Santa Cruz Indymedia : http://santacruz.indymedia.org
Home
Santa Cruz Indymedia

LOCAL News :: Education & Youth : Peace & War : Police State

All around the U$, Recuiters are Feeling the Heat

Escalations in protest against military recruitment locally and nationally have shown results. Recuiters have been harassed, confronted, sued, kicked out, and engaged in dialogue. And they are worried.

May 20th, 2005, all US Army recruiting offices will be CLOSED in order to "reaffirm" their "oaths." This should be seen as a victory to those who have engaged in dialogue with recruiters--who have fallen short of their "goals" for enlistment consistently the past few years.

Free Radio call-in (.mp3) and info from the Capitola Recuiting office and the Watsonville "job" faire.

See also: Mumia Abu Jamal: Harder and Harder to Recruit || UCSC Students Kick Military Recruiters Off Campus || www.Indymedia.us || Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors


4/5/05 -- photo by Matt Fitt.
 
 


New Comments are disabled, please visit Indybay.org/SantaCruz

Comments

More Counter-Recruitment Info

CODEPINK Women for Peace

May 18, 2005

Busted! This Friday, May 20th, every military recruiting center across the country will be closed for what the U.S. Army Recruiting Command calls an "Army Values Stand Down Day." The "stand down" will be a retraining in ethics for the military's 7,500 recruiters, following a rash of complaints that recruiters are resorting to unscrupulous tactics to enlist new soldiers. Recruiters' lies can be cruel and ridiculous; a Houston army recruiter threatened to arrest a local young man if he
didn't report that day to the army recruiting station. Rae, our CODEPINK student
coordinator met an army recruiter in Oakland during our action last week. He promised her a college education and world travel. The recruiter squelched her fears about being sent to war by assuring her that she would not serve in Iraq, and added that women are not engaged in combat, and that if they return home wounded, it is probably because they went out for a "joyride in a Hummer."

While the Army stands down, WE STAND UP! On May 20th, we are joined with UFPJ, AFSC
and US Campus Anti-War Network in asking you to stand up for the demilitarization of youth. Stand up for students' rights to privacy from the military. Go to
www.Militaryfreezone.org
to call your local representative and tell them to support Mike Honda's "Student Privacy Protection Act" H.R. 551 and sign the petition.

We cannot allow these deceptive and predatory recruiters to infect our neighborhoods and schools. In addition to recruiting centers, recruiters are roaming the halls of high schools, stalking teenagers by repeatedly calling their homes, and enlisting
cheap sales tactics to draw more young people into the military. Currently, each
student's contact information is available to the Army recruiters, unless a parent
signs an "Opt Out" form.
Go to www.leavemychildalone.org
to opt out your child, to adopt a school board or to host a house party.

Check out our counter-recruitment page
www.codepinkalert.org/article.php
for local CODEPINK actions planned for May 20th around the country, especially Washington D.C. and New York City or for ideas to create actions in your own communities.
 

Re: All around the U$, Recuiters are Feeling the Heat

the 15 month enlistment - back door draft ! once you sign up the military can keep you for the 8 year requirement or for the duration. read the fine print. but remember with the federal government you will have to search the legal manuals to find the fine print. truth in advertizing does not apply to the feds. heil bush.
 

Question

What happens when the recruitment efforts fail to such an extent that they reinstitute a draft and all you people "preventing" interested people from getting information are drafted into a war you don't want to fight???
 

Re: All around the U$, Recuiters are Feeling the Heat

In response to the action that is neede to be taken me and a group of friends have started handing out opt out forms to students in our school and is getting the school to have to provide the forms in the office when a student request them. This effort will help stop military lies and harrassment which I have felt. I was told many lies about college and how the longest a soldier is allowed to stay in war is only 10 -13 months which is a lie. Military free zone isn't here to try and prevent poeple interested in the army from joinging but is trying to tell about the options that are not being told to us high school kids who do not like the pressure and stress some of these military recuiters put on to us. we need to know all are freedoms and use them when need be it. I would just like to say thank you military free zone for providing this information in which I would have never known about.
 

List of Most Frequent Lies?

