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School Shutdowns Hurt Army Recruitment And Created A National Security Risk. Here’s How

BY MICAELA BURROW

 

  • COVID-19 school lockdowns that stunted educational development are correlated with a 9% decrease in passing rates for Army entrance tests, according to preliminary data.
  • A historic recruiting crisis has forced the Army to downsize, weakening it in the face of intensifying global challenges.
  • “Our military should be spending time preparing our soldiers to protect our nation, not teaching them skills they should have learned in school,” former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Pandemic-era school lockdowns may have lowered the pool of potential service members that meet the minimum academic standards for Army accession, contributing to an ongoing recruiting crisis as the U.S. faces intensifying threats from abroad, according to experts.

With the Army slated to miss its recruitment goals by as much as 25% in 2022 and only 23% of 17 to 24-year-olds Americans eligible for enlistment, the Army faces a historic recruiting crisis, according to the Associated Press. The Army has resisted lowering educational standards, even scrapping a plan to drop the high school education requirement in June, but it still grapples with the lingering effects of COVID-19 on its ability to build a force capable of engaging powers like China or Russia.

 

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