"...you also have to understand that the people of Iraq are just tired of the fighting, and it doesn't matter if you're Sunni, Kurd, Shiia, Christian or Syrians -- you're just sick of this unbelievably bad organization called al-Qaida, which continues to do dastardly things..."
-Army Maj. Gen. Mark P. Hertling, commander of Multinational Division North
Variety of factors contribute to progress in Iraq, general says
Army Preparatory School
What is it?
The Army Preparatory School (APS) pilot program, which begins operations today, has the mission of providing otherwise-qualified recruits without high school diplomas the opportunity to earn a General Equivalency Diploma (GED) before basic training.
What has the Army done?
The Army has established a preparatory school at Fort Jackson, S.C. to help recruits get a GED. The APS will accept 60 Soldiers per week (240 total attendees) for a four-week academic program. Recruits who pass the GED go on to basic combat training; those who don't are discharged.
The program also immerses recruits in fitness, discipline and life skills. Those completing the program will have a foundation for learning and core values for success in the Army and in life.
Recruits chosen for the APS are select individuals. They have achieved above average scores (in the top 50 percentile) on the military's vocational aptitude test and meet or exceed the physical and character standards for becoming high-performing Soldiers. Recruits who needed a waiver to enlist aren't eligible for the APS.
Why is the Army doing this?
Despite the most challenging recruiting environment since the all-volunteer force was established 35 years ago, the Army is committed to maintaining a quality all-volunteer force and will not lower recruiting standards. But high school graduation rates across the nation aren't optimal; they're below 50 percent in some areas. The Army took an action-oriented and creative approach to the problem by establishing the APS.
How does this benefit the Army?
The APS helps sustain the all-volunteer force by addressing the needs of those who meet all requirements but education and deserve an opportunity to serve their country.
Because the program also immerses recruits in fitness, discipline and life skills, they should do well in basic training. The program also may eventually strengthen re-enlistments of Soldiers completing their first terms of service.
What's the way ahead?
If the pilot program's first year results are favorable, it could expand to the basic training installations at Fort Benning, Ga.; Fort Sill, Okla.; and Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.
The Army also is evaluating ways for the APS to become a full-fledged high school diploma program by around mid 2009.
Army opens Prep School at Fort Jackson
Army opens prep school for dropouts to fill ranks (updated on Aug. 27, 2008)
Army Posture Statement:
Information paper on Army Prep School
- 2008 Strategic Communication Guide - Read the 2008 Army Strategic Communication Guide for key messages and updates
- Strategic Communication Coordination Group (SCCG) Workspace
- Army Public Affairs Portal
- Stories of Valor
- Speaker's Toolkit
- Information Papers with " 2008 Army Posture Statement"
July 28 - Aug. 3, 2008: 50th Anniversary of NASA
Aug. 6, 2008: Anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Aug. 16, 2008: 25th Anniversary of Army Family Action Plan