Growing up, my mother and father watched ‘60 Minutes’ every week. The end of each show was a commentary by a grand fatherly looking man named Andy Rooney. He would question things in everyday life, like why there was a toothbrush holder next to the sink, why certain auto makers made one product and another did not. The kinds of things you would wonder about when you were older and wiser. He was funny and insightful. Not anymore.
Now he calles the new Soldiers to join the Army ” the bottom of the barrel”.
In an attempt to get the soldiers they need, recruiters have reduced the standards for getting into the Army or Navy. They have reduced the educational standards, for example, so that they’re getting more soldiers who didn’t go to high school, let alone graduate from high school.
I did graduate from high school but I know more than one excellent Soldier that only had a GED, hell, my 1stSGT in the 82nd, a former Ranger School Instructer, only had an 8th Grade education. He may have know all the words in the Oxford English Language Dictunary abut he was a fine Soldier and great Jump Master. Other Soldiers I have know, both good and bad, have only had a G.E.D. The military is nothing more than a mirco-cosum of the society it protects. You are going to find every type of person serving in uniform. Some of the most intelligent, insightful people I have very met have been in the Army with me, in the Infantry, which is derided in the military it’self as the home of the strong backs and weak minds. Hardly.
Recruiters are granting thousands of what they call “moral waivers”. A “moral waiver” it turns out means they’ll take someone who has committed a crime or even someone who has been in prison. Last year, a total of 8,129 “moral waivers” were given to men who volunteered for the Army.
I doubt recruiters are letting hard core gang members or the Zodiac killer into the military. The truth is there have always been people with checkerd pasts in uniform. And even if a recrute has been arrested for something, drunk driving, shop lifting, not paying a speeding ticket ect. who is to say the he or she does not deserve a chance to improve their lives by serving? I don’t know what these “moral wavers’ cover but I’m sure that they do not cover violent crimes. Relax, Andy, I don’t think are Armed Forces are suddenly overflowing with Ted Bundys and Hell’s Angles.
Here’s where it gets really good.
In August of 1941, I had just finished my junior year in college when I was drafted into the Army. Hundreds of my classmates were drafted at the same time. I hated everything about Army life. I hated the Field Artillery regiment I was assigned to. Most of the guys in it were high school dropouts and the Army wasn’t using the term “moral waiver,” yet but a lot of them would have needed it.They had joined before the draft so they had already been promoted to being corporals or sergeants and they were in charge of the rest of us.In 1942 we were at war with Germany and it wasn’t long before drafted college students and high school graduates dominated our military. It changed the United States Army for the better and in two years made it the best fighting force there has ever been. The Army and Navy were no longer made up of losers.
So, let me get this right? If you have a high school, or better yet, a college degree, then that makes you better than the rest of the Soldiers you serve with? Because you were able to complete assignments and turn in homework on time, in the end simply reguritate what the teacher has told you, you have transformed into a superior being then some lowly pathetic creature with a GED? And if the military does not have these people in it’s ranks then it is nothing but a group of losers. Huh? Kind of like the group of losers you served with, Andy? Like my two uncles that helped defeat Hitler but lacked your high standards in education? I would imagine that the vast majority of the men that served in World War II, and saved the world from evil, did not have a college degree. Damn… What a bunch of losers.
**Edit by AS – AS needed a moral waiver when he entered the Army, go figure!**