Shut Out of the Military:
Today’s High School Education Doesn’t Mean
You’re Ready for Today’s Army
For generations of Americans, a military career has provided the chance to join a tradition of discipline, honor, service to country, and achievement.
However, an Education Trust analysis reveals that many young people pinning their hopes on a career in the Armed Forces will never get the chance to serve. “Shut Out of the Military: Today’s High School Education Doesn’t Mean You’re Ready for Today’s Army” examines data from the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) administered to potential Army recruits gathered from 2004 to 2009. The report paints a troubling picture of our K-12 school system’s inability to academically prepare students for opportunities in the military and beyond.
• Among young people who are recent high school graduates, about one in five do not meet
the minimum standard necessary to enlist in the Army.
• On average, young people of color seeking to join the Army are more likely not to pass the
qualifying exam than other applicants.
A critical read for educators, “Shut Out of the Military” shatters the comfortable myth that academically underprepared students can find a place in the military. And because the test assesses many occupational skills, low scores mean these applicants also are unlikely to succeed in the civilian workforce.
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