Monday, July 08, 2013

Why There are Grits in the DFAC

"Bring back the draft." - In peacetime, fascist and stupid.

"There is a civilian-military divide." - Good, the military should be better educated, more sane, more moral, etc.

"The military is too Southern and male." - So, your point is?
Conventional wisdom holds that military service disproportionately attracts men and women from disadvantaged backgrounds, many of whom are members of minority groups. Many people believe that troops enlist primarily because they have few options, not because they want to serve their country. ... This study compared military volunteers to the civilian population on four demographic characteristics: household income, education level, racial and ethnic background, and regional origin. As a result, we now know who serves in the active-duty ranks of the U.S. all-volunteer military.
According to the report (p. 13), “both active-duty enlisted troops and officers come disproportionately from high income neighborhoods—a trend that has increased since 9/11”. As can be seen from the chart on the left, only 11% of enlisted recruits in 2007 came from the poorest 1/5 (quintile) of neighborhoods, while 25% came from the wealthiest quintile. These trends are even more pronounced in the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program, in which 40 percent of enrollees come from the wealthiest neighborhoods. Also contrary to popular perceptions, U.S. military enlisted troops are not poorly educated. In fact, American soldiers are significantly more likely to have a high school diploma than their civilian peers: only 1.4% of enlisted recruits in 2007 had not graduated from high school or completed a high school equivalency degree, compared to 20.8% of the general male population in the age range between 18 and 24. Moreover, 95% of officer accessions have at least a bachelor’s degree.

Likewise, the conventional wisdom that minorities are overrepresented in the military is not supported by the facts. No clear racial imbalance is evident in regard to enlisted personnel. Among the officer corps, Caucasians are proportionately represented and African-Americans are overrepresented. American Indian and Alaskan natives are the most overrepresented group among new recruits. Asians and Pacific Islanders are slightly underrepresented. Hispanics are also underrepresented, with the troop-to-population ratio of 0.65 in 2007.
It is an all volunteer military - the anal retentive bean counters are not going to get an exact match anymore than one does in the NBA or Olympic Curling.

As a NROTC guy myself - I'll use this one little bit from the study - but you really should follow the links above and ed'u'mu'kate you'se self, the service academy and enlisted maps tell a similar story - though with a couple of curious differences.

Snerk ... NY and CA consistently near the bottom; no shocker there. The former Confederate and Border States ... well - of course.

As an interesting side-note; though it is far from a perfect match - after you look at the maps linked above, compare them to the distribution of Scots-Irish in the USA. I am sure Jim Webb could explain that seeming connection to you.

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