Project 100,000: New Standards Men and the U.S. Military in Vietnam




Bateman, Kirklin Joseph

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This dissertation examines a Vietnam Era defense manpower program where the Department of Defense lowered the minimum score on the Armed Forces Qualification Test from 31 percent to 10 percent. The Defense Department called the program Project 100,000 because it allowed for 100,000 men per year to serve under the lowered standards. It lasted from October 1966 to December 1971 and resulted in approximately 346,000 men serving in all branches of the military, nearly two-thirds of them in the Army. These New Standards Men, so called since they served under "new standards," were nearly evenly split between draftees and volunteers. The genesis for Project 100,000 occurred when the 1962 Selective Service Annual Review revealed that one-third of the young men who had reported for their induction examination and physical during that year failed to meet minimum standards--about one-half for low-aptitude and the other half for medical reasons. President Kennedy and later President Johnson commissioned a senior-level task force to study why this occurred and to develop national level recommendations to address the problem. The Defense Department's contribution to these recommendations culminated in Project 100,000.



American history, Military history, Public policy, All-Volunteer Force, Draft, Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, Vietnam War, War on Poverty