BY DELANEY PARRISH
"Today's less qualified officer candidateswill be tomorrow's senior military leaders"
When the United States ended the draft and transitioned to an all-volunteer military in 1973, there was concern about who would join and whether the transition would negatively impact the quality of the force, which many suspected it would.The General Classification Test (GCT) from World War II to present day. BROOKINGS
As it turns out, the quality of the force as a whole actually increased over time. In 1977, 27.1 percent of new enlisted recruits met the military’s standard for being “high quality,” meaning that they possessed a high school diploma and above-average intelligence relative to the U.S. population as a whole. Decades later, at the height of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, 60 percent of new enlisted recruits met the high quality standard.
But what about military officers? Though commissioned officers comprise only about 16 percent of the force, they clearly have a major impact on the success of the military as a whole given their leadership role for their troops and responsibility for strategy and tactics.
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