I wonder if some people who've had experience with this issue can post the most frequently told lies and distortions by military recruiters, a kind of quick checklist? Thanks.
 

Re: All around the U$, Recuiters are Feeling the Heat

If you think a recruiter from a recruiting station in this area is lying to you about something, making statements you believe to be untrue or dishonest, or conducting themselves in a manner that is unprofessional, contact me. I am the commander for all Army recruiters in this area. I am a logistics officer assigned to command the Monterey Bay Recruiting Company, which covers southern San Jose down to Monterey. Yes, this includes Santa Cruz and Capitola. I have been here for 9 months and will be here for another 14. This is my second company command, the first being an Army forward logistics unit. I will move on from here to go back to the mainstream Army. I have been in the Army for 15 years, starting as a Private. The Soldiers under my command will conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times or have to face me. My number is (408) 842-0349 and my headquarters is located in Gilroy.
 

OMISSION -- Most recruiters don't lie, like any salesperson they just don’t tell you the important facts.

I appreciate Captain Griffin's declaration about false statements. Most recruiters don't lie, but most - like well trained salespersons - do omit telling or showing important facts. For instance:

1) THE CONTRACT - Ask for a FULL copy (all 4 pages) of the ENLISTMENT AGREEMENT (Contract…in simple language). Recruiters don’t like to hand it out. Take it home. Read and discuss it with family and friends. Get it on line: www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/infomgt/forms/eforms/dd0004.pdf

2) NO PROMISES & CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE, (Contract Sec. 9.b): "Laws and regulations that govern military personnel may change without notice to me. Such changes may affect my status, pay, allowances, benefits, and responsibilities as a member of the Armed Forces REGARDLESS of the provision of this enlistment/reenlistment document."

3) 8 YEARS (Contract Sec. 10.a) OR MORE (Sec. 9.9) Recruiters commonly talk only about "active" duty time which may be less than two years. After active duty all military are assigned to reserves (active or inactive) for the remainder of their 8 years and are subject to call up at any time. Nearly 30% of U.S. forces in Iraq are currently reserves; many doing their 2nd tour of duty, some doing their 3rd tour. During time of war enlistment can be extended up to 6 months after the war ends.

4) COMBAT (Sec: 9.a.4): "Required upon order to serve in combat or other hazardous situation." U.S. troops in Viet Nam, Gulf War, Afghanistan & Iraq have learned that support troops - drivers, cooks, clerks, MPs, etc. - can suddenly find themselves in the midst of kill-or-be-killed combat.

5) TRAVEL: There are over 400 U.S. military bases around the globe. Many are in remote and unpleasant sites. Many commanders place restrictions on locations military can visit. Trainees and new recruits are often restricted to base, or it’s equivalent, an airport or ship. Enlisted military complain boredom, stupid work, little sleep and confinement to base.

6) COLLEGE MONEY: Recruits who sign up for college funds must contribute $100 to their fund each month for 12 months. This $1,200 is nonrefundable. In order to receive college funds one must complete a full term of service, be honorably discharged and use the money within a short term. These restrictions are the reason that the number of persons who sign up and actually use military funding is less than 20%. If a person is one of the small percentage eligible for $70,000 they probably have sufficient skill to obtain this, or a larger amount, from a private college without joining the military. Simple finances – a person can make more and get ahead faster by working at McDonald’s and entering a technician certification program at community college.

7) DELAYED ENTRY PROGRAM – YOU CAN GET OUT: Over 80% of new military recruits enter through the Delayed Entry Program. Recruiters get high school juniors and seniors to “join the club? by signing Section b.8 of the enlistment contract. What is important to know that in spite of the formal appearance of the contract, and the recruiter using the words “you are enlisted,? you are only in a “program,? and may or may not choose to officially enlist in the military on the identified date. YOU ARE NOT ENLISTED. They can’t give you pay or orders. If circumstances change and you change your mind about enlistment in the military, all you need to do is not show up; better, in a letter (not in person) inform the commanding officer of the recruitment station of your decision. All branches of the military have rules that prohibit recruiters from harassing or intimidating individuals who do not want to enlist and who want out of the DEP program. (The Army scandal that precipitated the ethics review and “stand down? involved an answering machine recording of a recruiter threatening a DEP member with “arrest? if they didn’t show up.) You don’t have to talk to a recruiter, to their commanders, or report anywhere. Just write the letter: more information www.objector.org/girights/delayed-enlistment-program.html and a sample letter - www.rcnv.org/rcnv/archives/2004/MASTER%20DEP%20Separation.doc If recruiters harass you, complain to your congressional representative.

