No Army GED

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The Army will no longer be offering its GED program to new recruits. According to an Associated Press article by Susanne Schafer:

The Army is ending a program that helped nearly 3,000 high school dropouts earn high school equivalency certificates and become soldiers.

The GED pilot program known as the Army’s prep school started here in summer 2008, when the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan left the service scrambling to find soldiers.

This is a normal process. Like an organization, the U.S. military adjusts its recruiting efforts based on supply and demand. In the late ‘90s the armed forces essentially stopped accepting the GED and were very reluctant to enlist anyone who didn’t have a high school degree. Then the U.S. entered two wars. These made the military much less attractive and so it had to alter its recruiting tactics, lower the bar.

Afghanistan isn’t any nicer today but with unemployment rising more qualified people are desperate for secure jobs; the military can be a little selective again. The Army’s shutting down its GED program. Passing the GED (General Educational Development) test certifies that someone has American high school-level academic skills and qualifies one for entry into higher education or further training.

“We’re a victim of our own recruiting success,” said Col. Kevin Shwedo. Shwedo deputy commander at Fort Jackson one of the Army’s training centers.

This is not true at all. Actually the Army’s decision to shut the program has nothing to do with recruiting efforts and everything to do with the economy. In 2009 almost 95 percent of people who enlisted had high school diplomas, up from 83 percent in 2008. [Image via]

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer