Army recruiters now have a wider pool to find future soldiers in. The Army is
reaching out to a slice of America’s youth long ineligible to serve: non-high
school graduates who don’t have a General Equivalency Diploma
Recruiters can now go after that demographic through the “Army Educations
Plus” option, the Army announced Tuesday.
If an individual has been out of high school for at least six months, can pass
a physical exam and the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, he or she
may be eligible for help getting a GED.
The program allows recruiters to enlist a high school dropout, according to
S. Douglas Smith, a spokesman for the U.S. Army Recruiting Command. But the
enlistee must have the GED before shipping off to basic training. The Army will
pay for individuals to attend a course to prepare for the GED test and will
cover the cost of taking the GED exam.
Before attending the GED course on the Army’s tab, the person must enlist
into the Army’s delayed entry program, Smith said.
The regular Army, Army Reserve and Army National Guard are each offering this
option, as of Tuesday.
What will not change is the Army’s cap on the percentage of how many
new soldiers may enlist with a GED versus a high school diploma, Smith said.
That limit is 10 percent of all new soldiers for the year.
Smith said last week that senior Army leadership has acknowledged that the
active duty Army, Reserve and Guard will each miss their respective annual goals
for fiscal 2005, which ends this month.