[Marxism] Tough Times For Military Recruiters
Dbachmozart at aol.com
Dbachmozart at aol.com
Thu May 12 07:50:21 MDT 2005
Although we're not seeing half a million people in the streets protesting
the war for Empire, anti war sentiment is most definitely spreading
the population. It's so difficult for military recruiters to find fresh
cannon fodder that they have to resort to outright illegalities that are
numerous to conceal. The following from the NY Times 5/12 edition. Dennis
Army to Spend Day Retraining Recruiters
By _DAMIEN CAVE_ (http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?ppds=bylL&v1=DAMIEN
Published: May 12, 2005
Responding to reports about widespread abuses of the rules for recruitment,
Army officials said yesterday that they would suspend all recruiting on May
and use the day to retrain its personnel in military ethics and the laws
that govern what can and cannot be done to enlist an applicant.
Douglas Smith, a spokesman for the recruiting command at its headquarters
Fort Knox, Ky., said that every member of the command, including 7,500
recruiters nationwide and senior officers, was scheduled to take part in
of instruction, called a "values stand-down."
Mr. Smith said the Army would re-introduce recruiters to legal recruiting
practices and the rules that prohibit them from lying to applicants or
information from the military that could make them ineligible to serve. He
the focus of the day would also be on reminding recruiters to take advantage
of counseling services that might alleviate stress brought on by long
workdays and the repeated rejection of their appeals by prospects.
"It's ethics-under-pressure training," Mr. Smith said. "We want to emphasize
that bending the rules is not the way to make mission."
In the past, the Army has used stand-downs, or time for reflection away from
normal duties, to re-emphasize safety precautions after serious accidents.
20 years, Mr. Smith said, the Army has never set aside a full day to
specifically address recruitment abuses. "It's reflective of the current
Mr. Smith said. "Some of it is simply part of an Armywide reaffirmation of
ethics. It also is directly related to the allegations that we've seen of
The one-day suspension comes when the Army has been reporting monthly
shortfalls in reaching goals for replenishing the ranks of the all-volunteer
military. The Army has missed its target three months in a row. The Marines
been falling short since January.
It also comes as reports of so-called recruiting improprieties have begun to
appear around the country, with recruiters, local officials and families
questioning how the Army finds its new soldiers. At least one family in Ohio
orted that its mentally ill son was signed up, despite rules banning such
enlistments and records about his illness that were readily available.
David McSwane, a 17-year-old who lives outside Denver, also recently caught
one recruiter on tape, advising him on how to create a fake diploma, and
another helping him buy a product that purportedly cleansed his system of
illegal-drug residue. This week, a CBS affiliate in Houston, KHOU-TV,
played a voice
mail message from a local recruiter that threatened a young man with arrest
if he did not appear at a nearby recruiting station.
Army statistics show that substantiated cases of improprieties have
by more than 60 percent, to 320 in 2004 from 199 in 1999. Recruiters and
former Army officials say they are related to the extraordinary pressure
put on recruiters, who must meet quotas of roughly two recruits a month.
strain is breeding not just abuses, they said, but also stress-related
illnesses, damaged marriages and even thoughts of suicide among some.
One former recruiting official said the stand-down could help refocus the
command. But, he said, it will have to be repeated if the Army wants to
the bad habits that have developed in the last two years.
"It's a good first step, but they have to continually do reinforcement,"
Col. David Slotwinksi, now retired, who was the recruiting command's chief
of staff from 2000 to 2002. "You can't do it one time and check it off."
Two recruiters in the New York area, who learned about the stand-down by
e-mail last week, said yesterday they were not convinced the content of the
training would be meaningful. They said they saw it as a routine day of
training, with a dose of ethics as an afterthought.
"What it will do is help the new recruiters see that they shouldn't worship
the guys who are making numbers by bending the rules," said one recruiter,
spoke only on the condition that he not be identified, to protect his
military career. "I don't think it will work with the older recruiters and
Mr. Smith said battalion commanders, who typically oversee 150 to 250
recruiters, can shape the day and determine how much emphasis they wish to
He said that Maj. Gen. Michael D. Rochelle, who has been in charge of the
recruiting command since 2002, was still working out the details of the
sessions and that he would comment on the plan during a conference call this
Some military experts described the move as a welcome and significant break
from the Army's recent approach to other military scandals.
"This contrasts with Abu Ghraib, where they were trying to overlook what was
going on," said Charles Moskos, a military sociologist at Northwestern
University, referring to the lag between news reports about abuse and the
response. "Here they are directly addressing the problem."
Nonetheless, he said, the pressure to refill the ranks will not subside, and
could increase as recruiters follow the rules more closely. "It means the
military will have to be more creative in how they do the job of
Representative Steve Israel, a Long Island Democrat on the House Armed
Services Committee, said the stand-down meant that the Army considered
abuses serious, and that it was time for Congress to step in. "This isn't
just ruining a kid's life," Mr. Israel said. "When you recruit people who
perform, it weakens the entire military."
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