Honest Military Recruiters Not Wanted For USA High Schools
The military in the United States is facing a huge problem, which is how to recruit people for the military in an atmosphere where there is great anti-war sentiment. Recently, the maximum recruiting age has been raised from 35 to 42 years old. If this does not bring up recruitment numbers, the reader should expect the reinstatement of the miltary draft in this country.
HONEST MILITARY RECRUITERS NOT WANTED FOR USA HIGH SCHOOLS
As the Bush administration continues to deny the reinstatement of the military draft, many high-schools across this nation are fighting the problems of dishonest military recruiters. A source in a Fort Lauderdale has personally told me of many problems faced by the students in her school. Young, impressionable teens are promised the world, and are told that they will be trained for an adult career, that cash bonuses await them, and that they can earn a college degree while they work stateside. But when the time comes for the recruiter to deliver on these promises, most students fall victim to a rather nasty bait-and-switch, as they find themselves on the short list for duty in Iraq.
These recruiters are given preferred placement for their recruiting tables, set up in the cafeteria, in the front foyer, or near the principal’s office. This provides an air of sanctioned approval by the school administrators, who provide the names, addresses, telephone contact data, and e-mail addresses of their entire senior classes. This is done without the knowledge or approval of these children’s parents. Worse yet, these same students are now subject to recruitment assemblies, where an entire senior class is herded into the school auditorium, and is subject to the not-too-subtle coercion of the recruiter.
After school, these recruiters show up unannounced at local teen hang-outs, where they work their psychological sleight-of-mind on these impressionable youngsters. These days, it is literally anything goes, and these adults know every trick in the book, which are then used against these children who are having a hard time saying no. Racial profiling is also used, where students in the lower income strata are told that the military is the only way out of the inner city.
And, what happens if one of these targeted students asks about injury or death while in the line of duty? It is now policy to lie and downplay this as an unlikelihood and an improbability. Again, the recruiters are told to lie about the very real dangers that await the new recruits once they enter into battle. This is not a video game, where one merely presses a reset button and is granted a new lease on life. There is no GOD MODE in the battlefield, where I cheat code can be entered to avoid injury, and the loss of life and limb are issues that reach far beyond an X-Box or Playstation video game unit.
Military Recruitment Takes to the Internet and Mirrors Real-Life:
The Internet and blogs form one arm of military recruitment in today’s world. However, only one part of the story is being told, and that is the part of the story that gets teens to sign up for duty. Perhaps not so surprisingly, the part of the military reality that discusses permanent injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, and even death is simply left out, and never discussed, if at all possible. If the recruit is conscious enough to ask about these aspects of military life, they are given half-truths and misinformation. These recruiters are trained in techniques of advanced mind-manipulation, and are no match for an oft-times down-on-his-luck teen.
After I had graduated high-school way back in 1981, I was dating the sister of one of my ‘hang-out buddies.’ During this time, he was being recruited for the Army, and was told more lies that any of us could count. He was told of a cash signing bonus that never materialized. He was told of college tuition money that never seemed to find its’ way to him. The recruiter bought him dinners, over which my friend was told still more lies, and heard more empty promises. It was immediately apparent that the general strategy was to tell him whatever it was that would get him to sign-up, never mind the violations of morals and ethics.
After all, there was a quota to meet …
In today’s world of the 21st century, military recruitment has gotten even more sophisticated. There is now a new advertising technique of creating a blog that looks like it is coming from an individual, when in fact, it is a slick marketing piece dressed up as a blog. So, if that teen sees or is directed to a blog that talks about how much fun it is to be in the military, it is likely that blog was written by a marketing team, and not an individual soldier, as it appears to be. This allows the marketing message to be controllable, and unless the teen is unusually advanced, or knows a great deal about online marketing, they are likely to be sucked into this world wide web of lies. In fact, the more deceitful the final product turns out, the more likely is its’ success.
I have noticed one thing about today’s world that is quite disturbing to me, and it is simply that honesty is a negative trait, while dishonesty is rewarded in nearly all levels of society. This was one reason why I gave up a successful self-employed business. I learned the tough lesson that for me to be as successful as my ambition desired, I had to become cut-throat and dishonest, adopting a slash-and-burn style toward my prospective clients. It was either to do that, or to be left alone in the dust of others who sought to trample me on their way toward success. In the end, I simply could not do this, choosing instead to close a successful commercial printing business that boasted nearly two-hundred clients.
