Blacks account for nearly 22% of active-duty recruits in the USA army, even though they make up just 14% of the enlistment-age population. In the most casualty-prone area, the Army, black recruits are 28%. By contrast, the children of the top 15% of earners have joined at a rate one fifth of the national average. Among enlisted servicemen, only about 20% have a parent who has graduated from university.
America's is not a "poor-mans" military. Recruits in recent years have been roughly representative (measured by family earnings and education levels) of the enlistment-age population. In 1987, for example, about 45% of active-duty recruits came from families with above-average incomes. More than 90% of these finished secondary school, compared with 75% of all Americans. Indeed, because of the rising education standards demanded of recruits, the underclass is, in effect, excluded from military service.
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