I was watching the news today, showing an interview with McCain. During the interview, the reporter asked a question dealing with an underpriviledged military and how the priviledged (excluding McCain) do not serve. It’s always annoying when popular myths like a “victimized military” and call for a draft continue to perpetuate schools and the media. Although McCain did not contend this point about under-representation, this myth has already been debunked years ago. Recently, I came across some research that does called “Who Bears the Burden?” by Dr. Tim Kane from 2005.
In the article, Dr. Kane talks a little about the history of military recruiting before dwelving into the research comparing the demographics before 9/11 and after. The article says that before 9/11 the number of recruits from the middle class was slightly higher than the lower income brackets. After 9/11, “However, the proportion of high-income recruits rose to a disproportionately high level after the war on terrorism began, as did the proportion of highly educated enlistees.”
Not only did the research find that the level of income was higher before and after 9/11 but the research also found that the recruits before and after 9/11 have a higher education level than the general population as well. Dr. Kane points out that the military has 98% who’ve completed high school or higher, in contrast to the 75% who’ve done so in the general population. Below is a graphical comparison:
Interestingly, enough, although the level of the general population that have take some college is much higher than the military’s, the difference drops down when comparing those that have completed post-high school education.
Other comparisons include the recruit demographics by race, by rural versus city, Southern versus New England states, and by state.