06. October 2006 · Comments Off on Why he wants it · Categories: General, GWOT, Home Front, Military, War

There is a program in the Army called the 09L Translator Aide Program. The point of 09L is to address a critical shortage of people who can speak Middle Eastern languages in the Army. If an applicant can speak one of about two dozen Middle Eastern languages they’re able to enlist for 09L regardless of their qualifications in several other areas such as education level and aptitude. It’s a wonderful program for the Army since it attracts people who posses a critical skill and who would otherwise be unable to serve in the military. And it’s also a valuable program for the first generation immigrants from the Middle East in that it allows them to serve their new home, possibly earn their citizenship while serving, and basically allowing those who pursue the program to become a bit more integrated into the nation. In a time when many immigrants from that part of the world refuse to assimilate into their new homes such integration may prove important years down the road. Or it may not.

This year I managed to find myself a member of the Afghan refugee community here in Phoenix who was interested in serving as a translator. He actually wanted to be a clerk but he didn’t qualify for that job so we went with the program for which he qualified. Because of my occasionally useful recruiting skills I was able to use my original applicant as a source for several of his friend who would later join. I’m currently working with one such indiviual.

This applicant is actually from Iraq, he knew my Afghan enlistee through school, and he bears some scars of his time in Iraq. I’ve been working with him for a while now, he’s a big guy and has been making slow progress in losing the excess weight. I enjoy working with him because, well, he’s someone who’s history makes me in getting him into the service. One day after having him run some stairs at the local stadium we talked and what he said was the sort of thing gets a recruiter’s heart motivated.

I’ll admit to cross posting this from my normal stomping grounds, but it was the sort of thing that never gets mention in the stories about people joining the military. I edited what he wrote for me to remove identifying info. Where I editted is marked with (DR:).

You asked me why I wanted to join the Army. It is simple. I want to join because it is the right thing to do. This country (DR: America) has taken my family in and did everything it could for us. We live in a nice house in a safe neighborhood. We have jobs and money and cars and we don’t worry about what we do. Me joining the Army is not a popular choice for some people in the refugees. They tell me I’m going to be harming my own country (DR: Iraq). They are wrong. I’ll be a translator. Americans are very smart, but they don’t understand our language like they do Spanish. They (DR: Soldiers in Iraq) are getting attacked and attacking because they don’t know who to talk to or how to talk to them. I can do that. I will be helping America and helping Iraq.

My father was a wanted man in Iraq. It’s why we left. He said things about Saddam and he was wanted. We came here with nothing and we were taken care of. My father has gone back to Iraq and has said things are 100% better. (DR: The town they’re from) is very safe and the people are happy now. Things work. There is electricity and markets and my father even bought a house for us for when we can go back. The only people who made this happen were America. Saddam was taken out by America when no one else would do it.

People in my community tell me I should not be in the Army because I will get killed. I tell them “So what?” (DR: Punctuation added) if I do. I will have died doing something good and my family will understand and they will thank me and know I was doing something I wanted to do. But I don’t think I will be killed. I will be with the Army and not just someone who isn’t in the Army. I don’t know if I will want to go back to Iraq if my family does. I like it in America. I want to get my citizenship and go to school. But I think I should be in the Army because if I don’t I will get all this without earning it.

This applicant is someone who I very much want to have in uniform. Not just because it’s my job as a recruiter to do so, but because he’s one of that percentage of recruits who really wants it. With luck he’ll be swearing in shortly and serving as a Soldier soon. Sooner the better.

22. June 2006 · Comments Off on Fair Warning · Categories: General

The 2006 school year has ended and the class of 2007 is in the barrel. Triggers will be pulled and rounds will go down range in a couple months. This is a time of year where a recruiter’s future will hang in the balance. It’s a well established mantra in the military recruiting realm that a high school program is the key to a recruiter’s success. Knowing the administrators, teachers, coaches, counselors, and custodial staff are important parts to that success. But, where the rubber meets the road is the students themselves. In my particular station we’re preparing to launch our first foray into the newly minted senior class.

