27 April 2006

The demographics of the US Military or how anti-military folks have it wrong.

I have stated in previous postings that I read Mrs. Michelle Malkin from time to time. Today she posted something that caused me to sit up and think and do some research. It is about the ROTC program at UNC-Chapel Hill, they had their building vandalized. One of the most common comments made by anti-military folks is how the US military purposely recruits from the inner-cities, the lower-income, and lower educated Americans and sends all of those people to go out and fight the wars started by rich, educated, white folks.
So digging around via the US Department of Defense's own homepage, www.defenselink.mil, I found the bi-annual report of population representation, over as a link on the Office of Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. Which is run by the Honorable Dr. David S. C. Chu, who by the way was in the US military as a junior officer during Vietnam and actual served over there.
Anyhow, getting back to my comments, if you check out the following web page for the Population Representation of 2002. Over all this website is full of interesting stats concerning one of the largest employers in the United States of America. That is the US Military. It covers and breaks everything down from ages, ethnicity, sex, education, etc. Typical government stats. There are some interesting highlights and for those of you motivated to read this it will give you some wonderful insight in to the basic stats of those who join the US Military. The report writers also contrast this to the National average of civilian workers as reported to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
So now that we have the basics out of the way, let us take a look at a few salient and important statistics about the US Military.

First off, ethnicity or race.
Looking at this page for those that apply to join the military (which since 1998 the study has included both Officers and enlisted of all the branches and in 1999 the US Coast Guard was included in the study). Then if we look at these two pages for the enlisted and then these pages for the officers. We can see something very interesting. First off, out of the 309,000 applicants to enter the US Military over 64% of them were white males across the board (into all of the major branches). Followed by about 19% were blacks coming into the US military (the highest being in to US Navy and then the US Air Force). Almost the same sort of break down occurs among women. However, the percentages are lower for white women coming in by about 10% and higher by 10% of black women.
Just think about that one for a second folks. What does that tell us, well remembering just my basic stats class from high school, that the US military sees a higher number of White men applying to join up and a large number of white and black women join up. Now the study makes it clear that the applicants are those who and I quote from the summary page:

Applicants are those individuals who express an interest in joining one of
the military services by visiting a recruiter and then following through with
their intentions by completing background paperwork and submitting to a physical
and/or taking the ASVAB. Not all applicants are eligible to enlist, for example
certain medical conditions disqualify an applicant from serving in the military.
Some applicants change their mind regarding enlistment before completing the
process. Thus, not all applicants join one of the Services (those that do join
are called accessions, see the next section for a discussion of Active Component

Accessions as laid out in the quote above are those who look at it all that the services offer and for one reason or another decide to walk away. Well the numbers are just about the same if you look at the writers break down on the next few pages.
For those that actually make it into the active duty force the break down is even more interesting in that it doesn't change. Looking at this page here and this one . We can see that the numbers still run higher for most folks that are considered white Caucasians. Hmmm.....
You know I could go on with all of this, but you all can read it for yourselves and draw your own conclusions about the break down of race in the US Military. Let us move on.

2nd: Education.
The second most common complaint about the US Military is they sucker uneducated people to join up. Well that isn't true at all either. Again looking at their stats just for the active duty force on this page. Which covers the Enlisted only, the report writers break education down the following ways, again to quote the report:

Tier 1—Regular high school graduates, adult diploma holders, and non-graduates
with at least 15 hours of college credit.
Tier 2—Alternative credential
holders, including those with a General Education Development (GED) certificate
of high school equivalency.
Tier 3—Those with no education credential.

So just looking at the active duty folks (IE the regular Army, Navy, Air Force). Across the board well above 90% of them have achieved at least a High School Diploma. Hmmmm.... compare that stat to this one,
which contrasts the education levels of the US Military vs the civilian work force. On average the US military enlisted members are better educated then those just entering the work force or those in the basic laborer position by 2-3%.
While the actual applicants themselves, well just look at this table. You will see that again on an average most of those that apply for the US military are in the Tier I range at 89% or better across the race spectrum. When compared to the civilian population who are just barely breaking out of the 80's.
Most population statisticians will tell you that for a work force the earning potential of of your work force is wholly dependent on their education. So if over 90% of the applicants are in the Tier 1 group which as the report says are High School Grads, have a night school diploma, or even though they didn't finish high school have at least 15+ credits of college then these are people that are usually in the middle class by most economic observers. Hmmm....

3rd point that I want to bring up is where these people work.
Again looking at the report we see this table. Which breaks down by race and by broad general fields where a precentage of personnel work just in the active duty force. I could go into in detail, but basic cut and dry about this is the following about where people work, there are not a higher precentage of any race in any of the more dangerous fields in the military.


I have have been writing this off and one for about 3hrs now and I just came to a realization. Which is the folks that will want to read this will read it and take some of the information that I am presenting as a possibility that the US military isn't as racists as the kooks on the extreme left wing want to present it. So the people that I am hoping are going to read this are my fellow mil bloggers and take some of the information I present and put thier own spin on it from what they see in the trenches, on the flight decks, in the submarines, on the flight line, and in the 5-sided wind tunnel.
To those of you that don't believe in the US Military, well the most I can say is thank you for your support.

*Recently edited 31DEC06 to fix broken links

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