U.S. Navy photo via AP

U.S. Navy Drops High School Diploma, GED Requirement for Recruits — What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

No Diploma? No Problem! The U.S. Navy has again lowered enlistment requirements as it struggles to meet self-inflicted recruiting goals. We’ll get to the latter in a bit. Spoiler: Perhaps Navy brass should have dropped Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) goals instead.

As reported by Navy Times on Friday, America’s naval force will now allow those without a high school diploma to enlist as long as they score a 50 or higher on the Armed Forces Qualification Test that all prospects must take. Those without a General Educational Development (GED) will also be allowed to enlist if they hit the test threshold, according to the Chief of Naval Personnel’s office.

The Navy is not alone in its failure to hit recruiting goals. 

While multiple issues are likely responsible for the U.S. military recruiting crisis, Shillman Journalism Fellow Daniel Greenfield believes there’s one culprit in particular

Greenfield was right. As the Heritage Foundation opined in a December 2023 article: “The military went woke. Time to make some changes at the top.” (Emphasis, mine.)

A fighting force that rejects the above observations will sooner or later get its ass kicked on the battlefield and the high seas. 

“If the nation is to reclaim the military as an institution built for victory in war,” the Heritage Foundation advised, “conservatives must have the courage and audacity to reform the institution, starting at the top, with uniformed leadership.”

Amen to the hell yeah.

The Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations

So what — or whom — is to blame for declining educational standards in America? Here’s a hint:

In October 2023, Oregon became the latest Democrat-run state to drop virtually all high school graduation requirements, including basic reading, writing, and math skills. I’d ask, “Why the hell even bother with high school, then?” — but I don’t want to get off-track.

Oregon’s State Board of Education voted unanimously, arguing that requiring students to complete standardized tests both presented a “harmful hurdle for historically marginalized students” and represented a misuse of state tests. The reason? COVID-19. Please don’t insult our intelligence.

While Oregon isn’t the only state “guilty” of lowering high school graduation requirements, it does serve as a perfect example of the insanity of “the soft bigotry of low expectations.” 

The Bottom Line

Lowered educational standards for all students — vs. raising the effectiveness of properly educating those who struggle — is not only a black mark on those who lower those standards; lowered standards then metastasize into the whole of society, slowly but surely. 

The United States Armed Forces is presently a perfect example of the latter.

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