I’m not a parent, but I deal with them a lot. I’ve seen first hand the emotions that a parent can feel when they’re confronted by the military talking to their child for the first time. For my experiences it has gone both ways. Some parents are eager to get their kids into the military. When I call they wake Johnny up and tell him to talk to me, or tell me to come by and put their kid in boots and out of their hair. Others are less enthuastic and are concerned that I’m trying to take their young from them, they challenge me to prove why their child should serve. Still others are repulsed by the “US Government” that appears on the caller ID and I’m greeted with threats of violence to my person before I can even identify myself.

In my area the first attempt to contact will be starting soon. A mail out has been prepared that will go to all seniors in our schools identifying the school’s assigned recruiter, as well as listing some of the benefits of the Army and the Army Reserve. This may be a wake-up call for some parents so I figured I’d use my kindly provided pulpit to explain a couple of things, and maybe correct some misconceptions.

It’s the job of a recruiter to contact high school seniors. We’re required to do so, and we’re required to do so about three times. Once at the beginning of the year, again in the middle, and finally at the end prior to graduation. If you tell us “no” we won’t keep calling. We will keep calling though if you never answer the phone, or if you keep hanging up on us when you do answer.

Despite what someone may think all the services are not connected. We don’t share lists. This is frustrating to you as the senior/parent and me as the recruiter. You may tell the Marine recruiter “no” and the next day the Army recruiter will call. Don’t be upset that you’re getting another recruiting call a day after you just told one to leave you alone. I do empatize with your plight, between the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, and the Reserve and Guard forces for all services you’re looking at a lot of “no”. All I ask is that you treat us as kindly as we will treat you.

We don’t know your child from Adam. If your child is disabled or special needs, just tell us and we’ll leave you alone. And, God forbid, they died, you have our deepest sympathies, but we didn’t realize it when we called. We’re not trying to bring up painful memories.

Your child may have different desires than you. Just because you don’t want your child to join doesn’t mean you child doesn’t want to, or at least isn’t curious. Have an open mind and at least discuss it with your younin’. If you’re still not interested, let us know.

We are able to help. All people who enlist into the Army are eligible for $4,500 a year in tuition assitance, most will be eligible for the GI Bill that can help with at least $30,000 for post high school education. It’s a rare family who can totally dismiss $39,000 for college. Even through the Reserve you’re still looking at $30,000 to help with an education.

It’s an interesting time for recruiting. We’re moving into five years of a volunteer force in an active war. It’s a challenege that’s been met for the most part. Despite a constant barrage of the horrors of combat, and a lack of reporting on the good deeds conducted, and made possible, by the men and women fighting the fight, people still continue to sign up. The plan of Al-Qaeda, our enemy, to win is to generate enough ill-will and bad-press so as to break the back of our country. The unwilling (hopefully) complicity of some major media in that plan hasn’t succeeded because of the grassroots efforts of veterans, the troops themselves, and those who support them.

Recruiting in the time is a challenge, and it’s a challenge for which I didn’t volunteer (“detailed” is a nice way of saying “dragged kicking and screaming”). But it’s a fight that is almost as important as the ones being fought overseas. When my recruiting class graduated we were graced to have CSM Michelle Jones, the Command Sergeant Major of the United States Reserve, as our keynote speaker. During her address she told us to view our time in recruiting as our deployment. That without NCOs going out and finding the next Soldiers, team leaders, squad leaders, even sergeants major any progress made in the War on Terror would be for nought. I do believe in what I do as a recruiter. I hope that some day, 20 years from now, I’ll be reading the Army Reserve magazine and recognize some 1SG or SGM as someone I enlisted. Assuming I can still remember by own name 20 years from now that is.

Anyway, parents of high school students, please be aware that the time for your children to be adults is coming. Recruiters really are just doing our duty. We’d like you to help us while we help your progeny.

As an aside, I typed this on the laptop and it has a picky space bar. If a word runs together I’m going to blame it on my equipment, not that I’m a moron who can’t type.