Get the WHOLE STORY ABOUT ENLISTMENT and information about LAWFUL DISCHARGES FROM THE MILITARY at www.rcnv.org/rcnv/co.htm, and at our 7-day-a-week hotline 831/359-0202.
 

Re: All around the U$, Recuiters are Feeling the Heat

I would really like to know out of all of you that have made comments, how many of you have actually served. It amazes me that if it was so much of a lie, why so many join and so many others stay in. The funny thing is that everyone that joins the Army is briefed on and reviews every form that they sign. So when you speak about those lies I guess you have to ask yourself did I personally hear it or see it, or was it something someone told me? Makes you wonder about the level integrity that is held by you movement, huh.
 

Serving the Country

I have enjoyed reading all the listed comments. As a whole, they seem to represent sincere efforts at resolving a difficult problem: unchecked war.

SGT AUDIE MURPHY asks an interesting question: out of those making comments, how many have served. I, for one, applied for conscientious objection during the war in Vietnam. Now I have the great privilege and honor to talk with young people, many of whom are enlisted in the military, about conscientious objection. I'll let the reader decide if this qualifies as serving the country. I simply ask that before a judgment about that is made, please understand that conscientious objection, as it is defined by the Department of Defense of the United States, is an objection to participation in all foreseeable wars by reasons of religious or deeply held moral and ethical beliefs.

Why would the Department of Defense honor Conscientious Objection? They say that someone who objects to participation in ALL wars in a “non-selective? objector. And they say that those who object to SOME wars is a “selective? objector. I may be reading too much into the name of the Selective Service System, but I think that the implication is that the Department of Defense derives its moral standing by being based on the (debatable) premise that some wars are justified, and some are not. What DoD does by recognizing Conscientious Objectors, in my mind, is to identify itself with religious and deeply held moral and ethical belief.

And isn’t that American? Isn’t it in the service of our country that we hold up religious and deeply held moral and ethical beliefs as guidance for when we go to war, and when we don’t? In other words, without Conscientious Objection, without recognition for religious and deeply held moral and ethical belief, where would our moral standing be when we charge to war? When the DoD grants an honorable discharge to a GI for reasons of Conscientious Objection, the Department takes a real action, not just words, to say, “Even in war, we honor religious and deeply held moral and ethical beliefs, if sincerely held.?

This most noble honor is rarely practiced by the Department of Defense. However, the basis in law is there, and I cannot think of a better way to serve my country than to promote it.
 

Make an Informed Decision

1) THE CONTRACT - I would encourage anyone to read any contract in full, prior to signing it. The DD Form 4 is available on-line from many sources or from any military recruiting office. If an Army recruiter in this area refuses to provide a copy to you or direct you to where you can get a copy, notify me at (408) 842-0349.

2) NO PROMISES & CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE – The military is not a civilian organization. There are occasions of national emergency that require changes. I cannot think of an instance, however, for the Army to just arbitrarily change an individual’s enlistment contract. My pay goes up every year, though, and no one checks with me first.

3) 8 YEARS – Yes, enlistment in the US military incurs an 8 year military service obligation. It can be served on active duty, in the Army Reserve, National Guard, or Individual Ready Reserve (IRR). The IRR is a non-pay, non-drilling status in which you can be recalled to active duty. Has it happened? Yes. Does it happen often? No. Since the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom, about 6,000 IRR Soldiers in critical specialties have been recalled to active duty. When you compare that number of Soldiers who have been honorably discharged over the last 8 years and are not currently in the Guard or Reserve, it’s a pretty small percentage.

