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Military widens door for dropouts

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posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 12:25 PM
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Military widens door for dropouts


www.usatoday.com

ANNVILLE, Pa. — Brittany Vojta survived boot camp. It was high school she couldn't make it through.

So the National Guard ran her through a program it started this year in Pennsylvania for privates who drop out of high school after having joined the military.

In an old barracks at Fort Indiantown Gap, the 18-year-old Cleveland woman and other dropouts spent three intensive weeks in class this summer to help them pass their GEDs — so they would meet the minimal educational requirement to...
(visit the link for the full news article)


Related News Links:
feeds.chicagotribune.com




posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 12:25 PM
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That is an interesting report, I challenge you to click the link and read the full article before commenting.

Whatever happened to seeking out the "best and brightest"?

Is lowering the standards a bit simply a sign of desperation on the part of Military recruiters?

Some of these young people had problems with subjects like math in school, and simply for whatever reasons could not keep up, continuously failed, eventually dropped out and yet they can serve in the US military!

Some 17 year old girls and boys who may be having problems in school, could be enticed into these military programs, seek permission from their parents and ultimately escape the hell in school, for service in the military, but do they really know what they are getting into, or are their troubles being exploited by the Military recruiters?

Perhaps as a prelude to a possible war draft, the Military recruiters could continue to find ways to accept and train new recruits for military service in the war on terrorism and defending the homeland. Perhaps the next step will be the establishment of a panel of experts who can asses mental capacity, reviewing potential recruits who may possess the ability to fight for their country despite some deficiencies. Maybe there are some autistic people who could serve, perhaps some of those with otherwise minor mental conditions that can be treated could also serve, the homeless, drug addicts, young alcoholics, extremely poor and disadvantaged, juvenile delinquents, orphans, pregnant teens seeking free abortions in exchange for military service. etc.

The possibilities seem endless, I am sure the Military could initiate programs that could include all of the above as well if deemed necessary, and perhaps even more.


Or would a draft be a better solution?

The US military needs soldiers!

The reality is so many recruits are leaving a world of PlayStation and X-box games into the very real world of the US military, many have found themselves in Iraq and Afghanistan. Perhaps a fair trade in exchange for a GED?



www.usatoday.com
(visit the link for the full news article)

[edit on 12-8-2007 by UM_Gazz]



posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 12:57 PM
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Read you history....during all large wars we had prisoners fight the battles, and they were great soldiers. Being a soldier give purpose to these lost souls, they are taught things they never knew in their lives, honesty..to be comrades to fight for their country with their country men.. They learn to take pride in themselves...An education helps and we still have the brighest and best leading our soldiers......anyone can learn, and the military teaches them in training and in schools run by the military. Some kids could never get an education because of where they live or the social barriers in their lives, kids like this can be fixed to be wonderful soldiers. They become productive human beings who go on to make themselves a productive part of society. And thats all good......sign them up, let them be productive.


apc

posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 01:04 PM
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Indeed a sure sign of stress.


The Department of Defense's own studies over 40 years have shown that soldiers with a high school diploma are more likely than those with an equivalent degree to finish an enlistment term.

"What the Army doesn't like is high turnover," Williams said.


I think they've mistaken the correlation. I find it more likely that graduates show a higher degree of dedication compared to most drop-outs. Running recruits through a GED crash course will not instill this sense of dedication.

Perhaps in addition to increasing the number of people to shoot stuff, they desire more career soldiers. One of these recruits would know little to nothing of job insecurity or self-reliance, and many would rather stay in the military than find a job.

Depending on the individuals this could eventually mean that the majority of officers and upper ranks will be stocked with people who know only military education...



Originally posted by samnx2
Read you history....during all large wars we had prisoners fight the battles

This is not a large war.



posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 01:17 PM
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*cough* *no choice* *cough*

They military faces this huge recruitment problem no matter what the spin is. With no end in sight and NG units being deployed on an almost permanant basis, they are going to have to rethink things.

In some ways this may not be a bad thing. For many kids the Army or other service was a way out of an endless cycle of poverty. It gives structure and dicipline and provides training. Also most can go on to college (Assuming they survive thier stint in iraq) after or even work on a degree while in.



posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 01:38 PM
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This is really nothing new um-gazz, at least not for the National Guard. The state of Georgia has been running something called a Youth Challenge Academy at Ft. Stewart for over a decade now. The idea was to take troubled teens, who had non-violent offences and put them in a structured environment instead of jail. Part of the graduation requirements was to get a GED. If i remember correctly, those that did well were given the opportunity (but not the requirement) to join the Guard even with their records. I was stationed at Ft. Stewart from 95-98 during my active stint, and remember running into some of the kids at the PX that I used to run with back home (in my hell raising days before i joined the Army) who were in that program.

