Recruits that lack a high school diploma or a GED can now join the U.S. Navy, per changes announced by Chief of Naval Personnel Rick Cheeseman.
The news marks an opportunity for people that don’t have either a diploma or a GED to test their way into the service, as those without the aforementioned credentials must score at least a 50 on the Armed Services Qualification Test, which is out of 99, the Associated Press reported.
1/3 – I updated the @USNavy recruiting policy to allow candidates with AFQT scores of 50 or higher who do not have a HS diploma or GED to enlist – opening another pathway towards enlistment. This expands the Navy’s pool of applicants + attracts talent from across the nation.
— VADM Rick Cheeseman, USN (@2Cheeseman) January 26, 2024
“We get thousands of people into our recruiting stations every year that want to join the Navy but do not have an education credential. And we just turn them away,” the Vice Adm. Rick Cheeseman told the AP in a Friday interview.
Last year, some 2,400 prospective sailors were denied admission because of the education requirement, Cheeseman explained. Under the new rules, Cheeseman estimated that some 500 or so of that lot could get in based on testing alone. (RELATED: U.S. Active-Duty Military Personnel Obesity Rates Surpass 20%, Report Says)
The overall increase in flexibility with regard to enlistment comes as a result of an impending recruitment crisis plaguing the U.S. military as a whole.
Although two branches met their recruitment goals last year: the Marine Corps and the Space Force, the Army, Navy, and Air Force all failed to meet their respective marks, according to the AP.
The Navy’s enlistment goal last year was set at 37,700, however, the service only brought in 31,834, per Cheeseman.
This time around, Cheeseman set the current goal thousands of bodies higher, coming in at 40,600, the outlet continued.
“I need these sailors. So it’s a stretch goal. We’re telling our recruiters to go get 40,600 people to join the Navy,” Cheeseman outlined.
“We don’t fully expect to get that many. But we’re going for it,” the Navy Admiral said.
The reduced standards moved some to suggest that the United States is preparing for war.
🚩 RUMORS OF WAR 🚩
The United States Navy Has Just Dropped All High School Diploma & GED Requirements For Enlistments
During World War II, the high school requirement was dropped due to the urgent need for manpower to fight in the war.
— Ohhhh Gilligan! (@FlipJoyX) January 26, 2024
The last time the Navy accepted low-education enlistees was back in 2000, according to The AP.