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WAR: Underhanded Recruitment Methods Documented

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posted on Apr, 29 2005 @ 03:12 AM
The American Armed Forces have continued to miss recruiting quotas, and as a result, some recruiters have decided to cut corners. A 17 year old high school student from Colorado decided to do his own investigation into recruiting practices. He contacted his local recruiting office and made up a story about being a drug addicted high school drop-out. The student, David McSwane, recorded the recruiter telling him to lie and offering tips on falsifying school transcripts, even giving advice on beating drug tests. The recruiter was later transferred, but his replacement met up with McSwane and drove him to a retail location, where he covered half of the cost of the detox treatment. An internal investigation is underway.
Last month the U.S. Army failed to meet its goal of 6,800 new troops.

Aware of this trend, David McSwane, a local high school student, decided he wanted to find out to what extent some recruiters would go to sign up soldiers who were not up to grade.

McSwane, 17, is actually just the kind of teenager the military would like. He's a high school journalist and honor student at Arvada West High School. But McSwane decided he wanted to see "how far the Army would go during a war to get one more solider."

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

I think this is a pretty unfortunate, but largely predictable debacle. When recruitment goals aren't met, the Army seeks to motivate its recruiters by offering bonuses. This can entice unprincipled men and women to lie, cheat, and do whatever it takes to exceed their quota. It's pretty impressive that this young man had the forethought to not only tape the conversations, but bring this to the attention of the media.

This is certainly not a new phenomenon, not by a long stretch. It's also doubtful that it's a purely American failing, I would be surprised if other countries have recruiters engaging in the exact same practices. Some countries offer potential recruits a choice between a bullet or a uniform. Obviously the situation isn't that dire in America yet. However, for an employee of an organization whose advertising slogan is "Integrity, Honor, Respect" this behavior is reprehensible, and supremely hypocritical.

The Army is conducting an investigation, and presumably they will find the same thing McSwane did, only it will take them 14 months, and 45,000 dollars of the taxpayers money to do so.

posted on Apr, 29 2005 @ 03:14 AM
Well it could be a lot worse, I mean if we lived in SK we'd all be joining the army.

I got a call a few weeks ago, they were trying to recruit me, had a good convo with the guy for about 45 mins. Probably has my name on a list somewhere

[edit on 29-4-2005 by Lysergic]

posted on Apr, 29 2005 @ 03:27 AM
I'd watch out if I were that kid. The military may try to hit the kid with illegal wiretapping charges for having secretly taped the conversation. At least from what I read, Colorado has anti-wiretapping rules in place. So its a good thing he's 17. Though I would hope the military won't stoop to that level to discourage further acts of civil disobedience that brings forward information like this.

posted on Apr, 29 2005 @ 03:27 AM
I love it

Sad thing- as the pressure builds something will relieve it.

Massive unemployment or d-r-a-f-t

          strong laguage below

posted on Apr, 29 2005 @ 09:43 AM
I've been hearing a lot of draft talk, for a long time.

It usually centers around a false flag attack to drive massive conscription, followed by a draft conducted from the moral high ground, ostensibly.

I'm not sure what you mean by your comment, it could be construed as a lot of things. I assume it's mocking, but some clarification would be appreciated.

Anyway, if the draft were a surety, then this case would simply be one of a couple of recruiters who want some extra money, and decide to step outside the boundaries for a little while.

There's no evidence that this behavior was sanctioned by officers, or the administration. Does anyone think that's a possibility? I would say no, at least not explicitly. It wouldn't be a shock to find, however, that the higher ups told their underlings to get recruits using any and all means at their disposal, short of violence.

There's also no evidence that this happens across the country, however, I suspect it does to some degree. Certainly not every recruiter acts this way, but I wouldn't be at all surprised to find many did. Money will make people do terrible things, nevermind comparitively minor hypocritical infractions such as this.

I'd be interested to see what the pro war people say about this. Do the ends justify the means, or is this a mark of dishonor? That question plagues me, honestly. I can't decide, if I were partisan, how I would feel about this. It's hard to fight a war without soldiers, and nobody wants a draft, so maybe a few drug addicted, drop-out soldiers are a small price to pay for stability on the home front? Not sure about that...

Generally, when you start down that road of reasoning (the ends justify the means) it ends badly. After all, one can reasonably dutify anything, so making the boundaries of your ethics delineated by duty is an invitation to trouble. This is the perpetual problem of the ethical military man. Duty is his badge, but honor is his motto. Honor and duty are not necessarily the same, often they clash quite spectacularly.

posted on Apr, 29 2005 @ 11:45 AM
First of all, the information provided about recruiters being offered bonuses for contracts is absolutely false. No one in the Army, Navy, Marines, or Air Force EVER gets anything other than their base pay, and appropriate BAS/BAH.

