BBC News - Almost 40% of army recruits have reading age of 11, MPs warn No mention that these 16/17 year olds can go to the Army Foundation College. The army have had a number of under achievers from school who turn out to be cracking soldiers such as the well known Andy McNab. In m view, where schools have failed them, the army have taken them on and moulded them into something better. Sounds like a leftie report to me. So they'd prefer someone to drop out of school at 16.... with no prospects if they can't join in another 2 years which allows time for them to get mixed into drugs and the wrong crowd?