I cringe whenever someone is raked over the coals for saying something provocative. It's nearly impossible to offend me, but tight lips owing to concerns over the reaction of the thought/expression police comes closest. So the predictable reaction to John Kerry's latest gaffe has been disappointing. I wish his words would be used as a starting point for widespread discussion of the intelligence of our military personnel. But as Steve Sailer points out, that'd inevitably lead us down the road to the DoD categorical system based on batteries that are basically IQ tests (which is exactly why we need the discussion).
Instead, Republican partisans will blather on about how this illustrates the Dems' innate disdain for the military, erstwhile Democratic cheerleaders expediently called for an apology and can now smugly and quietly have reinforced the view that the military is comprised of dunces due to the lack of solid argument refuting the assumption.
But the data does not support the stereotypical ignorant, destitute military person. If the DoDEA schools were aggregated and counted as an individual state, they'd have the eighth highest estimated average IQ (100.6) in the country, just behind Minnesota and ahead of Wisconsin.
More impressive still is that the DoDEA manages to get said results from a demographic pool that is only 58.1% white, 22% black, and 9.9% Hispanic, and 9.0% Asian. If estimates are broken up by race and by state, the DoDEA schools fare astoundingly well. For Hispanics, as its own state the DoDEA would rank first, with an estimated IQ of 100.2. Ditto for blacks, at 95.8. For whites, it'd come in third, at 102.8. For Asians, it'd be a middling 11th of 23, at 101.3 (hardly a score to be ashamed of).
Far from being the last resort for desperate minorities, the US military is a bastion of our intellectually above-average compatriots of all races. Let's stop sacrificing them for the putative benefit of Iraqis who are glad to see them die.
Also see Steve's post on estimated military IQ from the late nineties. Those in uniform look even better. Keep in mind the children of military personnel will experience some regression to the mean and that DoDEA schools are for servicemen mostly stationed outside the US whereas enlistment scores are taken from all military personnel (the finance branch and other professional tasks done disproportionately in-country?).