But, what about the honest military recruiter blogger?
Let us take a look at one example of this, to learn the fate of such honesty in today’s world.
Confessions of a Military Recruiter:
The description of this blog was as follows:
With Recruiters in the media every day now, along with "Counter-Recruiting" groups, I've decided to create this blog. The objective of this blog is to show the public what REALLY happens in the recruiting world. This is not meant to try and recruit people into the military; just simply provide a point of view. **DISCLAIMER** This blog is in NO WAY officially endorsed by the Department of Defense or any government organization. This blog is done of my own free will and posts MY OPINIONS ONLY.
The honest military recruiter began his blog in July 2005, with the following caveat:
If you didn't notice before I'm a recruiter for the military. I cannot, and will not, reveal my true identity. Also if I talk about co-workers I'm using fake names. I must not do so as to avoid possible UCMJ [uniform code of military justice] actions against me. Many people may think this is weird. But because this blog is not officially approved by the Public Affairs Office (PAO) I can get into serious trouble for posting this.
Already, the readers of this blog learn that all military communications are controlled, and must be approved by the Public Affairs Office. In the military, there is no such thing as ‘freedom of speech.’
In another early blog entry, he describes the two types of recruiters; one honest, the other dishonest:
Today, I'm going to talk about the different kind of recruiters there are. In my opinion there are 2 kinds of recruiters. Those who volunteered for this and those who were forced into this. Many times the kind of recruiter determines the success and integrity of the recruiter. Those of us that volunteered for this job tend to be more successful and more honest. We volunteer for this job because we believe in what we're doing, we believe in the mission, we believe in the United States and her freedoms. The other kind of recruiter hates his job and will do anything to make mission as easily as possible. That's why you see "corrupt" recruiters on the news all the time now.
See, in this job I kind of see things differently than most people. I see myself as a football recruiter for a really big college. My job is to find the best players possible; to make sure I'm putting together a winning team. I'll admit that sometimes I will put somebody in who's just a filler to make sure the team has enough players to take the field. But I truly want to put together a winning team and only put in the best quality applicants.
The other kind of recruiters don't give a [expletive deleted] about their job. Sure some of them come to like their jobs, but the most of them don't. So they're always trying to cut corners and make things easier. That leads to un-ethical things being done. They don't want to enlist people, only to have their NCOIC [non-commissioned officer in charge] screaming at them about not making mission. They'll find the first person who says "yes" and do whatever it takes to enlist them. That means fudging paperwork, buying urine blockers to make them pass a [urine] test, and other things.
Next, the recruiter talks about the problems of enlisting females, and the risk of being accused of sexual harassment. He is clearly afraid of being accused of behavior such as in the Tailhook military sexual abuse case. In situations like this (and in domestic violence cases as well), the law is skewed heavily in favor of the female, and against the male. It doesn’t matter if she started it, the sex or the fight, the law sees the man as the aggressor in these types of situations:
Personally, I'm just not that comfortable enlisting females. I'm so scared that they're going to claim that I sexually assaulted them or something. All they have to do is ACCUSE me of doing so and I'm done. I'll lose my job in a heart beat. It doesn't matter if there is no shred of evidence I'll still be fired. To figure out their body fat %, I need to tape parts of their body. I WILL NOT tape them myself. I usually have them bring in their mom or a friend and I'll instruct them how to do it properly. I just won't risk it. Then to top all that off I live very far away from MEPS [military entry processing station]. It's about a 4 hour drive. I'm just not comfortable sitting in the car for 8 hours alone with female applicants. The risk for them to claim sexual assault is just too great. I've also had females who want to [have sex with] me and tried to put the moves on me in the car. I made it clear that there will be none of that and put their actions to a halt immediately.
On January 17, 2006, things began to fall apart for the honest recruiter, as he explains in his own words:
I should have never told him to lie. If I wouldn't have told him to lie, I would have never gotten in trouble. I should have been a good NCO [non-commissioned officer]. I should have followed the NCO Creed. I should have done the RIGHT thing and not the easy thing. Originally I was going to deny everything - but I knew I couldn't do that. I needed to be a professional and be responsible for my own actions.
