude/achievement tests work quite well.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: IQ, Military, Tests 
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Fred Kaplan writes in Slate in Dumb and Dumber: The Army Lowers Recruitment Standards … Again:

The latest statistics—compiled by the Defense Department. and obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by the Boston-based National Priorities Project—are grim. They show that the percentage of new Army recruits with high-school diplomas has plunged from 94 percent in 2003 to 83.5 percent in 2005 to 70.7 percent in 2007. (The Pentagon’s longstanding goal is 90 percent.)

The percentage of what the Army calls “high-quality” recruits—those who have high-school diplomas and who score in the upper 50th percentile on the Armed Forces’ aptitude tests—has declined from 56.2 percent in 2005 to 44.6 percent in 2007.

In order to meet recruitment targets, the Army has even had to scour the bottom of the barrel. There used to be a regulation that no more than 2 percent of all recruits could be “Category IV”—defined as applicants who score in the 10th to 30th percentile on the aptitude tests. In 2004, just 0.6 percent of new soldiers scored so low. In 2005, as the Army had a hard time recruiting, the cap was raised to 4 percent. And in 2007, according to the new data, the Army exceeded even that limit—4.1 percent of new recruits last year were Cat IVs.

The “aptitude” test is the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT), which is a highly “g-loaded” functional equivalent of an IQ test. In fact, the military provided Charles Murray with all the AFQT data that makes up the middle section of The Bell Curve.

What’s interesting here is how much more the Army values IQ over a high school diploma — There are roughly as many high school dropouts (25% of all young adults according James Heckman) as there are people scoring at the 30th percentile or less on the military’s IQ test (30%, by definition). Yet, the military has only allowed the percentage of new recruits below the 30th percentile to increase from 0.6% to 4.1%. Yet, over roughly the same time period, it has allowed the percentage of high school dropouts it takes in to grow from 6% to 29.3%.

Second, and more practically, high-school dropouts tend to drop out of the military, too. The National Priorities Project cites Army studies finding that 80 percent of high-school graduates finish their first terms of enlistment in the Army—compared with only about half of those with a General Equivalency Degree or no diploma. In other words, taking in more dropouts is a short-sighted method of boosting recruitment numbers. The Army will just have to recruit even more young men and women in the next couple of years, because a lot of the ones they recruited last year will need to be replaced.

Third, a dumber army is a weaker army. A study by the RAND Corporation, commissioned by the Pentagon and published in 2005, evaluated several factors that affect military performance—experience, training, aptitude, and so forth—and found that aptitude is key. This was true even of basic combat skills, such as shooting straight. Replacing a tank gunner who had scored Category IV with one who’d scored Category IIIA (in the 50th to 64th percentile) improved the chances of hitting a target by 34 percent.

Today’s Army, of course, is much more high-tech, from top to bottom. The problem is that when tasks get more technical, aptitude makes an even bigger difference. In one Army study cited by the RAND report, three-man teams from the Army’s active-duty signal battalions were told to make a communications system operational. Teams consisting of Category IIIA personnel had a 67 percent chance of succeeding. Teams with Category IIIB soldiers (who had ranked in the 31st to 49th percentile) had a 47 percent chance. Those with Category IVs had only a 29 percent chance. The study also showed that adding a high-scoring soldier to a three-man team increased its chance of success by 8 percent. (This also means that adding a low-scoring soldier to a team reduces its chance by a similar margin.)

In case you are wondering, here’s the Wikipedia summar y of the AFQT (which is the crucial subset of the larger ASVAB — the AFQT determines whether you are allowed in, while the other parts of the ASVAB influence your specialty once you are in).

An Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) score is used to determine basic qualification for enlistment.

AFQT Scores are divided into the following categories:

  • Category I – 93-99
  • Category II- 65-92
  • Category IIIA – 50-64
  • Category IIIB – 31-49
  • Category IVA – 21-30
  • Category IVB – 16-20
  • Category IVC – 10-15
  • Category V – 0-9

The formula for computing this AFQT score is: Arithmetic Reasoning + Math Knowledge + (2 x VE). The VE (verbal) score is determined by adding the raw scores from the Paragraph Comprehension and Word Knowledge tests (i.e., how many questions the aspiring recruit got right on each) and using a table to get the VE score from that combined PC and WK raw score.

AFQT scores are not raw scores, but rather percentile scores indicating how each examinee performed compared with all other examinees. Thus, someone who receives an AFQT of 55 scored better than 55 percent of all other examinees.

Law prohibits applicants in Category V from enlisting. In addition, there are constraints placed on Category IV recruits. Presently, all Category IV recruits must be high school diploma graduates. Further, the law constrains the percentage of accessions who can fall in Category IV (currently, the limit is 20%).

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: IQ, Military 
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McCain, Obama, Clinton, and Giuliani have all called for more soldiers for them to play with when they come President.

Why? We spend 48-49% of the world’s military budget. We have near absolute air supremacy and, in the unlikely event that an enemy tank army ever takes the field to challenge our tanks again, the outcome is likely to be the same as in 1991 in Desert Storm.

Okay, we don’t have enough Boots on the Ground to permanently occupy a deeply hostile country. For example, we can’t occupy Iraq and Iran simultaneously, but maybe, just maybe, that’s a good thing. Especially considering that some of the top Presidential candidates are not what you’d call the most emotionally stable people in the world …

So, where could they get more cannon fodder? The most obvious source are low IQ recruits. From 1992-2004, only about 1% of new recruits were let in with IQs below the 30th percentile (92) on the military’s AFQT entrance test. The Army recently boosted that to 4%, and the Army Reserve appears to be even laxer. But does the modern military want cannon fodder or do they want effective warriors? The problem is that — as the military has exhaustively documented over the decades — the lower the recruit’s IQ, the less danger he poses to the enemy and the more danger he poses to himself and his comrades.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: IQ, Iraq, Military 
Steve Sailer
About Steve Sailer

Steve Sailer is a journalist, movie critic for Taki's Magazine, columnist, and founder of the Human Biodiversity discussion group for top scientists and public intellectuals.

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