Though it was before my time, I think that when the volanteer millitary first started it's ranks were filled with dropouts and folks that were given a choice by a judge to sign up or do their time. I still remember the stories from some of the older guys about the 80's Army (particularly in the time before Reagans drug testing of almost the entire force). Sounded kinda fun, but thank God the Russians didn't roll west during that time.

People mistakenly assume that someone with low scores on the tests the millitary use to asses intelligence/skills get put in a combat arms branch. I've served in the Artillery(active) and the Cav(Guard), and from my experience neither branch is stacked with dummies. A stupid person who can't read a map, program a radio, perform first-aid,or call for a medevac; is a liabillity to himself and everyone around him. My section cheif and gunnery sergeants (on active)were both ex-recruiters and both said that the 40-60 percentile folks often ended up as medical record clerks, truck drivers, cooks, mechanics (little book-learning but good technical skills), and other less military specific occupations.

Another myth that gets thrown around like fact is that the enlisted ranks are filled with the ultra-poor. While it's no doubt that there are more poor kids than rich kids in the Army, the units i've served in have been made up of solidly working class people from the working poor to the middle class.

I imagine it's tough being a recruiter nowadays. I talk to the Army recruiter at the mall where i work alot (he's a gunbunny too). When i joined in '94 (went to basic in '95) the local recruiter was enjoying life. He had enough walkins to nearly meet his quota. This current recruiter now says his biggest barrier is families of potential recruits, particularly those with vets in the family. Everyone around here has an dad, uncle, or grandad who fought in Vietnam, and its not that they are against the military, they just see alot of the same mistakes being made all over again.

Unless we get engaged in another theater before the next election I really don't see a draft any time soon. It's political suicide for anyone serious to put foward (Rangel only put it foward because he's always been good at class warfare). I do however think that with a draft you could get a better crossection of America than we currently have in the service.



posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 01:41 PM
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this is interesting, just yesterday i was talking about this topic to one of my friends. we got talking, and i stated- soon they will be sending convicts over seas. my friend started laughing, and asked what the hell was so funny. he told me that his 17yr old brother(who was just convicted and sentenced to 10-15yrs) was given the opportunity to wipe his record clean if he chose to join the army. his brother declined, but i wonder how many people accept that offer??

our military wants drop outs and felons to fight this war?



posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 01:56 PM
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This won't help at all with the severe shortage of commissioned officers, or the shortage of training and equipment.

And FYI, recruiters right now are being told to overlook 'minor' mental health issues and drug use, as well as criminal convictions, so that should really improve the overall quality of the armed forces.


This has been a continuous and steadily deteriorating situation since the beginning of this farce of a war. I sincerely hope that every single one of the millions of Americans sporting "Support our Troops" bumper stickers on the SUVs takes notice of this situation.



posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 02:03 PM
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Originally posted by FredT
In some ways this may not be a bad thing.


Agreed, but what good is discipline and education to a dead or seriously injured young soldier returning home either way from war?

Maybe the the offer of education is only to get them in... This report highlights what some face when returning from war...

Administration Opposes Education Bill for Returning Vets


Originally posted by FredT
(Assuming they survive thier stint in iraq)


Indeed, that is in part the whole point, assuming they survive, or are killed, injured and/or discharged they will have to be replaced, and in the current climate of an unpopular war that is becoming increasingly more difficult for recruiters.

So what else can recruiters do?



posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 02:04 PM
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It is no longer 'The Good Fight' as in past wars. For one thing we have 6 billion people+ in the world today which poses a dilemma in it's self.
I spoke with my Family physician a while ago and he initiated the conversation by telling me "Thank you for raising good children"I thanked him and he said "No I mean really good kids.
He went on to say that the hospital administration had just finished a private meeting regarding the massive amounts of (now this gets sensitive)low income, low mentality babies over the past few years.
It seems that many more low lives are having babies by the millions. He went on to say that this is generally a precursor to a possible WW scenario.
What I found most interesting was how he agreed the propaganda/mindcontroll has a lot to do with this phenomenon. And that they are being dumbed down and the education system is moving in the direction of maintaining a sub par mentality. Recruiters are involved in schools and are the new watch dogs for below average performance and behavioral problems which they see as an opportunity for new recruits. He told me that the people that should be having children are not or keeping it to on the average one child.



posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 02:32 PM
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I really don't see a problem with this. The military has always taken recruits with GED's, simply helping the recruits get that GED really isn't such a bad thing. And I'd honestly prefer to have drop-outs out there learning values and skills rather than out on the streets.



posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 02:35 PM
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Originally posted by WyrdeOne
And FYI, recruiters right now are being told to overlook 'minor' mental health issues and drug use, as well as criminal convictions,


Excellent find!