20. May 2006 · Comments Off on 10 Minutes to Wapner · Categories: General

The latest event to tarnish recruiting and paint everyone with a very broad bush was the recent enlistment of an autistic man into the Army. There is an investigation currently going on involving the recruiters and the station involved. As usual for events like this though the recruiters are judged guilty by people not familar with the system. Recruiters do stupid things, and if these recruiters did actually commit an impropriety I’m sure they will be punished. But this is a situation where the recruiters are probably going to be hurt a lot worse than those above them.

By all accounts Mr. Guinther looks normal, and when they describe how it is to talk with him he doesn’t seem any different from any random, shy, awkward teenager. He’s also graduating with a regular, not a special ed, high school diploma and he passed the ASVAB with a 43. A 43 is pretty close to average on the ASVAB, and in the future when the next guy I meet gets a 17 on the ASVAB or EST I will tell them that an autistic kid more than doubled their score. The medical pre-screening is self-revealing. If the kid doesn’t put down that he’s autistic the recruiter won’t know. Maybe you’d think “the boy’s not right” when talking to him, but, again, he doesn’t seem to be someone who is obviously handicapped.

The fact Mr. Guinther was ASVAB’d, and went through the physical where he was seen by a couple of doctors and nurses, and none of them DQ’d him says something. The recruiters didn’t get this kid through phys. The kid got himself through phys. I’ve seen applicants DQ’d for heavy menstrual flow, being lactose intollerant, asthma when 6 years old, and I’ve heard of applicants being DQ’d for excessive acne and man-boobs. The doctors at MEPS are there to keep people who are unqualified form joining, obviously they didn’t see anything wrong with this kid.

The recruiters are going to take the punishment for this. They’re the ones who apparently turned squirelly when confronted. The old saw about the cover-up not the crime applies in recruiting too. But the media coverage of this, as it being a symptom of a corrupt, broken force looking to fraudlently enlist anyone for the machine, isn’t accurate. There is no attempt by any story to look at this from the perspective of the recruiter. Jared Guinther doesn’t walk around with a giant tattoo on his head saying “Autistic” and his brother isn’t driving him around.

It’s for the best that Guinther isn’t going to be shipping. But recruiting as a whole is going to suffer for this mistake, and it’s being unjustly used as an excuse to score political points. The coverage demonstrates to me the broad disconnect between the need for a reporter to say their bit in a 5 paragraph space, and the intricacies of a complex process like putting someone into the Army. That disconnect exists anytime something complex or involved is reported, but this time it affects my sphere of influence.

Oh well, hope everyone has a good weekend.

14. April 2006 · Comments Off on Protests · Categories: General, Home Front, Military

While the majority of the nation was watching the actions of a mixture of illegal aliens, their supporters, and various international socialist and communist organization, a different type of protest took place on the University of California Santa Cruz. This protest featured a couple hundred students who didn’t want their peers to be able to evaluate all the career options open to them.

Any sort of a career fair can be sketchy for recruiters. I’ve been fortunate in never having any large scale protests, and only a handful of spontaneous, small scale events happen. However I’ve never had a table set-up happen which wasn’t visited by a couple of people who made it very clear they felt I was singulary responsible for the war in Iraq. As if stopping me at a poor performing community college will make the Army grind to a halt.

As a military recruiter I fully expect to run into people who don’t want me to do my job. However, I wonder how the other 60 employers at that job fair felt as they saw that mob outside? They still had a good turn out of prospective employees… 545 if I recall correctly. But I wonder how many stayed away because they knew the protest was going to happen, or turned away when they saw it. That’s a loss right there for companies. Not just in the loss of a prospective employee, but it’s a loss of money. Those tables cost cash, sometimes a whole lot, and you expect to get so many people out of an event like that. The fewer people who show up, the less likely an employer will be to get their money’s worth out of the event. Those sorts of things will play into the decision for those companies next semester when they do the next job fair.

Seeing the photos of the recruiters leaving the facility, going through a gauntlet of protestors and being escorted by police made me think of something I’d seen years ago. The photos reminded me of the pictures taken during the Civil Rights movement of the first black students admitted to once all-white colleges. I’m not equating the protest of military recruiters with the violence, threats, and courage of those people at the bleeding edge of the fight for equality, I’m just relating my initial reaction to the pictures.