4) COMBAT – Every cook, MP, clerk, etc., is a Soldier. Being a Soldier in the United States Army means that anyone, in any specialty, could encounter a hostile force. Do cooks or clerks routinely breach and clear the objective? No. Would any commander want Soldiers who do not usually train for infantry operations conduct them? No. Have cooks, MPs, and truck drivers responded with honor and bravery when called upon? Yes, absolutely. It’s all part of being a Soldier. Some police officers go 20 years without unholstering their weapon. Some have to use it more than once. It’s part of being a police officer. You could apply the same to being a Soldier.

5) TRAVEL – There are thousands of jobs and employers around the US. Many are in remote and unpleasant locations, as well. As a Soldier, I’ve been to some places that I certainly wouldn’t take the family on vacation. I have also been skiing in the Alps, lounged in the Canary Islands, snorkled in Hawaii, climbed the Eifel Tower, etc. All due to duty locations or travel benefits that Soldiers have. Commanders do sometimes place locations around bases off-limits. It is a process that has to go through the chain of command and be approved. Often, they are places like unscrupulous pawn shops, pay-day lenders, or clubs where there is known illegal activity. This is done to protect Soldiers, not punish them. As far as complaints, you can always find someone that will complain. I’ve done my share of complaining about things, before and after joining the Army. I’ve been a Private, Sergeant, and now a Captain. There are positives and negatives to every profession.

6) COLLEGE MONEY – It is true, if enrolled in the Montgomery GI Bill and Army College Fund (ACF), you can get up to $70,000 in return for college. New Soldiers do contribute $100 a month for the first 12 months. That’s a pretty good rate of return as far as I’m concerned. The Montgomery GI Bill is offered to every Soldier when they enlist. To qualify for the Army College Fund, you must score a 50 (out of 100) on the Armed Forces Vocational Aptitude Battery. That’s it. It’s not the SAT/ACT/GRE and it’s certainly not rocket science. There are also some occasions when individuals scoring lower than a 50 are offered the Army College Fund. And yes, people that are separated from the Army for misconduct do not always retain their GI Bill/ACF. As commander of a logistics company, I initiated separation on a few individuals for illegal drug use. They did not get to keep their Army College Fund. (Lesson to be learned here: if you have to smoke dope, the Army is not the place for you). I know the GI Bill/ACF works. I used it to pay for my college degree while on active duty. Is there other financial aid available? Absolutely. Does it come with a job that provides a paycheck that you can live on at the same time? Rarely. I won’t even address the statement about working at McDonald’s as the pathway to education and financial security.

I think I’ve said enough. Mr. Fitch makes a point that I agree with entirely. MAKE AN INFORMED DECISION. Get the facts. They don’t just come from the Army or from RCNV (or SAW or CAN or whoever). There are counter-recruitment organizations out there that spin data and statistics to justify their own agenda- just as they accuse the military of doing. Talk to family, friends, vets, community leaders, get on the internet, etc. Consider opinions from others outside your community. All military services have pros and cons, just like any other profession. There are risks and rewards in any job. Consider the fact that there are normal and unusual circumstances. One can make a positive or negative example out of just about anything that happens as part of life. The military can offer many opportunities to achieve goals and make a difference in the world while you’re at it. Is it for everyone? No.
One thing I would like to add- Army recruiters are not “salespeople?, they are Soldiers. Most of the Soldiers assigned to my company are not career recruiters- they are cooks, cavalry scouts, mechanics, infantrymen, supply clerks, etc. They are outstanding Soldiers, which is why the Army chose them to represent the Army in this community. Once again, if you have any issues with an Army recruiter in this area, please contact me at (408) 842-0349.
 

OMISSION AGAIN, & A CHALLENGE GI Rights Response to Capt. Griffin 5/31 letter.

Captain Griffin is the very first military person I have encountered in over thirty years of Draft Alternative & GI Rights counseling who has publicly addressed the omission issues I raise in my 5/27 letter.

However, still there is a major omission: In his reply Captain Griffin made no comment about the abuses that precipitated the Army Stand Down training, namely false threats and harassment of a Delayed Entry Program member who observed his legal options to not enlist.

