Along with our allies and our enemies! First of all our men and women in uniform are not idiots and we can dispel some of those myths right now!
Official Debunks Myths About Military Recruits
Carr likes to think of himself as a "myth buster," helping break stereotypes he said are flat-out wrong and cheat service members out of the pride they've earned and deserve.
He rattled off examples of those myths and set the record straight for each one.
• Myth 1: Military recruits are less educated and have fewer work alternatives than other young Americans.
In fact, military recruits are far better educated than the general youth population, Carr said. More than 90 percent of recruits have a high school diploma, compared to about 75 percent of the U.S. youth population.
That's an important issue to the military, Carr said, because a traditional high school diploma is the single best indicator of a recruit's stick-to-it-ness and likelihood of successfully adjusting to military service. Recruits with a high school diploma have a 70 percent probability of completing a three-year enlistment versus a 50 percent chance for nongraduates.
The military has exceeded the 90-percent benchmark for recruits with high school diplomas every year since 1983, Carr noted.
• Myth 2: The military tends to attract people with lower aptitudes.
Recruits actually have much higher average aptitudes than the general youth population, Carr said. In fiscal 2005, 67 percent of recruits scored above the 60th percentile on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery. The test is designed so that the average young person will score 50 percent, he explained.
But high achievement on the test isn't new, Carr said. Sixty percent of new enlistees have scored at or above the 50 percentile -- the military's benchmark for recruits -- every year since 1985.
• Myth 3: The military attracts a disproportionate number of poor or underprivileged youth.
In reality, military recruits mirror the U.S. population and are solidly middle class, Carr said. He cited a recent Heritage Foundation report that shows most recruits come from middle-class families, rather than poorer or wealthier ones. Patterns in recent years reinforce this trend, showing a slight dip in recruits from lower socioeconomic groups and a slight increase from upper-class groups, Carr said.
• Myth 4: A disproportionate number of recruits come from urban areas.
Inner cities are actually the most underrepresented area among new recruits, Carr said. Both suburban and rural areas are overrepresented, he said.
• Myth 5: The military isn't geographically representative of America.
The southern part of the United States generates the most recruits, 41 percent, but also has the biggest youth population to draw from, 36 percent, Carr said. Twenty-four percent of recruits come from north-central regions, which have 23 percent of the youth population. The west, with 24 percent of the nation's youth, contributes 21 percent of the new enlistees. And the northeast, with 18 percent of the youth population, provides 14 percent of new recruits.
All of out leaders should be very careful what they say in public… people are listening!