July 11, 2022

Army’s education waiver reversal stuns applicants, splits experts on impact

Featuring Katherine L. Kuzminski

Source: Army Times

Journalist Davis Winkie

Aiden, a housing- and food-insecure teenager living in Miami, remembers the excitement he felt when the Army recruiter gave him the news late last month: the service was beginning to enlist applicants without high school diplomas or equivalencies like the GED amid a horrible recruiting year.

“I felt like I had 1,000 pounds lifted off my chest,” he recounted in a phone interview with Army Times, asking that his full name not appear in the story. “It was a prayer that got answered for me.”

The military at large has struggled to enlist new troops in 2022, with the Army at only about 40% of its recruiting goals with mere months left in the fiscal year. But that shortfall for military recruiters presented a life-changing opportunity for Aiden.

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Whatever the reason for the change, experts on recruiting quality and personnel policy split on whether the Army made the right call.

Kate Kuzminski, who heads the Military, Veterans, and Society Program at the Center for a New American Security think tank, said the Army made a “prudent” call in reversing the education waivers.

Kuzminski’s emailed statement cited studies that show “the percentage of high-quality recruits in a service at any given points correlates highly with tactical effectiveness (as measured through gunnery scores and other proficiency tests).”

Read the full story and more from The Army Times.

Authors

  • Katherine L. Kuzminski

    Senior Fellow and Director, Military, Veterans, and Society Program

    Katherine L. Kuzminski (formerly Kidder) is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Military, Veterans, and Society (MVS) Program at CNAS. Her research specializations include Dep...