I’m very proud of my fellow recruiters though. Despite a crowd of people insulting them, threatening them, and calling for their removal from campus they kept their cool. None of the confrontations involved the recruiters and the protestors. All the bad behavior was from one side of the fence, and it wasn’t the side where the military was. In a world where the media was impartial, or at least interested in reporting news, the story would have been about the student protesters of UC Santa Cruz acting like a bunch of screaming howler monkeys and the military left the campus to help defuse the situation before it turned ugly. And not how a unified peace movement was able to force the military off campus.

As recruiters events like this are lose-lose really. When we behave like the professionals we are it simply encourages more of the same. If we were to take the opposite approach and go out swinging, well, it makes for a lot of photographs of people in ACUs pounding on bleeding students. It would be good stress relief, but it’s a very bad idea in the short, medium, and long runs.

Being a recruiter requires a very thick skin and a very sharp wit. You’re going to take a lot of insults and abuse as someone trying to support the defense of our great nation. Some places are worse than others. The community outside of Ft. Benning, GA is far more supportive of people joining the military than the communities around Boston, MA. Usually, when someone walks up and says something stupid, a quick, well aimed retort will usually leave them getting laughed at by their friends.

Anyways… it’s Friday. The Astros are playing the Diamondbacks and I’ve got tickets just off the line in right field. Hope everyone has a super Easter and that Cadbury replaces the Cadbury Bunny with a Cadbury Ostrich.

06. April 2006 · Comments Off on Quality · Categories: Media Matters Not, Military, Rant

The dream of a recruiter is a morally and medically qualified person walking into the recruiting station with their birth certificate, high school diploma, Social Security card, and their ASVAB report saying they have a 50 or above QT. I get a warm and fuzzy feeling in places better left unsaid just thinking about such a thing happening. Recruiting has replaced my night time fantasies about Kathy Ireland with fantasies about that kid walking in.

The fact is that doesn’t happen. Many people who would be interested in the service are barred from joining for any number of reasons related to medical, law, or education issues. Not much can be done about the education. If you can’t pass the ASVAB, or if you haven’t earned a GED there isn’t much that can be done to help you. However, those not in the know would be suprised by what will disqualify someone from joining the Army.

AR 601-210 is the bible for Army recruiting. According to our bible the following individuals are ineligible to enlist.

A 24 year old who, prior to turning 20, had received three speeding tickets for $252, $301, and $290, being fined $300 for driving without proof of insurance, a $250 fine for driving without a license, and a $310 fine for having an exhaust that was too loud. All fines were paid and he has nothing outstanding.

A 22 year old who was arrested for possession of marijuana when she was 16. Hasn’t used the stuff since.

A 28 year old who had been arrested by the cops one night when he was caught egging someone’s house, and then while in college he was arrested for streaking the campus common during Pledge Week.

I think it would be a stretch to consider these people to be unqualified for military service, but according to the regulation they are. Luckily for our speed demon, reformed pot head, and egg-tossing nudist the Army allows waivers to such disqualifications. It is those waivers that this article in Salon bemoans as a way to lower enlistment standards.

I think there are two types of people with two very different agendas who would question the use of waivers. One type is someone with a genuine concern for the quality of the Army Forces. Allowing people with a history of anti-social behavior, major, serious, recurrent troubles with the law is someone who likely be unable to adjust to the rigors of military life, wasting tax payers dollars, and putting the lives of other servicemembers at risk. The other type of person is someone who views the military with distain, but lacks the courage to come right out, and put in writing how they feel about it. Instead they claim that the use of waivers shows the military is hurting for enlistees, and is thus lowering its standards and accepting poorer quality people. Usually this arguement is followed by one about the folly of Iraq, and how it’s proof that Bush lied. Bonus points if “no WMDs” is thrown in.

I’m not going to make a claim about the motivation of Mark Benjamin from Salon, however knowing what little I do about Salon’s stance on the Bush, Iraq, and the military gives me some idea.

