IT’S COME TO THIS: Basic training without yelling: Army recruits get 2nd chance.

So far, 5,400 soldiers have made it through the prep course since it started in August at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. That’s an important boost since the Army fell dramatically short of its recruiting goals last year, due to low unemployment and general wariness about military service. And at least one other military service, the Navy, took notice and is setting up a similar course.

For those who make it through the program, it can be life-changing. Holiday, 23, said many of her peers in her hometown of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, didn’t make it out of high school, with some “dead or in jail.” Sitting outside the class building in her Army fatigues last summer, she talked about trying to pass the academic test for two years with no success.

She said she wanted to set an example, especially for her younger siblings. The prep course gave her a second chance. She raised her academic score by more than 20 points.

The course, she said, was like “basic training without the yelling.” It also allowed her to bond with fellow students. “We helped each other out throughout basic training, so it was easy,” she said. “All of us actually passed, so it was a good experience. And we all keep in touch.”

Army leaders say the program — it involves classroom instruction and training ranging from how to wear the uniform and properly make a bed to fitness and discipline — gives recruits like Holiday an advantage.

As the first commenter to the AP article on Yahoo notes, “The real take away here is our public education system is so bad that these kids can’t even pass a very basic entrance exam. Rather than put money into the schools, we’re paying to have the military tutor kids so they can pass. We’re talking about the ASVAB. Most high school sophomores can pass it without even knowing what they’ve done. And what about the other kids who don’t enlist?”

Flashback: An army of snowflakes. The British Army wants to recruit snowflakes to its ranks. What is it thinking? “Its new PR campaign features posters and TV ads calling on ‘snowflakes’, ‘selfie addicts’, ‘class clowns’, ‘phone zombies’ and ‘me me me millennials’ to sign up. One poster says: ‘Snowflakes – your army needs YOU and your compassion.’”