From that article you provided a link to:


Despite spending nearly $1 billion last year on recruiting bonuses and ads, Army leaders say an even bolder approach is needed to fill wartime ranks.

Under a new proposal, men and women who enlist could pick from a "buffet" of incentives, including up to $45,000 tax-free that they accrue during their career to help buy a home or build a business. Other options would include money for college and to pay off student loans.


Yet many in the house and senate are opposed to funding education for RETURNING war veterans?

Can it be any clearer?



posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 02:39 PM
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Gazz it dosent matter what someone's education is, what matters is their training, dedication and morale as well as the conduct and skills of those that are leading them into battle.

Look at the Vietnamese, the average peasant that made up the majority of the VC and PAVN probably did not have the Vietnamese version of a HS diploma yet they won (IMO they won only cause we left not because they beat us) ... granted they lost over 2 million KIA not counting civilians but they prevailed and won by default.



posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 02:48 PM
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I do think UM_Gazz has an important point, there in the last post.

We're spending money hand over first to insure a fresh supply of warm bodies, but we're doing little to take care of the returning vets. They've exhausted their usefulness, apparently, as far as the Pentagon is concerned.

There have been so many gems recently, pertaining to recruiters, you can't read just one.

Like the story about private recruiters, beloved by the Pentagon because they don't have to remain accountable to the Armed Forces, they can offer bribes, make false promises, etc.. Also, they can legally use the databases collected by other private companies (personal information on potential recruits) - this is something the Army has trouble doing withing the framework of the legal system.



posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 03:43 PM
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Originally posted by samnx2
Read you history....


I am aware of history, there have been times when the military recruited blacks when at the time the nation was segregated, even native American Indians.. both served in a segregated military with little or no respect from their fellow white soldiers, fewer privileges and benefits, it was no surprise then given the time, the wars, and the demand. It is also no surprise that military recruiters have actively sought out those of lesser advantages in life to serve at the front lines of battles throughout our nation's history. Even the times when a draft was used the tactics were questionable, especially in regard to those of affluence and higher education of which some were either overlooked, or given positions of little threat or danger to themselves.

I suppose it is wrong to expect the military recruiters to behave any differently today.

As this war on terrorism intensifies, and potentially expands requiring even greater efforts to fill the ranks there will possibly be more programs made available to younger Americans in order to attract them into service.

Perhaps one day the draft will become a reality once again, do you believe if it is, that it will be fair? Drafting souls from all walks of life, economic status, races, religions, sexual orientations, education levels males and females, etc?



posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 03:47 PM
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Yeah, I knew this was coming. When I joined the army, you had to score at least a 31 on the ASVAB before the military would even consider you. I scored a 78, which is in the top 20 percentile. Anyway, while I was still in the Army, they dropped it down to 27... I thought, "Wow, are we so desperate that we are willing to accept someone who doesn't have the intellect of an ant?"

I guess this just confirms my suspicion. Either people don't care enough about our country to join the military anymore,which is what I expect, especially with the youth of this country, or, we just can't recruit enough to do whatever the hell it is we are trying to do. Sometimes I wonder exactly what our government's goal is.



[edit on 12-8-2007 by SpeakerofTruth]



posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 03:48 PM
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UM Gazz- In a perfect world you would be recruiting the best and the brightest. But unfortunately the Iraq war is pushing volunteers away. I read somewhere that you are 3000 short on commishined officers.

The troops you are sending in have been on a few tours of Iraq now and are exhausted and stressed, and are not being replaced with adequete backups. Read this article from the Guardian observer.guardian.co.uk...



posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 04:03 PM
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UM_Gazz
Just because some one failed their exams, it doesn't make them stupid.
I know some people that have studied at university for many years, yet they lack "common sense" .
Look at Richard Branson from UK who owns Virgin. He didn't even go to school yet he is the richest British person.
Your logic is flawed.



posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 04:08 PM
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Originally posted by SKUNK2
UM_Gazz
Just because some one failed their exams, it doesn't make them stupid.


Where did I say that they were stupid?

Some of the smartest people I know do not have a high school diploma, or any higher education at all, I challenge you to read my posts in this thread again.


I am not questioning any one's intelligence here, just trying to expose military recruiting tactics that in part target and exploit troubled youths.



posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 04:11 PM
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Skunk, I agree with what you're saying - education or test ability is not always an accurate indicator of intelligence or ability.

What worries me most is the trend towards recruiting individuals who may have personal, psychological, family, drug, or criminal problems. We take people who may not be stable in the first place, and we thrust them into one of the most stressful situations imaginable: war.



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