I believe truth in recruiting should include a briefing, upon entry, for each member of the Delayed Entry Program about their lawful right to not enlist and the simple no-show and letter-notification steps necessary to terminate participation. (More information:
www.rcnv.org/rcnv/archives/2004/MASTER%20DEP%20Separation.doc )

And be sure of this -- Captain Griffin and his subordinates may deny it, but they are salespeople!

They may be soldier salespeople, but they are salespeople with quotas, extensive training in persuasive techniques, and, with the other branches of the military, billions of dollars in support brochures, films, video games, semi-truck side shows, bonuses, etc. Car salespeople are also car drivers; but on the car lot they are crafty, skilled and salaried salespeople.

My challenge to Captain Griffin and those he commands: The young people targeted for recruitment will NOT HAVE TO ASK for the military enlistment agreement or the information he outlines in his response letter.

If the recruitment effort has any integrity, then from the first contact all of the details he outlines should be clearly stated and each potential recruit provided with a full copy of the enlistment agreement (contract).

The GI Rights and Draft Alternative Program at the Resource Center for Nonviolence does not spin data or statistics to reach our Conclusions. Most of our statistics are derived from the U.S. government, military reports, and recruiting material. Our presentations are always about lawful alternatives to the draft and lawful means to discharge for enlisted military.

Recruiters and military superiors are Selective, never disclosing the whole range of lawful options for enlistment and military service. Even if you want to enlist, enlist smart; get the whole picture -- phone the GI Rights & Draft Alternatives Hotline at 831/359-0202 or click on our web
site, www.rcnv.org/rcnv/co.htm.

Most importantly, this whole recruiting business is not about sales and jobs. The real topic is war!

Massive collateral damage, erosion of global and domestic security, tax dollars, lives and lasting trauma for military members and their families -- is the true purpose of this disasterour war, and the manner in which is it fought, worth the cost of your life, lifetime injury, or the life of someone you love?
 

Omission?

I appreciate Mr. Fitch’s powers of observation, however quick he is to condemn all things military. I did not address the one day stand-down in my previous post. I apologize for the oversight, but I assure you it was unintentional. I would assume that it goes without saying- the actions of the individual recruiters in Colorado and Texas were reprehensible. They go against the very core values and beliefs that are part of every Soldiers’ life. I can also assure you that the type of aberrant behavior demonstrated by those two individuals is not something that is, or ever will be, tolerated by me as the commander of the Army unit in this area . I will tell you this: Every day in my unit, we talk about integrity, honor, respect, and selfless service. It’s easy to make inflammatory statements. Does the fact that a prominent vegetarian activist was accused of sexually assaulting young women at the National Animal Rights Gathering in May mean that all vegetarian activists are sexual predators? I don’t think so, but it sure could get people fired up if enough people starting saying it.

I also take offense to Mr. Fitch’s continued insistence that I am a salesman. I am not selling anything, nor have I received sales training. I have been trained as a logistics officer, an infantryman, a paratrooper, a jumpmaster, a parachute rigger, a mortuary affairs officer, petroleum operations, water purification and distribution, military mountaineering, and many other things- But not sales. I am a simple Soldier who has served his country honorably for the last 15 years and will continue to do so. I am here to provide information to young men and women who are interested in or may benefit from serving their country as a member of the US Army.

The techniques that are used to disseminate information in this day and age are common among many organizations- slick brochures, action videos, half-time commercials during the NCAA finals- is it the Army? No, it’s the University of (Take your pick). College recruiters utilize methods that are common to many large organizations attempting to convey information to a large audience- as does the military.

When Mr. Fitch talks about getting the “whole? picture, I assume that he’s also talking about the literature that his organization passes out.

“The GI Rights and Draft Alternative Program at the Resource Center for Nonviolence does not spin data or statistics to reach our Conclusions.? I believe I pasted that correctly from your last post.

I don’t see how passing off a 23-year-old study of wage comparisons as if it were “current? information could be perceived as anything other than spin. (Rosen & Taubman, 1982?) Your “Military Recruiters’ Myths? handout is at least 10 years out of date. At least you could find current information to back up some of the statements that are made. Concurrent receipt was signed into law this year, the GI Bill and Army College Fund is $70,000, etc. I’m not trying to say that YOU are omitting facts or information, Mr. Fitch. I’m sure that your organization wouldn’t do that, would they?

