Army Recruit Quality
August 6, 2007
Every person who joins the Army is 100% qualified to become a Soldier. The Army continues to attract highly qualified and motivated individuals to serve the Nation.
We define and measure recruit quality in terms of the percentage of non-prior service accessions and how they score on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB), plus whether they have a high school diploma or equivalent certificate of graduation.
However, recruit quality cannot simply be attributed to test scores and diplomas. While the Army has established ranges and requirements to determine entry level recruit quality, the total indicator of future Soldier quality and potential cannot be fully realized until a new Soldier has been trained and influenced by leadership.
Army recruits have a much higher aptitude than the general population. The Department of Defense uses the ASVAB, an aptitude test, for screening. This test is "normed" to a nationally representative sample of youth. In 2006, more than 60% (active Army and Army Reserve combined) of recruits scored above the 50th percentile; by definition, only 50% of American youth did.
The quality standards are established by Congress, the Department of Defense and the Army.
Congressional mandate* DoD mandate Army mandate
Category I-IIIA No statute No less than 60% No less than 60% with floor 65%
Category IV No more than 20% No more than 4% No more than 4%
HS Diploma Grad No less than 65% No less than 90% No less than 90%
*Defense Authorization Act for FY1981