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On the November 20 edition of Fox News' Special Report, during a report on Rep. Charles Rangel's (D-NY) proposal to reinstate the military draft, Fox News congressional correspondent Major Garrett uncritically stated that Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) said "the military is meeting its current recruitment goals." But Garrett did not note that new methods -- including lower aptitude standards -- have been adopted to achieve those goals, as Media Matters for America has documented.
In addition to raising the age of Army recruits to 42 from 35 and offering significant monetary bonuses, a primary reason the Army "beat its goal of 80,000 recruits" was by "recruit[ing] more than 2,600 soldiers under new lower aptitude standards this year," according to an October 10 Associated Press report. According to the AP, those 2,600 troops were added under new standards in which "3.8 percent of the first-time recruits scored below certain aptitude levels." By contrast, "in previous years, the Army had allowed only 2 percent of its recruits to have low aptitude scores." The AP added that the "limit" of recruits scoring below the aptitude levels "was increased last year to 4 percent, the maximum allowed by the Defense Department." Because the Army recruited 80,635 soldiers in a year when its goal was 80,000, without the 2,600 troops who did not meet the previous standard, the Army once again would have failed to meet its recruitment goals, as Media Matters noted.
From the November 20 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume:
GARRETT: On Fox's Your World with Neil Cavuto, Rangel said America needs a draft to spread military sacrifice.
RANGEL: Why is a kid who is going to Harvard or Yale or have alternatives not included in the sacrifice for our country? Why would you recruit people who've less options?
GARRETT: Rangel, a decorated Korean War veteran and top lawyer to the draft board during the Vietnam War, said a draft would discourage lawmakers from backing reckless wars.
RANGEL: Every time someone says "more troops," or "the military option's on the table in Iran," and "the military option is on the table in North Korea," they're saying that somebody's kids are going to be placed in harm's way, but not mine.
GARRETT: At least nine current members of Congress have sons who have served or are serving in Iraq or Afghanistan, among them outgoing House Armed Services Committee chairman Duncan Hunter.
HUNTER: My son had a high-tech job and a wife and baby, and he left those to serve his country after 9-11 and I think that's the -- I think that's the patriotic ethic of this country.
GARRETT: Hunter also said the military is meeting its current recruitment goals.
HUNTER: While you have people who are volunteering to take spots in the U.S. military, it doesn't make sense to be drafting people who would be displacing those persons.