18. Test results determined the military training to be made available to all enlistees and draftees
In 1950, the four branches of the military adopted a single standard for testing and evaluating new recruits. The Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) was used to evaluate new recruits and determine which military specialties they were best qualified to enter for training. It remained in use throughout the period of American combat operations in Vietnam. During the Vietnam War, the Army faced competition for highly qualified applicants from the Air Force and Navy, often preferred by enlistees because they were less likely to be involved in combat. Both services offered a sort of refuge from the draft.
The Army was the first to offer choices of career paths in military specialties, such as communications, at the time of enlistment. Training was offered based on length of initial enlistment, and a new recruit could if qualified in terms of test results, physical fitness, and education, select the career path he would follow while in the service. Enlistees who did not specify a military specialty were assigned to one based on the needs of the service that matched with his test scores. Draftees were also assigned a career based on the needs of the Army, and replacing the troops rotated out of Vietnam, in a variety of job specialties, was its highest priority until the US began its withdrawal from Southeast Asia.