Apparently last year 21,880 Soldiers joined with a waiver. That number covers all waivers, moral, medical, and administrative for all components of the Army. Of that 21,880 11, 018 joined with a moral waiver. The vast majority of those moral waivers were for law violations of a misdemeanor or below. Serious offenses (aggravated assault, cocaine possession, robbery, etc) accounted for less than 6% of moral waivers granted, and 3% of all waivers granted. Even though the 680 serious offense waivers granted was an increase over 2004, it’s still a minor portion of all people enlisting. For my involvement in this, I enlisted one person last year with a serious offense waiver. He’d been involved in a robbery when he was a juvenile. He enlisted when he was 28 years old. His offense was over 10 years old when he enlisted, and it still required a waiver. I’m confident that an analysis of those serious offense will show a large number of people who committed crimes a long time prior to their enlistment.

Mr. Benjamin devotes a lot of column space to the waiver policy lowering the Army’s standards, when in reality serious offenses represented less than 1% of the total enlistees for 2005.

The anecdotal evidence that Benjamin provides isn’t really applicable to the Army. Even though his story is about the Army, he uses events from the Air Guard to support his story. I don’t know the Air Guard’s policies and procedures, but I’ll treat all the anecdotes as having happened in the Army, and I’ll explain how they were allowed to join.

“After his parents filed a domestic-abuse complaint against him in 2000, a recruit in Rhode Island was sentenced to one year of probation, ordered to have ‘no contact’ with his parents, and required to undergo counseling and to pay court costs. Air National Guard rules say domestic violence convictions make recruits ineligible — no exceptions granted. But the records show that the recruiter in this case brought the issue to an Air Guard staff judge advocate, who reviewed the file and determined that the offense did not ‘meet the domestic violence crime criteria.’ As a result of this waiver, the recruit was admitted to his state’s Air Guard on May 3, 2005.”

The Army’s definition of domestic abuse is the Lautenburg law. Per 601-210 domestic abuse occurs when the person committing the assault is the current or former spouse, parent, or guardian of the victim; a person who shard a child with the victim; cohabitating or had cohabitated with the victim as a spouse, parent, or guardian; person who could be viewed as the spouse, parent, or guardian of the victim. No where in there are the parents of the offender included as someone who Lautenburg applies to. Since it’s not considered domestic abuse by the Army, it would fall under assault or what ever other applicable policy, and the appropriate waiver would be processed and granted if found worthy.

“A recruit with DWI violations in June 2001 and April 2002 received a waiver to enter the Iowa Air National Guard on July 15, 2005. The waiver request from the Iowa Guard to the Pentagon declares that the recruit ‘realizes that he made the wrong decision to drink and drive.'”

DUI is a dangerous crime, one that can have horrific consquences for innocent people. But, isn’t it possible that after two DUI arrests in a year someone will take that moment to see the error of their ways and reform? Stop drinking, getting smarter about their drinking, learning to call a cab? Espicially with more than three years between the last offense? Someone with a DUI won’t be receiving a job with a security clearance any time soon, but that doesn’t mean someone who’s seen the light should be denied a chance to serve.

“Another recruit for the Rhode Island Air National Guard finished five years of probation in 2002 for breaking and entering, apparently into his girlfriend’s house. A waiver got him into the Guard in June 2005.”

This really is the silliest one. Follow the time line here… five years probation ended in 2002, which means he committed the B&E in 1997. Nearly 8 years later he’s allowed to enlist in the ANG with a waiver. I wonder if Salon refuses to hire people as writers who had a B&E 8 years ago?

A recruit convicted in January 2004 for possession of marijuana, drug paraphernalia and stolen license-plate tags got into the Hawaii Air National Guard with a waiver little more than a year later, on March 3, 2005.

Possessing and using marijuana is against the law. My opinion of whether it should be will remain my opinion, but the reg states that a waiver is authorized after a 1 year wait. The year was up, waiver was submitted and approved. Is Salon advocating that people charged with possession of marijuana should forever be barred from government service?

