Contrary to popular belief, the modern Army no longer accepts convicts as an alternative to jail. All applicants must hold a high school diploma or a GED at minimum. (98% are HS grads) A College degree is a requisite to becoming an officer, though many enlisted soldiers also hold them.
During an average recruiter's day, 75% of interviewed applicants are rejected.
For over two decades, the US Army has been an all-volunteer one, which means only those who have the desire to serve will do so-- thereby greatly increasing morale and unit survivability through better teamwork.
It is a sad fact that US Army soldiers have been the target of protesters both at home and abroad, most notably being the recent incident of a uniformed soldier being beaten at gunpoint by multiple assailants in the famously liberal city of Seattle, WA. Recruiters have also been targets for demonstrations and violence. Some people are seemingly unaware that the soldiers are just fellow Americans who are sworn to carry out their duty. These protests are misdirected at them.
The US Army today represents the finest our country has to offer. We must remember to show respect for its members; past and present.