An Education Second to None

Photo of Secretary Duncan at Miramar
The 2nd Marine Division of the U.S. Marine Corps has a history of performing their best during tough fights.  The motto of the 2nd Division is “Second to None,” and just as the 2nd Division strives to be the best when called into action, President Obama has called the entire country to action in making our schools and students the best in the world once again.

Education and national security are closely related.  Only 25 percent of American youth qualify to enter the Armed Forces. Three out of four applicants are turned away because they lack a high school diploma, are obese, or have a criminal record. This sobering statistic means America’s ability to defend itself is put in jeopardy.

Yesterday at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar near San Diego, California, Secretary Duncan joined Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), Commanding General of Marine Corps Installations West, Major General Anthony L. Jackson, as well as several other military and civilian leaders in an event to bring attention to the link between education and national security. Secretary Duncan spoke of the need for a greater investment in education to ensure that more young people graduate from high school, obey the law, and get in shape. This is an issue that will determine our national and economic security for decades to come.

The Secretary also noted that fixing No Child Left Behind (NCLB) is the right step in improving education and will put more students on the path to graduating high school.  Congressman Duncan Hunter explained that “We want to fix NCLB this year. If it doesn’t get done this year, it doesn’t get done.”


  1. The ASVAB test itself delivers a “percentile score” result. A minimum of 31 is required to qualify for service. In reality, 30% of Americans don’t qualify academically from service. The remaining 45% are disqualfied for medical or moral reasons … obesity and criminal records being the key contributors.

    Many misperceptions exist about the military. A judge can’t tell a young man, “It’s either this or the military.” The services won’t take him. High school dropouts? Have your GED? Services won’t take them in a down economy as too many highly qualified candidates exist. Normally, less than 5% of all military enlistees join without a traditional highs school degree. Drug history? Out … no more waivers. Military applicants are the most highly screened employee on the planet … for a good reason!

  2. If the above statements are true, that ” 25% of American youth qualify to enter the Armed Forces” and “President Obama has called the entire country to action in making our schools and students the best in the world once again”, then why is it that our High School Junior ROTC programs are being ‘disassembled’? These are the best programs in existence in developing leadership skills and instilling respect for self and community. In general the students enrolled in these programs don’t want to be caught up in the teen issues of today and have found a true sense of meaning participating in these programs. Now, as we supposedly are on a mission to improve the education offered to our youth and improve our nation; this valuable program is being ‘disassembled’. As stated above, President Obama has called everyone to action in making our students the best in the world, yet parents and community are not being given the chance to try to contribute financially to keep the JROTC programs active. We are currently trying to have an appeal considered to reinstate our program. We are supposed to hear by April 1, 2011. Any assistance in getting our message heard would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  3. If this statement is true “Only 25 percent of American youth qualify to enter the Armed Forces.” Are you saying that 75 percent of American youth could not qualify to enter the armed services?
    Please explain.

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