[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 
throughout 
the population. It's so difficult for  military recruiters  to find fresh 
cannon fodder that they have to  resort to outright illegalities  that are 
now too 
numerous to conceal.  The following from the NY Times 5/12  edition.  Dennis  
Kobray

Army to Spend Day Retraining Recruiters
By _DAMIEN   CAVE_ (http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?ppds=bylL&v1=DAMIEN 
 
CAVE&fdq=19960101&td=sysdate&sort=newest&ac=DAMIEN  CAVE&inline=nyt-per)  
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 
20  
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 
in 
Fort Knox, Ky., said that every member of the  command, including  7,500 
recruiters nationwide and senior officers,  was scheduled to take part in  
the day 
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 
hiding  
information from  the military that could make them ineligible to serve. He 
said 
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. 
In  
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 
climate," 
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 
recruiting  improprieties." 
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 
have  
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 
 rep
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 
increased 
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 
being 
put  on  recruiters, who must meet quotas of roughly two recruits a month. 
The  
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 
break  
the bad habits that have developed in the last two  years.  
"It's a good first step, but they have to continually do  reinforcement," 
said 
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 
safety  
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, 
who 
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 
the 
career   guys."  
Mr. Smith said battalion commanders, who typically oversee 150  to 250  
recruiters, can shape the day and determine how much emphasis  they wish to 
put  on 
ethics.  
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 
day's  
sessions and that  he would comment on the plan during a conference call this 
 
morning.  
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 
Army's  
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 
recruiting," he 
said.   
Representative Steve Israel, a Long Island Democrat on the House Armed   
Services Committee, said the stand-down meant that the Army considered   
recruiting 
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  
can't 
perform, it weakens the entire   military."




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