The punishment for telling an applicant to lie could have been a lot worse - I'm actually surprised how easy they were on me. The punishment for being behind mission is what has really been hard on me. I'm on mandatory hours 9am to 9pm. I have to submit hourly reports twice a day to show SGT Scatter what I am doing. I have to call him when I get to work and tell him what I have planned for the day. I then have to call him at 3 to tell him what I've done and what I'm going to do for the rest of the day. THEN I've got to call him when I go home and tell him what I did for the day and what I've got planned for the next day. It then all starts the next day again. I haven't figured out what he expects to change from 9pm to 9am the next morning - but I've got to call him. At the end of the week I've got to submit a detailed weekly report explaining everything I did that week. And when I say detailed, I mean detailed. I've got to write about each interview I did, explaining exactly what was said and the prospect's reaction, then explain what I'm going to do next. I've been doing 2 interviews a day for the whole month. When I get carpel tunnel from all the typing I do, I hope I get medically discharged for it! (Just kidding).
So now you know what's been going on. Now you know why I haven't posted in a while. Everything is not good. I'm still behind mission - I need 2 to finish the month. I'm meeting some people this weekend to get papers signed and a date to go to MEPS. If all goes well they'll enlist. I figure I'd better find 2 more right away. #1 because I'm not going to put all my eggs in one basket. #2 because it will all start again next month!
Eventually, someone in the military command structure found out about this blog, when a phone call was overheard. Because it wasn’t approved or sanctioned, this honest military blogger was shut down for being too honest about his job, and also for posting his personal comments in a public forum. Here is his final blog entry, which was dated May 5, 2006:
Well folks, I was hoping I didn't have to write this post - but all good things must come to an end.
As of today, May 5th, 2006, I am officially shutting down my blog. There are two reasons I must do so and I feel that I should explain them to my faithful readers.
There is no reason that is the "one" reason, but added together I felt it is time.
First of all, there are certain commands out there that do NOT want me to blog. In doing some research (OK, asking some people - some friends in high places and two reporter friends of mine) I have found out that they have been trying very hard to find out who I am and shut me down. At first I thought it was kind of funny, but realized that I really don't want to end my military career over a blog - it has gotten THAT bad! To the people who want me shut down, you win. I don't know if I posed a threat to you, or if I posted words you did not approve of, or what I did to cause you to hunt me down, but I'm sorry if I have damaged the service that I have dedicated my life to. My intentions were never to harm anyone, only to show a corner of the world many people are not privy to.
Second of all you have probably noticed that I have not posted in a while. Part of it is because I was evaluating if I wanted this blog to continue or not. The other part of it is because there is a lot going on in my life. Trying to post to the blog is another part of my to-do list that keeps getting longer and longer every day. I have been evaluating my life recently and realized something's got to change - I am adding some things to enhance my life, but at the same time some things have to go. In this evaluation I decided that the blog had to go.
I would like to thank the many readers I have and apologize that I am taking my blog down. Hopefully I have helped some people out during my time here as a blogger. I am going to go through all emails (one thing that has been pushed aside) and try and help out anybody who has emailed me. I am also going to keep the email address open for a while to help advise people for a while longer. If you want to you can feel free to email me as much as you want.
Again, thank you and goodbye
"See you on the other side"
What the military doesn’t want, are soldiers who think for themselves. Because those who think for themselves might object to an order, or refuse an order. This is anathema to the military power structure. The Army will go after those who do not follow the regulations, and in this case, honesty was an undesired trait. If this same recruiter was out harassing high school students, and lying to them to get them to sign up, he would be considered a team player. But, because he dared to think for himself, and worse, share his thoughts with the public, he found himself in trouble. We never get to know just how the story turned out, but, it is likely that sanctions were levied against this recruiter, simply for having the temerity to go against the established power structure. It is a shame, that in today’s world there is such a thing as being too honest, and being too honest is considered a negative or defective personality trait.
Ghost Troop Info War Correspondent
Mission of Conscience / Patriots in Action
© 2006 Kentroversy Papers
All rights reserved. Used with permission.
The following sources were used in the creation of this Kentroversy Paper . . .
Confessions of a Military Recruiter
Counter-Recruiting: Keeping Kids Out Of The Military (June 25, 2006)
Go Army (U.S. Army Recruitment Site)
Dishonest Military Recruiters
Honest Military Recruiters
Captain Eric H. May