It is a recruiter’s dream to have fully qualified people. Back in the good ol’ days when the military was drawing down all the services could afford to be picky. There is a war on. Without the ability to request waivers for law violations the Army would have had 11,000 fewer Soldiers in boots. Apparently 680 people admitted to the Army with a serious offense waiver represent a “military (that) is lowering its standards to fight the war in Iraq”. 680 people, in an Army over 500,000, represent a lowering of the standards. I have my doubts about the dire straights those 680 represent.

30. March 2006 · Comments Off on Disturbing · Categories: General

I’m sure every recruiter has their own personal stories of encounters with people who were vehemently against the war, Bush, and the military. My experiences have been pretty tame, water throwing, being yelled at or insulted, nothing major. However, I work with a recruiter who got egged while walking by a Wal-Mart, and a recruiter in another station near mine had the rear window of their G-Jet shot out while they were driving.

Apparently some student(s) at the University of Wisconsion-Madison decided to toss a brick through the window of their on-campus recruiter’s office. According to the article this was not the first time that someone has broken out their window. Apparently the campus’ anti-war club Stop the War was interviewed by the paper for some quotes and perspective. A representative of Stop the War, condones such attacks because they “get people onto the streets” and supporting anti-war/recruiting efforts. I think I’m starting to see another connection between the anti-war movement and islamic extremism. Anti-war groups advocate peace through violent acts; Islam is billed as the religion of peace, but acts of extreme barbarism are performs in its name. No wonder the two groups have become bed-buddies of convience, neither’s acts mesh with the philosophy they trumpet.

HT B5.

21. March 2006 · Comments Off on Two can play that game · Categories: General

“I know more about war than troops” is the headline of a WorldNetDaily story concering Richard Belzer. Mr. Belzer was on Real Time with Bill Maher recently and in an exchange with Florida Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen he remarked that “[The Soldiers are] 19 and 20-year-old kids who couldn’t get a job,” and since Soldiers don’t read as much as Detective Munch does we’re not qualified to have opinions about the war in which we’re involved. I’m being unfair, I think he means that we’re not as qualified to have an opinion as a well read actor.

There are several things in that article that just set my teeth on edge. The biggest one is the disconnect between what Mr. Maher and Mr. Belzer think the Army represents. They both remark how the people serving in the military are there “because [they] probably couldn’t find other employment,” and “couldn’t get a job.” I’d like to point out that being in the Army is a job. And it’s a job that’s a damn sight better than most entry level positions available to a fresh-out-of-high-school kid. You can find jobs that pay better, but between the GI Bill, full health and dental insurance, and vocational training that is second to none, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better opportunity for a kid who just walked across the stage. And I doubt I need to mention the pride, honor, and respect that come from wearing the uniform, things hard to come by when you’re asking “do you want fries with that?” while doing the jobs most other recent grads are going into.

My distaste at Mr. Belzer’s remarks goes deeper than his misconception that the Army is filled with dead-enders who don’t have any other options. What really sticks in my craw is his belief that the opinion of Soldiers returning from the fight is less valuable than his because they may be less well read. I’ll be the first to admit that not every Soldier is going to be applying for Rhodes Scholar status. But there are quite a few Soldiers who are every bit as educated and well read as Mr. Belzer, and I’d be thrilled to have them on my team in a game of Trivial Pursuit.

This article makes me wish that the left side of the politcal spectrum had an evil mastermind like Karl Rove. The entire reason Cindy Sheehan hasn’t disappeared from the media conciousness is because she was sold as having absolute moral authority over the war becasue of being a Gold Star mother. Mr. Belzer’s opinion that Soldiers lack the authority to have valuable opinions on the war because of their proximity to it kinda flies in the face of the “absolute moral authority” arguement. At least it seems like it does to me. An evil mastermind for the left would do a better job of controlling the herd to keep their message focused.

I watch Law and Order: SVU almost nightly. I like the show, and find it interesting. Sometimes they drive me nuts by inserting a political edge that I don’t agree with, but if it gets too heavy-handed I can always change the channel. I think that Mr. Belzer plays a very good left-wing, conspiracy theory driven detective. Turns out the only part he was acting was the “detective”.