That said, I just quit my job as a DoD Contracted civilian Army recruiter, and yes, I was paid largely on commission. This is part of the reason I no longer recruit. The other reasons being largely that I spent way too much time dealing with 17-20 year olds, who apparently, I can't stand to be around. Oh well, bring on the next crap job...

When I joined the Army, I was not recruited. I was one of those guys who walked into the office and said, "I want to go Airborne". So I did.

But I'll tell you this: When I walked into that office, I was 19, had just graduated from the Utah College of Massage Therapy (that was fun), but I did not have a high school diploma. My recruiter and I met with the administrator of an adult education program one day, and then again two weeks later, at which point she handed my my diploma. I also had been charged with a public intox and tresspassing (at a 7-11), for which I owed $250 in fines. I never heard another thing about that, other than since then, I have had several federal criminal background checks run for various jobs and permits, and those charges NEVER APPEARED on any of them.

So I feel I personally owe a debt of gratitude to my recruiter, whether it was wrong or not.

Have I thought about committing fraud in the job? Absolutely. Fortunately, I was never sufficiently tempted by the prospect. The way I saw it was that if a future soldier had a condition that would cause him to be a liability in any way throughout his carreer, or if the condition was one that could cause him to become dead (ie. athsma), I would simply tell him that I was sorry, that he would never be a soldier. But if someone who was once counselled by their Bishop for having impure thoughs, or fighting with a sibling (a type of counselling that requires review and waiver), I would be completely willing to tell him to shut his or her mouth. Not because it wasn't important to report, but really because the time and effort it takes to process the paperwork and wait for a waiver reccommendation to turn around. Which is even more wrong, in my opinion.

The fact is that if you want to be a member of the Armed Forces, you MUST be highly qualified. You also must volunteer. Anyone with what I deemed to be sufficient motivation and dedication, someone who WANTED to do the work, would get some preferential treatment and coaching on the enlistment process. This doesn't mean that I would fraudulently qualify an obviously unqualified candidate, but I sure would give him the addresses and phone numbers of the places he needed to go and people he needed to talk to in order to get his shot group tight.

Fraudulent enlistment is the reason why things like Abu Graib happens. Fraudulent enlistment is the reason why Hassan Akbars slip through the cracks.

But you understand that congress just called for an increase in troop strength by over 80,000 for the Army alone. And since uniformed recruiter's carreers are dependent upon mission accomplishment, I think many of them have to consider what might be the repercussions of failure in the position. Failure in a recruiting post for three years could mean reaching the E-6 retention control point and being booted out of the job without any hope for retirement. What to do then.

Well, an infantryman would tell you improvise, adapt, and overcome. By any means available. Sad but true.

posted on Apr, 29 2005 @ 02:54 PM
this is nothing new, pre-9/11 my USMC recruiter was doing the same for me. I know I wasnt clean but I passed my test and was told to lie about my habit and a few other things that would have kept me out of the service. I personally believe it was because of how I scored on the asvab.

posted on Apr, 29 2005 @ 03:49 PM
True. I did score a 122 GT score when I took that infernal test.

Did you know that recruiters are not allowed to prepare, coach, or help an applicant study for the test?

There really isn't anything a recruiter can do anymore to try to help someone who really wants to be a soldier become one.

posted on Apr, 29 2005 @ 04:07 PM
Not to make things worse here but this isnt a new story. The Army is always finding, on its own, that recruiter lie. One, the very large majorty of recruiters are doing the right thing. Two, the fact that kids dont want to go to Iraq and be away from home is a whole other issue. The Army has have a hard with recruitment always. This highschool student's work is a creidt to himself but isnt a true refection of the real problem. You want a better one look at the large number of lower class kids that joint then any other group in the US. Or that the NG is a defacto draft now.

posted on Apr, 29 2005 @ 04:12 PM

Originally posted by dirk d
This highschool student's work is a creidt to himself but isnt a true refection of the real problem. You want a better one look at the large number of lower class kids that joint then any other group in the US. Or that the NG is a defacto draft now.


I don't quite understand what you're saying here. Is it the fact that there are people who live under the median income that join the military is a reflection of a real problem?

