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Military Connection: Army Rethinks Enlistment Tests: By Debbie Gregory

Military ExamsHow do you get American men and women to volunteer to serve in the military? How do recruiters know who will make a good soldier, sailor, marine, or airman?

Studies reveal that only three out of every ten Americans in the eligible enlistment age range would meet the minimum requirements to qualify for service eligibility. These requirements include possessing a high school diploma or GED, being drug free, having a clean criminal record, being physically fit, and scoring high enough on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude (ASVAB) test. All of the service branches are concerned with the dwindling population of eligible new recruits.

The Army is taking the first steps towards increasing the population of eligible potential-recruits by broadening the assessment of individuals wishing to enlist. The Army is considering altering its recruiting criteria to look at non-cognitive indicators of what’s likely to make someone successful in the military.

The Army’s deputy chief of staff for personnel, Lt. Gen. James McConville, said the service is increasingly realizing that ASVAB scores aren’t the only good predictor of what will make a successful soldier. The Army looks at many of its senior enlisted leaders as an example. These proven soldiers may not have scored well on their ASVAB tests or SATs, but through the course of their military careers, they have displayed a resiliency and tenacity for mission accomplishment that far exceeds what any tests currently given can gauge.

Scientists at the Army Research Institute have begun to explore new ways to measure desirable traits that are difficult to capture with the currently offered standardized tests. The future tests will be able to determine traits such as how adaptable a soldier would be and how resilient a potential recruit might be when exposed to stressful situations. Army officials believe that this method of testing could benefit some future applicants who wouldn’t score well on traditional tests.

The modern U.S. Army needs members in its forces who can rapidly innovate in response to quickly unfolding crises around the world. For this reason, the Army is no longer as interested in how well a potential recruit scores on a vocational or academic test.  They are looking for resilient soldiers who can adapt and overcome stressful environments. And they are developing a way to identify those men and women through non-cognitive measures.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: Army Rethinks Enlistment Tests: By Debbie Gregory

Military Connection: Army Too Uniform? By Debbie Gregory

Army diversityMost military forces pride themselves on their uniformity. Marching as one and fighting as one are what most commanders hope to achieve. Basic training instructors drill and inspect recruits to ensure uniformity. But presently, the U.S. Army is concerned with a lack of diversity among its personnel.

There is a glaring lack of minority officers currently serving in the U.S. Army.  Army officials are currently taking measures to expand recruiting efforts to target more minority officers.

In 2014, the Army reported that only one of its twenty-six brigades was commanded by a black colonel. Brigades are comprised of three to four battalions, with each battalion made up of approximately 800-1,000 soldiers. There is only one black officer slated to head a single battalion, out of the 78 battalions in the Army in 2015.

This is a case where diversity could be a valuable asset. While minority officers are less common than white officers, the minority population among enlisted is over 30%. It makes total sense to have the minority population among officers closer to the same dispersal of minority enlisted personnel.

In order to accomplish their mission, Army leadership is planning to target a recruitment campaign at cities that have concentrated minority populations. The Army named Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and Phoenix as their target cities.

The Army wants to entice more members from minority communities to earn their degrees and become officers. Recruiters will push potential college-aged candidates to join programs like the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC), that help them pay for college degrees in exchange for a contracted amount of time spent serving as an officer.

Of course, finding young minority officers now is the key to diversifying the next generation of the Army’s leaders.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: Army Too Uniform? By Debbie Gregory