The usual suspects will soon be bemoaning the degrading of the quality of the Army again. I received a message today that CAT IVs, the lowest allowable enlistment category, people who score under a 31 on the ASVAB, will be allowed to join the Army again. This is, of course, a symptom of the over use of the Army, and a sign that Bush's policies are trash. Or not.
In order for a station to be allowed to write a CAT4 they must meet their assigned GA mission. For every GA they enlist beyond their requirement they'll be allowed to enlist 1 CAT4. This is for the RA only, the AR won't be allowed to write any CAT4s. So, basically, a station that is required to write 3 GAs (A GA is a HS Grad with a 50+ on the ASVAB) will be allowed to write one CAT4 if they enlist 4 GAs.
When a news/opinion piece talks about the lowering of the standards this is what they're referring to. The number of CAT4s being enlisting is miniscule. Only stations that have already made a contribution of quality enlistments will be allowed to contribute a CAT4. And these enlistments must ship soon, and they'll be enlisting into the lower skill jobs available. It's not like a CAT4 is going to be an x-ray technician or EOD. They might qualify for laundry and textile. So please, those who are not in the recruiting world, when the inevitable claims of a lowering of standards come blaring out, remember, this is going to represent a slim, slim portion of all enlistments. And it's probably an effort to make sure that training seats don't go unfilled and are thus wasted. If forced to choose between wasting assets by not training someone, or training someone who might be a rock with lips, I'd prefer to see a rock. But that's just me.