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Retired Army Lt. Col. Charles Krohn got himself in trouble with his superiors as a Pentagon civilian public affairs official during the first 3-1/2 years of the Bush administration by telling the truth. He is still at it in private life. He says not to blame the military recruiters for the current recruiting ''scandal.'' Blame the war.
''Army recruiting is in a death spiral, through no fault of the Army,'' Krohn told me. Always defending uniformed personnel, he resents hard-pressed recruiters being attacked for offering unauthorized benefits to make quotas. In a recent e-mail sent to friends (mostly retired military), Krohn complained that the ''Army is having to compensate for a problem of national scope.''
Maj. Gen. Michael D. Rochelle, the Army's top recruiter, told The New York Times last week that the Army will likely begin the fiscal year in October with the fewest recruits ready for boot camp in at least a decade. He said that fewer than 10 percent of the approximately 80,000 new active-duty soldiers the Army needs next year are expected to be in the pipeline.