There’s been a lot of talk by those who detest this administration and are clinging to anything they can that “supports” their notion of an unjust war. One of the reasons they site for why we shouldn’t be at war in Iraq is that the military has had to resort to “lowering our standards” with more moral waivers than ever before. The fact is that moral waivers have been increasing since prior to the war in Iraq.
Under pressure to meet combat needs, the Army and Marine Corps brought in significantly more recruits with felony convictions last year than in 2006, including some with manslaughter and sex crime convictions.
Data released by a congressional committee shows the number of soldiers admitted to the Army with felony records jumped from 249 in 2006 to 511 in 2007. And the number of Marines with felonies rose from 208 to 350.
Those numbers represent a fraction of the more than 180,000 recruits brought in by the active duty Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines during the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2007. But they highlight a trend that has raised concerns both within the military and on Capitol Hill.
I have another perspective I’d like to share.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistic’s ”Indicators of School Crime and Safety” report that came out two years ago – the latest report available:
71% of public schools experiences one or more violent incidents and 36% of public school reported violent incidents to the police. 20% of public schools experienced one or more serious violent incidents, and 15% reported serious violent incidents to the police.
According to FBI statistics in 2006 (the latest available), the number of juveniles arrested for assault (ie, schoolyard fights, but not including aggravated assault) rose 5.0% in the past decade. The number of robberies by juveniles rose 34.4%. Violent crimes involving arson by juveniles rose 7.6%. Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter by juveniles rose 17.8%. Vandalism among juveniles rose 10.4%. Weapons offenses by juveniles rose 30.9%.
In 2006, 414,822 juveniles committed the offenses that the article highlights being waivered in to the military. The military recruited 680 of those juveniles – a mere 0.16%! Those individuals made up less than one half percent of the total enlistment contracts signed. With all these increases in crime by juveniles – the government’s constant drive to make everything illegal! – it’s only natural that the military would have fewer individuals to pool from.
I don’t think the military is lowering its standards. I think American society is!! It’s time the American media used a little context instead of making our jobs harder than they need to be.