All kidding aside, I know that your intention is not to be misleading. Neither is mine, and I would be happy to buy you lunch sometime and talk about Iraq. After all, I’ve been there.
 

A TRUTH IN RECRUITING CHALLENGE! - End Recruiter Sales Pitch Omissions

Captain Griffin – I have no desire to get into an extended debate with you. A meeting; perhaps a meal and couple of beers later, but not now.

MY BEEF IS NOT WITH GIs; it is with war policy makers. The people who decide about wars tend to be wealthy and wars routinely protect their wealth. They tend not to let their family members fight the wars. They vigorously recruit working folks to do the dirty work.

However, because of the nation-wide counseling we do as an associate of the national GI Rights Hotline (888.231.2226, local 831.359.0202) we know that there are increasing numbers of GIs, working folk like you and me, who disagree about this war, don’t like the boss, and want out. Press reports increasingly confirm this disagreement.

RECRUITERS AS SALES PEOPLE: I don’t doubt your integrity as a “simple soldier.? But, please, isn’t it the job each “recruiter? to “recruit? a specified number of “recruits? each month? Why are you called “recruiters?? If war making was such a fine product folk would just walk in the door without any encouragement: i.e., no need for recruiters. If there is nothing to sell, let’s save the billions spent on “recruitment? and just use it for something else, like bolstering diminishing federal assistance for education and college scholarships.

As you, and others may have noticed, my consistent complaint is about one specific recruitment problem: OMISSION.

Most of the omissions I detailed have nothing to with political issues but with LEGAL points – early disclosure about the 8 year term, the military’s right to extend the term of service, and particularly the enlistees absolute loss of control over jobs, pay, assignment, location, etc. The consequences of these legal contractual items are rarely thoroughly discussed with recruits although they are all contained in the Enlistment Agreement.

I have never known a recruiter who has voluntarily given youth a copy of the Enlistment Agreement in advance to read and discuss with family and friends.

Again, to my major concern – OMISSION

Even in your third and most recent June 3rd letter you OMIT comment about illegal practices of the Delayed Enlistment Program (DEP). Although a few incidents of publically documented recruiter harassment seemed to be the precipitating cause for of the U.S. Army national ethics review Stand Down, harassment of DEP members who choose to leave has been a persistent problem.

You omit any comment about my Truth In Recruiting challenge and especially my concerns about informing DEP members (they are not enlistees) of their legal rights to leave the program.

DELAYED ENLISTMENT PROGRAM (DEP): It is my challenge to your integrity that you, and every one of your recruiters, will brief each and each and every new DEP member that 1) they have the right to not enlist at the end of their DEP term, 2) they may exercise that right by simply sending a letter of resignation to the recruiter commander. Will you tell them 3) they don’t have to report military personnel to make this declaration and 4) that they and their families will not be harassed for their choice in any manner by recruiters or other military personnel?

TRUTH IN RECRUITING: It is my challenge to your integrity that all young people targeted for recruitment by your office will all be immediately provided with, and will NOT HAVE TO ASK for, the military enlistment agreement and all of the information outlined in your May 31st letter – the 8 year term, the military’s right to extend the term of service and the enlistees absolute loss of control over jobs, pay, assignment, location, time off, etc. And please, how about some frank talk with potential recruits about the military not being “just? some job. Being in the military is full-time, 24 hour-a-day 7-days-a-week allegiance to any command order regardless of the inconvenience to the enlistee.

Take up the Truth in Recruiting pledge; promise these things and our discussion is ended. We can each continue our work – a year from now we can meet and compare results. You pick the place. I’ll buy.

Bob Fitch
GI Rights & Draft Alternatives Programs, RCNV
831.359.0202 www.rcnv.org/rcnv/co.htm
 

Military Recruiters - Salesmen?

Interesting conversation taking place here... thanks to everyone who has participated.

I wanted to chime in about the concept that military recruiters are not salesmen. However nice it sounds, I and most of my friends in school have experienced this to be a false statement.

Why are military recruiters salesmen?

* Salesmen have quotas to fill.