And what problem do you see that this is a reflection of?

posted on Apr, 29 2005 @ 05:52 PM
To be sure Im not really trying to say much here I guess. More on the line that one recruiters poor actions are a big deal say to the many of people who dont have much of a choice but to joint. Now dont get bent out of shape here. No one makes you join and for most is a good way to have a better life. I jointed for college money and thats great but some joint to get out of gangs or even jail right? Is that a form of underhand recruitment? Maybe guess its how you look at it.

posted on Apr, 29 2005 @ 08:24 PM
I still think "D" day has to happen. While we are constantly being told there will be no draft, "something" will happen and the draft will be in place within 24 hours and then we're off and running.
When? I dont know
Under what circumstances? I dont know
I do beleive it will happen, though.

posted on Apr, 29 2005 @ 08:39 PM
Why you should learn the language of a country that has declared Bush&Co War Criminals. Like Japan! Domo Arigato Mirok-San, Konnichi wa Tokyo, Sayonnara Bush.(Thank you Mr. Mirok, Hello/good afternoon/good day Tokyo, Goodbye Great American Devil)

posted on Apr, 30 2005 @ 03:21 AM
Japan declared the US war criminals? I find that hard to believe.

Japan is one of the staunchest American allies in the world. Bush just threw them a huge bone by placing requirements on new purchases of hybrid cars. Then there's the fact that they're retrofitting their military despite their constitution, all because we need their help in policing the world.

I love Japan. I love the history, the culture, the people. But I'm afraid they're more in line with our current heading than nearly any other country on earth.

posted on May, 1 2005 @ 08:59 AM
Apparently somebody was upset over the report on this story, and decided to go shoot up the recruiting offices.

8 shots were fired, nobody was injured. Police have no leads, and are asking for tips.

[edit on 1-5-2005 by WyrdeOne]

posted on May, 2 2005 @ 05:01 PM

Originally posted by dirk d
No one makes you join and for most is a good way to have a better life. I jointed for college money and thats great but some joint to get out of gangs or even jail right? Is that a form of underhand recruitment? Maybe guess its how you look at it.

As far as the 'join the Army or go to jail thing is concerned these days, if there exists any document from a court or a law enforcement agency that states that there was any kind of reduction in charges or some kind of plea agreement having to do with someone joining the military... that someone is BARRED from enlistment for the rest of his life.

But yes, the bonuses and incentives for joining any branch right now are great. And the college benefits are great... I'm using them currently. Knowing what I know now about the Army that I didn't even know while I was in, I'm kind of kicking myself for not taking advantage.

And the bonuses are way up. I put a kid in the reserves to be a civil affairs operator, and he got a $7000 cash bonus plus $20K MGIB/Army College Fund. I saw another guy that enlisted with a Ranger contract for 4 years and got a $20K cash bonus.

Of course, I don't know how dangerous it is going to be if you are a Ranger in the next 20 years, but right now it's not. I would still advise any healthy 18 year old without any serious attitude problems and half a brain to do it for 4 years. It only hurts anyway. A little pain never killed anybody.

posted on May, 2 2005 @ 05:08 PM
Update on the story.

The Supreme Court is now reviewing military recruiting laws.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court said Monday it will consider whether colleges and universities may bar military recruiters from their campuses without fear of losing federal funds.

Justices will review a lower court ruling in favor of law schools that restricted recruiters to protest of the Pentagon's policy of excluding openly gay people from military service.

That ruling, by the Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, invalidated a 1994 federal law requiring law schools to give the military full access or lose their federal funding. The appeals court ruled the law infringed on law schools' free speech rights.

It's good to see someone in power actually bringing someone to account for wrong doing.

posted on May, 2 2005 @ 05:08 PM
The information about recruiters getting bonuses came straight from the Army. They get bonuses for exceeding their quotas, according to the gentleman interviewed for the article.

And does anyone have any opinions about the attack on the recruiting office? That struck me as very strange, almost unheard of.

posted on May, 2 2005 @ 05:27 PM
Yeah, I've never heard of recruiting stations being attacked, but there were a couple of political party offices attacked before the last election.

I'm positive that no in-service recruiter gets a bonus of any kind, but they could very well have been civilians. It would be interesting to know why that piece of information would have been left out if that is the case.

Civilian recruiters are employees of government contracted human resource consulting firms, and I wonder if these companies might have some pull with the media to try to squelch the traces of their involvement.

Doubt it.

posted on May, 2 2005 @ 05:32 PM
Actually, that sounds very plausible. Notice how the name and rank of the second recruiter was listed, but the identity of the first guy is a mystery?

I think you nailed it Delta.

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