In the wild seas of military necessity, the US Navy is setting a new course, driven by the stark reality of empty bunks and quiet mess halls.

The brass is feeling the heat, staring down a gaping hole where 7,000 fresh recruits should be.

In a move that’s got eyebrows arching and lips pursed, the Navy’s flipping the script, ditching the age-old demand for a high school sheepskin to welcome aboard those who’ve walked a different path.

A Pragmatic Response to Recruitment Challenges

The decision to let go of the rigid enlistment criteria is a nod to the relentless tide of recruitment challenges.

Now, a sharp mind and a solid score of 50 or above on the Armed Services Qualification Test is the new golden ticket into the world of anchors and deck plates.

It’s a change from the old days when a diploma was your only paddle in these waters.

The man at the helm of this shift, Vice Adm. Rick Cheeseman, knows the score.

“We get thousands of people into our recruiting stations every year that want to join the Navy but do not have an education credential. And we just turn them away,” Cheeseman told AP News.