Oh well, I’m on leave this week and Mrs. Detailed Recruiter is down for the count with a stomach flu, so I need to go check on her.


12. March 2006 · Comments Off on Harsh reality · Categories: General, GWOT

Sometimes we have parents who call into the recruiting station looking to get their children into the military. Sometimes the parents has a genuine concern for their child and feel that the military (Army in my case) will allow their child to better achieve their goals than any other option. Sometimes though you get the parents who just want their little demon to be someone elses problem. Those parents can make for some of the more… entertaining… moments in a recruiter’s day.

I mention this because of a story my lovely wife pointed out to me this morning. I can’t speak for the nation as a whole. For all I know once your cross into Pacific or Central time zones the 18-24 age group stops being a gaggle of fat, stupid, criminals, working on their GED with two too many children at home. I exagerate the problem, but not by much. For the recruiter on the street there are very slim, qualified, pickings. Prospects and their parents often don’t realize how tough it can be to get into the military.

It always rankles my chain when an applicant or an influencer remarks “What do you mean you can’t take Skippy (me)? We’re at war. Thought y’all were letting anyone in.” I think it’s remnant of the “Go to war, go to jail” era. For some reason the military has done a very, very poor job of communicating the concept that we are a very professional force. A professional force that only succeeds because we focus on accepting the best. Don’t get me wrong, the Army will take someone who is less than the best. Low ASVAB scores, law violations, etc. However they are few and far between, and do go through an involved screening process. I’m sure most of the writers on this blog can thing of plenty of people who made them wonder just what happened to procurement standards. Like a cover charge at a bar, the enlistment standards keep most of the trash out, not all of it.

By the way, those reading this should know that I’m a very stream-of-conscious writer. I do have a point, but I sometimes lose it and take a paragraph to find it again.

Anyways, this past week one of my fellow recruiters had to deliver some very harsh news to a mother. The news being that her sone was ineligible to enlist. Seems that Skippy had picked up a couple DUIs and assorted minor in possession of alcohol charges. By themselves these would have been problematic. However, Skippy had failed to pay some fines, missed some court dates, and actually had a warrant issued for his arrest. Mom knew none of this. So she wasn’t too happy that her couch-potato, booze-hound son was going to remain her problem for the forseeable future. We were also visited in the station by a father, with his sone, who wasn’t thrilled to learn that his son’s domestic violence charge, and irritable bowel syndrome, were going to keep him at home, and not in boots.

Thinking this over, and seeing the trends in numbers makes me curious. What will end the all-vounteer force first? The war or demographics?

10. March 2006 · Comments Off on Howdy · Categories: General

Hiya folks. I’m Detailed Recruiter, newest contributor to the fine folks at the Daily Brief. I’m an Army recruiter assigned to USAREC. Been in the Army for a while now. I don’t have any awesome, exciting, scary, stressful, or emotional stories to tell about my involvement fighting insurgents in Iraq or Taliban hold-outs in Afghanistan. I’m a recruiter so my vital role in the War on Terror is providing the strength. Most of my awesome, exciting, scary, stressful, or emotional stories are about my dealing with the activity of finding people who want to serve.

I love America. I love serving her. I love serving in the Army. The Army has treated me very, very well. It’s allowed me to go further than I’d have ever gone without it. Recruiting lets me take my experiences and stories and hopefully encourage two people a month to make the same commitment. It’s also one of the hardest jobs the Army has, with stresses, pain, and requirements unique in the service.

My participation in the Daily Brief is something I’d never have thought would happen when I started this week. But events transpired that have brought me here. I hope to some day get to talk about those events, and if someone guesses feel free to shoot me an email or mention it in comments. Those who knew me before coming here are always welcome in my in box.

Anyways, enough about me. The day is done. I want to thank the folks at Daily Brief for lowering their standards by accepting me, and Mr. Connors for taking pity on a wayward waif like myself.

On a side note, I’ve only used Blogger before so if I jack something up here, blame it on my training wheels being taken off.