Military Recruiting Facts & Information

Education Benefits

  • To qualify for college aid you have to pay a $1,200 non-refundable deposit ($100 a month for the first year) to the military to join the Montgomery GI Bill. If you receive a less-than-honorable discharge (as about one in four people do), leave the military in less than 3 years, (as one in three do), or later decide not to go to college, the military will keep your deposit and give you nothing. (source)
  • 57% of the veterans who sign up for the GI Bill have never seen a penny in college assistance, and the average net payout to veterans has been only $2,151. 29% of veterans have been determined not eligible for benefits at the time of their discharge. (source)
  • The maximum benefit you can qualify for under the Montgomery GI Bill is $36,144. To earn a larger benefit, like the $70,000 the military is so fond of advertising, you must qualify for the Army/Navy College Fund. To do this you must score in the top half of the military entry tests and be willing to enter a designated job specialty. These designated Military Occupational Specialties are the most unpopular in the military and the military has a hard time filling them because they have no skills that are transferable to the civilian job market and/or are exceptionally dangerous. (source)
  • While most enlistees join the Montgomery GI Bill, only about 1 in 20 qualify for the higher benefit Army College Fund or Navy College Fund. (source)
  • In addition to military service, there are additional requirements to meet before soldiers receive money. First, you must be attending an accredited school. Second, the military’s payment plan is based on a four-year college schedule: they’ll pay you equal portions of your money over 36 months (the equivalent of four academic years of nine months each). If you, like 56% of veterans using the Montgomery GI Bill, attend a two-year school or vocational school you can not receive larger payments over a shorter period of time. That means a two-year college graduate will receive only half of the money they have earned. (source)
  • The Montgomery GI Bill is inadequate to cover the costs of many colleges and universities. The average cost of public colleges is $12,127 per year with private colleges costing an average of $29,0626 per year. The maximum GI Bill benefit, $9,306 per year, does not cover the average cost of public colleges and the average amount received by veterans in 2004, $5,540, is not even half of the average. (source)
  • Only 43% of those who signed up for the military and began paying into the GI Bill have received anything, meaning that 57% have received no college benefits. (source)
  • The average net amount that the military has spent on the GI Bill is less than 1/8th of what it spends on recruiting. (source)

Job Training

  • Only 12% of male veterans and 6% of female veterans surveyed made any use of skills learned in the military in their civilian jobs according to research by Ohio State University researchers who received funding from the military. (source)
  • Studies have found that on avarege, veterans earn less than non-veterans. In a comprehensive overview of 14 studies which analyzed this question, Stephen R. Barley of the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell U. found that the average post-Vietnam War-era veteran will earn between 11% (Crane and Wise 1987) and 19% (Rosen and Taubman, 1982) less than non-veterans from comparable socioeconomic backgrounds. According to a 1990 study by Bryant and Wilhite, the average veteran will earn 85 cents less per hour (about $1700 less per year) than non-veteran peers (source)
  • 1/3rd of the homeless population in the United States are military veterans. (source)


  • African Americans represent about 29% of the enlisted personnel of the Army, 21.1% enlisted personnel of the Navy, 15.8% enlisted personnel of the Marine Corps, and 18.5% enlisted personnel of the Air Force with only 8% overall represented as officers. African Americans make up about 13% of the US population. (source)
  • Latinos represent about 9% of the enlisted personnel of the Army, 10.5% enlisted personnel of the Navy, 14% enlisted personnel of the Marine Corps, and 5.6% enlisted personnel of the Air Force with only 4% overall represented as officers. 17.5% of Latinos in the armed forces are in critical combat-related positions. Latinos make up about 13.5% of the US population. (source)
  • Capitalizing on an unemployment rate of more than 40%, Army recruiting offices in Puerto Rico garner more than 4 times the number of recruits US-based recruiting offices average on a yearly basis. (source)
  • During the Gulf War, over 50% of front-line troops were people of color. (source)
  • The military openly targets “minority” populations such as youth of color and low-income youth who the military determines are unlikely to attend college. Marine spokesperson Dave Griesmer says that while the military seeks “diverse candidates” “…if 95% of kids in that area go on to college, a recruiter is going to decide where the best market is. Recruiters need to prioritize.” (source)
  • When recent studies showed a slight dip in young African-Americans� interest in the military (which was already disproportionately high), the Pentagon reacted with a new ad campaign. The Pentagon is now using special Spanish-language ads to target Latino youth, sending fancy recruitment vehicles into lower-income and minority communities, and advertising using hip-hop. (source)

Recruiters Lie

  • By the Army’s own count, there were 320 substantiated cases of what it calls recruitment improprieties in 2004, up from 199 in 1999, the last year it missed its active-duty recruitment goal, and 213 in 2002, the year before the war in Iraq started. The offenses varied from threats and coercion to false promises that applicants would not be sent to Iraq. Many incidents involved more than one recruiter, and the number of those investigated rose to 1,118 last year, or nearly one in five of all recruiters, up from 913 in 2002, or one in eight. (source)
  • Recruiters and some senior Army officials say that for every impropriety that is found, at least two more are never discovered. And the Army’s figures show that it is not punishing serious offenses as it once did. In 2002, roughly 5 of every 10 recruiters who were found to have committed improprieties intentionally or through gross negligence were relieved of duty; in 2004, that number slipped to 3 in 10. (source)
  • The military enlistment document is not a contract. The document itself says �Laws and regulations that govern military personnel may change without notice to me. Such changes may affect my status, pay, allowances, benefits, and responsibilities as a member of the Armed Forces regardless of the provisions of this enlistment/reenlistment document.” This means that the military has absolutely no obligation to keep any promise made by recruiters, even if it was received in writing. (source)
  • It is a myth that one can enlist in the military for only a pre-determined amount of time such as 2 years as the the military reserves the right to extend enlistees’ terms. According to the enlistment agreement: “In the event of war, my enlistment in the Armed Forces continues until six (6) months after the war ends, unless my enlistment is ended sooner by the President of the United States.”, “b. If I am a member of a Reserve Component of an Armed Force at the beginning of a period of war or national emergency declared by Congress, or if I become a member during that period, my military service may be extended without my consent until six (6) months after the end of that period of war.”, and “c. As a member of a Reserve Component, in time of war or national emergency declared by the Congress, I may be required to serve on active duty (other than for training) for the entire period of the war or emergency and for six (6) months after its end.” (source)

Women and the Military

  • 50% of women at the Air Force, Army, and Naval academies report being sexually harassed and “hostile attitudes and inappropriate actions toward women” continues “to hinder the establishment of a safe and professional environment.” (source)
  • 79% of women veterans surveyed by the by Iowa City Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) and University of Iowa researchers reported experiences of sexual harassment during their military service; 30 percent of the women reported an attempted or completed rape. (source)
  • In 2005, reports of sexual assault were up by 40% in the military with a total of 2,734 reported sexual assaults (source)
  • Women in the military are typically limited to types of work that fit within traditional gender roles. According to a 1998 government report, “many women report that they are not allowed to work at the jobs for which they were trained . . . [and] that they are routinely assigned clerical or administrative duties instead of being given the opportunity to work in the full range of their occupations (GAO/NSIAD-99-27, 11/98)” (source)