The Dirty Dozen approach to war

Well, that's one way to meet military recruiting goals: admit more felons! Or serious misdemeanor-ers, at least. The Army is spending so-called "moral waivers" the way sailors spend money on shore leave. The number of waivers granted to recruits with criminal backgrounds is up a whopping 65 percent over the last three years. Catch the money graf at the end of the quote:

It has also increased the number of so-called “moral waivers” to recruits with criminal pasts, even as the total number of recruits dropped slightly. The sharpest increase was in waivers for serious misdemeanors, which make up the bulk of all the Army’s moral waivers. These include aggravated assault, burglary, robbery and vehicular homicide.

The number of waivers for felony convictions also increased, to 11 percent of the 8,129 moral waivers granted in 2006, from 8 percent.

Waivers for less serious crimes like traffic offenses and drug use have dropped or remained stable.

Cynical observers might label this the reverse of the Hallmark approach: We care enough to send our very worst. Kevin Drum rightly reminds us, however, that Army life can be a transformative experience.

Still, the Army shouldn't have to burn through so many waivers with such a vast pool of war cheerleaders/potential recruits on which to draw. Why, The Corner on National Review Online alone could provide a battallion or two...on paper, at least.


Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus