Monday, November 28, 2005

Dregs Need Not Apply

The Left continues to insist that American soldiers are poor and stupid, enlisting because they are the victims of our society who have no other options. The better off, they say, avoid service by the blood of the poor.

This is hogwash and anybody who has looked at our military in the last 20 years would know better than to make this claim. But it will not die because it is on Leftist life support, so it is good to have a study on this:

According to a comprehensive study of all enlistees for the years 1998-99 and 2003 that The Heritage Foundation just released, the typical recruit in the all-volunteer force is wealthier, more educated and more rural than the average 18- to 24-year-old citizen is. Indeed, for every two recruits coming from the poorest neighborhoods, there are three recruits coming from the richest neighborhoods.

The funny thing is that this underestimates the upper class in the military by only selecting for comparison the portion of the military that comes from the least privileged background--the enlisted part of the military. As long as we are talking about 18-24-year-olds, if you throw in the new 22-year-0ld second lieutenants who go on to reach even multi-starred Joint Chiefs of Staff rank, you would add even more troops from wealthy and educated backgrounds. These young officers suffer heavier casualty rates than the enlisted guys. So unless you exclude the better off from the general population as the base, how can you exclude the military personnel from the comparison population? Yet even doing so the enlisted are of a higher caliber than the general population peer group.

Our troops fight and die for many reasons. Pretending they are poor victims does a disservice to them and the country that produces such fine volunteers to defend us from our enemies.