* Salesmen are under a lot of pressure and can frequently break the rules in order to meet these quotas.

* Salesmen do not have national stand-downs when incidents of fraud are not a nation-wide problem.

* Salesmen do not sit in their offices, waiting for 'patriotic' young men and women to stroll by - they go out to shopping malls, schools, and popular youth hangouts.

* Salesmen have over a 4 billion dollar budget for slick brochures, Humvees, T-shirts, professionally produced TV ads, and a variety of fancy items.

* Salesmen need to violate millions of youth's privacy by getting their contact information WITHOUT their consent.

* Salesmen use their powerful contacts to perpetuate conditions in communities where people have no option but to buy their product.

* Salesmen sometimes continue to call you, even when you've asked them to stop.

* Salesmen don't tell you the important details about contracts that you sign.

* Salesmen like to tell you everything about a product, EXCEPT the negatives (there's lots of money for college [except most don't get it], job training [most doesn't lead to a future career], travelling [iraq?], but war... don't worry about it [death? mutilation? lifetime psychological trauma?])

* And the best: Salesmen will always tell you that they aren't salesmen - they're just your friends. Or they're just doing their service. But that's their greatest trick.

------

While both the armed forces and some big universities have slick brochures, joining the military is NOT the same thing as going to college. It's illogical to make that correlation. Why?

* When you join the military, you join for 8 years and it's extremely difficult to get out. When you go to college, it's generally for 4 years and you can leave at any moment.

* Colleges teach you to think for yourself and be vocal about your beliefs. The military teaches you to take orders and shut up.

* Colleges pride themselves of being safe spaces for youth to learn. The military is one of the most dangerous places you can be, especially if you're a woman [90% report harassment, 1/3 get raped], a person of color [vast majority report racially offensive behavior], or queer [constant harassment and will be removed if open about your sexuality]. Not to mention death, mutilation, post tramautic stress disorder, depleted uranium, etc.

* Colleges teach you to learn about different histories, learn about people, and understand different cultures. The military trains you to ignore real history, objectify and dehumanize people, and obliterate different cultures.

* Public colleges are struggling to provide quality education in the face of huge budget cuts. Money has been effectively taken from our schools and given to the military for the production of guns, tanks, and war. I'd like to see our educational system get the kind of budget priority that the military gets.

* One of the big reasons that colleges have to advertise is to let youth know that they have other options BESIDES the military.

---------------

It is true that there are some military recruiters who are "better" than others - in the sense that they just omit important information rather than outright lie, but that doesn't mean that they are "good".

As much as military recruiters, even ones opposed to the war in Iraq, want to state that they are the 'good type', they are still a critical part of the system that is harming this nation and the world at large.

If you are opposed to the war in Iraq, how can you justify recruiting people for it? Yeah, you need to feed your families, but there are other options. And if there aren't - it should be the government's responsibility to make sure you have a job - or at least to make sure you have that food.

There is no justification for the complicit perpetuation of injustice. Contributing towards oppression is not 'just a job.'
 

Re: All around the U$, Recuiters are Feeling the Heat

This is getting a little interesting, and I agree with Mr. Fitch that this is not the appropriate forum for extended debate. There are a couple of points made in the last post that I would like to address, however.

I am a “simple soldier?. I made the statement that I have received no sales training. That is a true statement. I am a logistics officer by trade. I have not been to a recruiting course, etc. I am not a production recruiter. I do, however, command a recruiting company at the present time. Does this make me a recruiter? You can look at it however you choose. Josh, although I appreciate his input, missed the point that I was speaking about my own career and myself.

