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There is probably something to be said for a program that gives kids from poor (academically, not just economically) backgrounds a vision of a way out that doesn't involve sports. (At least, unlike football, it doesn't involve serious risk of cumulative brain injury before high school graduation!) The military is much easier to get into than a pro sports team. Especially if you weren't born with exceptional physical abilities. And much more likely to leave you with skills which can be used in a second career after retirement.