Quite a number of readers have asked when I think a child should get a cell phone.
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My answer is “When the child is able to pay for the phone and the service.” I have yet to hear a good reason for purchasing a cell phone for a child who does not have a driver's license, and if a child has a driver's license, then he can get a job and pay for a cell phone on his own.
A recent column in which I advised the parents of a teen to let him drop out of high school, get his GED, and join the Army has been challenged by some military recruiters, and I submit to their correction. My information, however recent, was already outdated.
Whereas most branches of the armed services once allowed individuals who possessed GEDs to enlist, the Marines no longer does and the other branches have tightened their policies. It appears that GED students have a greater likelihood of not making it through basic training, perhaps because they tend to have greater problems with authority and sticking with commitments than high school grads. When enlistees don't make it, the military loses time, money, and man power hours, all precious commodities.
According to the U.S. Army information Web site, the Army is currently not accepting people with a GED in most areas of the country but does make exceptions, and those tend to have scored well on the Armed Services Vocational Assessment Battery.
The Army also has a special track, the GED-Plus Enlistment Program, for disadvantaged young people who possess neither a high school diploma nor a GED. For details, go to the source: a military recruiter.