Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Military men and women aren't dunces

The leftist media likes to portray American soldiers as either unsophisticated brutes looking to smash some ethnic community, or the hopelessly downtrodden indented into the service due to an utter lack of viable alternatives. What they don't like to convey, and indeed what most self-desribed patriotic Americans don't realize, is that the military classifies potential recruits into five categories based on AFQT scores (basically intelligence tests). Up until last year, category V's (IQ of about 80 or below) weren't allowed in at all, and category IV's (IQs between 80-92) comprised no more than 2% of the new recruits each year (although that number has shot up drastically to accomodate shortages, especially in the army).

Not surprisingly, military brats aren't stupid. Employing the same methodology used to estimate average IQs by state, that is, taking the regression equations produced by running the numbers in the data table put together by Richard Lynn in Race Differences in Intelligence where he correlates IQ scores with international math and science test scores (pp 173-175) and then adjusting the nominal test score values (by running an IQ of 98 through the regression equation produced by Lynn's numbers) on the international tests to the NAEP math and science tests in the US, I come up with the following. From the process described above and by applying equal weight to the science and math test scores by state, the list of states can be found here.

How do the DoDEA schools rank in comparison? With an estimated IQ of 100.6, the DoD's offspring perform at a level suggesting that if considered as an independent state, the DoD ranks eighth in the country, ahead of Wisconsin and just behind Minnesota. Not too shabby, especially when 38% of military enlistees are minorities, and 21% of the total force is black. All the more reason to despair the 2,651 and counting lost in Iraq (in addition to the 20,000 or more wounded there).

These people are, on average, smarter than the run-of-the-mill American. They're also healthier and more energetic. They don't need to join up to put food on the table. Their sense of duty is something we may need in the future, yet we are squandering it today by putting our boys in an exceedingly difficult situation, fighting human nature (Iraq's underwhelming IQ of 87, widespread consanguinety, and Islamic hostility toward Westerners on the home turf) and human garbage, hanging even the death penalty over their heads for untward conduct while on duty.

Also, the estimated IQs of other US territories:

Virgin Islands -- 88.0
Guam -- 87.2
American Samoa -- 75.8 (perhaps due in part to over 90% of the population speaking Samoan; on the NAEP science test, the adolescent population scored the equivalent of a 68.8. On the math test, hinging less on language fluency, the estimated IQ comes to 82.7, about on par with how non-Maori Pacific Islanders usually fare on aptitude tests. It might also have something to do with having the highest emigration rate in the world, with the better equipped moving out.)

(Human biodiversity2)


JSBolton said...

This also contradicts the story we're given about immigration adding to our military dominance. Low IQ for the majority of immigrants' children, and low athleticism amd military proclivities on the high end, mean actually a drag on this aspect.
When one considers that there is actually huge affirmative action going on in the military regarding officers' promotions, and this keyed to the minority proportions in the military of all ranks; it should be clear that population qulaity deterioration from immigration cohorts, causes an automatic downraft on force quality.

Anonymous said...

You had better be smart in the military of today with all of the technology and increased amounts of information that everybody gets all the time via satellite, radio, PC, etc...The army does not want stupid robots and that is why they hate the draft because it forces the dumb and unwilling on them. I work for a defense contractor, and the military people we work with are smart. These guys know their business (war and killing), but also mathematics, history, physics, chemistry, you name it. They have been and are also in the field on a regular basis, like Iraq, Afghanistan, etc...so they are not desk jockeys (like me). They enjoy their work and have some of the best stories I ever heard as well as being well-read. As for the minorities in the armed forces, they are probably among the smartest of their races. It does not take a PhD to be in the military, but a good many officers and not a few Sgts. have them, but more have MA's. As long as the army can take those of any hue that can pass the test we are OK, however, if they cave into letting the dumb in because of political pressure, we will be sorry as the bright officers and men will quit when their terms are up and we wil have the stupid leading the stupid, literally.
However, I agree with jsbolton that immigration and AA will eventually degrade the quality of the military if it is kept up. Then when we go up against a China or another nation that is not averse to casualties, we are going to have problems. When the Chinese invade Taiwan they will not have any problems losing 25, 30 or 40,000 of their men (or whatever gets the job done). We will. But that is another comment posting.

Anonymous said...

as wars go, casualties in Iraq/Afgh. are pretty low. You're underestimating military people yourself. They're the kind of folks who're gonna take risks no matter what. Have you compared mortality rates for ultra-risk takers in civilian life with comparable ages in the miltiary? Risk takers die, in war or out. It's a shame alright. But risk takers are volunteers. Don't cry over volunteers. What you get back from the wars and other risks are the tried and true who've got perspective nobody else has.

College students don't have perspective worth beans. That's why most of what you hear on campus is bs. Even from instructors. No perspective--haven't been there or done that. Life's a risk.

crush41 said...

First anon,

Thanks for conveying the personal experience. It is heartening.

It sounds like the erudite military men are mostly officers, although not always. Anything specific on the proportion of NCOs, ROTC 4-yearers, and military school grads?

What John predicts may already be happening to some extent, as the amount of category IV recruits has shot from 2% of rookies into the double-digits.


Better armor, intelligence, medical technology, and the fact that we're fighting mostly Arabs have all helped keep mortality rates (although casualty rates, at 20,000+ wounded, are not insignificant) relatively low. Still, at over 2,600 killed over four years with a force of roughly 150,000, we have an annual casualty rate of 433 per 100,000. Compare that to the two most dangerous civilian occupational industries in the US: Lumberjacking (118 per 100,000) and commercial fishing (71 per 100,000).

Probably the most perilous non-military job in the US is crab fishing. I've a friend who lives in Anchorage and does it every year for a few weeks. He makes upwards of $1,000 per day (as the article attests to). Even it, however, is less fatal than Iraq thus far. And our men in uniform aren't making those kinds of dollars.

mping said...

As to the rate of death of being in the military vs. other dangerous jobs, I took a look at it in this post. Being in the Marines has a fatality rate (382 per 100,000) 3 times that of a fisherman (the deadliest job ranked by the BLS) and being in the army (155 per 100,000) has a rate 1.3 times as high. So they are definitely more dangerous than any other job you could have, but not by as much as you might think.

crush41 said...


I wonder how many Marines are in Iraq, and the percentage they comprise of total American casualties in Iraq. Ditto the Army. How much more dangerous is being stationed in Iraq than being in the military at large?

mping said...

From the numbers in the report, the Army had 1633 deaths, a death rate of 3.94/1,000 and (if I am doing the math right that is) 138,156 soiders there on average over the 3 years of the study (well I guess it is 3 years and 10 days since the war started on the 21st of the month, but I am not taking that into account). For the Marines the numbers are 695, 8.48 and 27,319. For the Navy 45, .83, 18,072 and the Air Force 23, .4 and 19,167.

crush41 said...

So Iraq is more dangerous than military service in general. Thanks for that!

nzconservative said...

I don't think Hollywood does a lot for the image of US soldiers.
They generally come across as wise cracking, egotistical extroverts that run around like a bunch of monkeys on crack.

However, whenever you watch one of of those documentaries about war heroes, the medal winners seem to be humble unassuming types.