It seems as though quite a few opinions expressed on this website are fraught with hyperbole. I’ll give you an example. The statement about female soldiers that “1/3 get raped? is just outrageous. I’ve heard it before from “activists? that want to have something big to say. In FY04, there were 72,683 women on active duty in the US Army. Josh, are you trying to say that over 24,000 of them were raped? “90% report sexual harassment.? That would be over 65,000 complaints? In FY04 (this is from the latest reports released by the Army G1) there were 119 sexual harassment complaints filed with the Army Inspector General or Equal Opportunity Advisors. Should there be any? No there should not be! But it is something that the Army takes seriously and spends a lot of time and effort training on to eliminate. Any commander worth his/her salt works to eliminate any type of behavior that undermines the morale or unit cohesion of ALL soldiers under their command- male or female. I’m curious to know what the source is for those incredible statistics. Furthermore, I would say that anyone that disregards the alarming number of assaults that take place on college campuses every year (where alcohol is an overwhelming factor) is on shaky ground when making a comparison to the military. I’m not trying to downplay the seriousness of any assault that takes place anywhere or say that college campuses are unsafe. My point is that sweeping generalizations are not compelling arguments when viewed from a basis of fact.

I find many of the sweeping generalizations made in the previous post interesting, to say the least. My point about using mass media methods to communicate a message was taken out of context. I would seriously doubt that any college recruitment coordinator targets advertising dollars to dissuade young people from joining the military. The intent was not to compare joining the military with going to college. However, I can tell you as a soldier AND a college graduate, I’ve learned as much about people and other cultures from being deployed to different countries as I ever did in a classroom. I can’t say that others graduating from my university have spent time all through the US, Canada, Japan, Europe, the Balkans, the Middle East, etc. Obviously, according to Josh’s way of thinking, I’m a bad person now because I serve my country in the Army during this time of war. Was I a bad person when I was caring for Kosovar refugees? Or peacekeeping in Bosnia? Or fighting wildfires in the western US? I’ve done all of those things as a soldier. In Iraq, were my soldiers “perpetuating injustice? when we rebuilt the irrigation system for a village that had been inoperable for 20 years? I’ve had enough life experience to recognize that broad statements like Josh’s often fail to capture the whole truth of the matter.

Is everything about the Army rainbows and sunshine? In that respect, it’s no different from other careers. There are positive and negative elements to any profession. From my perspective, though, I’ve gotten a lot out of my time thus far in the Army. A college degree and skills that I can use in just about any major corporation are just a couple of things. I would imagine that my skills as a logistician are useful, since I am routinely solicited by corporate recruiters to leave the Army and work in the civilian world.

It comes down to the individual and what he or she chooses to do with their future. The Army is not for everyone. As Mr. Fitch urges (and I have said before), anyone considering joining the Army should weigh the pros and cons and MAKE AN INFORMED DECISION after they have gathered information. The information should come from a variety of sources, not just one Army brochure or one anti-recruitment handout.

By the way- I’m in total agreement with increasing funding for education. Both of my kids go to school here in California!
 

Re: All around the U$, Recuiters are Feeling the Heat

Another reason to discourage young people who are planning to enlist in order to pay for college. The VA Regional Offices take too long to process education claims. Money for tuition often does not even arrive before the end of the semester! This leaves the student with the responsibilty of coming up with another way to pay for school or endure harassment from the university's student accounting office.

Don't enlist in order to collect the gi bill. The money is not reliable.
 

Re: All around the U$, Recuiters are Feeling the Heat

"Another reason to discourage young people who are planning to enlist in order to pay for college."

Hey, anonymous, it sounds like you've had some personal experiences with this. I'd really like to to read more about it in a new article.
 

Re: All around the U$, Recuiters are Feeling the Heat

who ever said blood for oil...? why isnt gass cheaper if it is for iol.
 

Re: All around the U$, Recuiters are Feeling the Heat

It's interesting to read CPT Griffin's well-thought and well-explained debate points, and to then read the counter opinion exclaim that this is not the place for a lengthy debate. We live in a world where the 10 second sound bite has become the norm for "educating". I appreciate CPT Griffin taking the time to thoughtfully address each point with a counter point and explanation.

Secondly, the process for claiming and receiving GI Bill entitlements is simple and rarely takes more than 30 days from the date of application.

Lastly, the recruiting ethics training that was required of all US Army recruiters on May 20th was an attempt to satisfy an ever-increasing vocal minority. I would warn you against atacking the things that mainstream America holds dear ... We are silent, but we are the majority.
 

Calendar

No events for this day.

view calendar week
add an event

Views

Media Centers

Syndication feeds

Account Login

This site made manifest by dadaIMC software