I Thought This Horse Was Dead, Part II
For years, the Pentagon limited Category IV recruits (the lowest passing grade) to 2% of the annual cohort; this was doubled to 4% recently.Whoa, that sounds ominous. That is until you take the time to put down your raspberry chai and almond cinnamon biscotti and actually do some research.
From 1991-2003 and the post-Cold War drawdown, Cat-IV recruits have made up 1% or less of all enlistees, so raising the ceiling to 4% sounds like a crisis. The fact is, however, from 1981-1990, Cat-IVs made up from 4% to just over 21% of enlistees, and the number of enlistees from the lowest category peaked out under Jimmy Carter in 1979 at a stunning 32.74% (with America involved in no extended conflicts around the world). Suddenly a ceiling of 4%, while certainly increasing, is not exactly alarming.
In October 2005, 12% of that month's recruits were Category IV. The Pentagon refuses to disclose the exact double-digit percentage for November; who knows what it is now?And it may or may not be relevant by itself, because it's unlikely October's cohort is a representative sample of the entire year's cohort of recruits. Statisticians would call that an "outlier."
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