The Army Times, August 28, 2010 — In today’s issue of The Army Times reporter Susanne M. Schafer wrote that the Army is ending a program that helped nearly 3,000 high school dropouts earn high school equivalency certificates and become soldiers.
“The GED pilot program known as the Army’s prep school started here in summer 2008, when the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan left the service scrambling to find soldiers,” Schafer wrote. “But since then, with the economy in a downward spiral and jobs hard to come by, more people with diplomas have been enlisting.”
In 2008, 82.8 percent of people who enlisted for active duty were high school graduates. That number jumped to 94.6 percent in 2009. “We’re a victim of our own recruiting success,” said Col. Kevin Shwedo, deputy commander at Fort Jackson, the Army’s largest training installation.
It turns out that recruits who were in the program’s last class and have been in basic training for about five weeks said they were grateful to squeak through. “If it weren’t for the program, I’d still be a shift manager at McDonald’s,” said Kristi Garcia of Alice, Texas.