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View Diary: Army Recruiting - The crappiest job in the world. (33 comments)

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  •  I have a question (3+ / 0-)

    I was hearing a story about this very subject on the radio this morning. Much like this diary, it still leaves open a question that needs an answer: Just what is so hard about this job?

    Note that I do not question that this job must be tough - these suicides aren't happening for nothing - but what are the specific problems with this job? Are there any insiders who can give a more clear picture of the reality of this assignment?

    Every day's another chance to stick it to The Man. - dls.

    by The Raven on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 06:33:39 AM PST

    •  It forces you to put your honor in a dark closet (7+ / 0-)

      and for most career soldiers that is too much.  Some can compartmentalize it some can't. My wifes college friend married a West Pointer.  He was so imbued with the honor code that he truly could not tell a lie.  To be forced to do so would have too much for him to handle.  I think it is the same for these guys as well.

      •  Selling the Army requires brutal hours. (5+ / 0-)

        And by that, I mean 18 hour days, no time off, no vacation, and forgetting what your own children look like.  I don't care what it is you're doing, if you're doing it all the time, it sucks.  Just ask any rock star.

        Half-baked ideas for sale - cheap!

        by Steaming Pile on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 06:48:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's a sales job (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pandoras Box

          I can see that. Like other sales jobs, it requires deception, long hours... What is the missing component? I wish an army recruiter could weigh in here and fill in the gaps. Something like a "day in the life of an army recruiter" would probably make this more clear.

          Every day's another chance to stick it to The Man. - dls.

          by The Raven on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 06:57:43 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Its a used car salesman's job (6+ / 0-)

          Basically youre putting people into a long term commitment that may or may not be good for them----but if they sign on the dotted line its REAL good for you.
          Some people are good at selling used cars, but most aren't.
          I know some Army recruiters  who work out at my gym. there's a recruiting office at that mall. They don't seem real stressed, or a lot more than anyone else.
          I was a grunt in combat once. it looks like a nicer job than that. ( And I was DEFINITELY lied to by the recruiting sgt!)

          If Liberals really hated America we'd vote Republican

          by exlrrp on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 06:59:40 AM PST

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          •  Used cars are at least useful. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            The Raven, JVolvo

            I can't say that about trading the best years of your life for a career in the Army, particularly when the job they're trying to sell you, 11B - Infantryman, for example, doesn't translate into a civilian job down the road (unless you're a member of the Crips), and you end up starting over at entry level when you leave the service.  It's the mother of all hard sells.

            Half-baked ideas for sale - cheap!

            by Steaming Pile on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 08:46:29 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Pressure to meet quotas... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Raven, JVolvo, jarhead5536, Norbrook

      Military mind set of 'mission'.

      "...fighting the wildfires of my life with squirt guns."

      by deMemedeMedia on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 06:59:26 AM PST

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    •  Pressure, Pressure, Pressure. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Raven, JVolvo, Norbrook

      In recent years, the armed forces have been below quota for recruiting.  Only the Marines are meeting their recruiting goals.

      The pressure put on recruiters is INTENSE.

      VetVoice - article for historical reference

      Houston Chronicle article discussing one of the suicides

      Army officials acknowledge recruiting is one of the toughest jobs in the military, especially at a time when the U.S. is fighting two wars.

      Houston battalion recruiters who spoke to the Chronicle said they work 12- to 14-hour days, six or seven days a week. If they don't fill monthly quotas, they're criticized as failures, punished with even longer hours and threatened with losing rank or receiving poor evaluations, they said.

      "Some people are really good at recruiting, and I think that's good for them," said Amanda Henderson, who served in Iraq from 2004 to 2005. "But it's not fair to these veterans who are coming back and being treated like crap just because they can't meet the quota."

      Newsmax article discussing lowering standards to meet quota

      The number of "moral character" waivers granted to recruits who would otherwise be ineligible for enlistment jumped to 12,057 last year, the highest total in five years. Some 18 percent of Army recruits required such waivers in 2007, up from 15 percent in 2006.

      Even worse, notes Michael Boucai, Georgetown University law professor, "The Armed Forces’ narrowly constrained use of official criminal records entails almost complete reliance on recruits’ own confessions of wrongdoing," and many can be missed.

      Federal officials admit that such recruits are more likely "to become disciplinary cases or security risks" and "disrupt good order, morale and discipline." Between 1990 and 1993, 26.6 percent of Armed Forces members with a moral waiver washed out due to "misconduct," compared to 13.3 per cent of those without a moral waiver, the Government Accountability Office found.

      The Army also raised the maximum enlistment age twice, from 35 years, to 40 years, and finally, to 42 years, in 2006, meaning troops will be older. Other service branches did not increase their age maximums.

      Education requirements also have been lowered. In 2003, more than 94 percent of new recruits had a high school diploma. This year, that number dropped to just 79 percent, causing serious concern for whether these soldiers will be able to adequately perform in an increasingly technical military environment.

      -7.75 -4.67

      "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

      There are no Christians in foxholes.

      by Odysseus on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 07:19:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Great links - thank you (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JVolvo

        Interesting reading, e.g.:

        For instance, some new recruits are offered up to $50,000 for mortgage costs, while some soldiers and their spouses in the Army can receive a number of free plastic surgeries, including liposuction, breast augmentation, and more

        Every day's another chance to stick it to The Man. - dls.

        by The Raven on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 07:29:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  aoeu (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          The Raven

          while some soldiers and their spouses in the Army can receive a number of free plastic surgeries, including liposuction, breast augmentation

          The last time this came up it came out that surgeons have to keep their skills up and if it takes giving out free plastic surgery to do that well, that's a small price to pay to have skilled and practiced surgeons.

    •  I am guessing that it requires one to lie (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Raven

      and lie hard

      and knowing the consequences of those lies would give anyone sleepless nights and, obviously, MUCH worse

      "We struck down evil with the mighty sword of teamwork and the hammer of not bickering!" - The Shoveler

      by Pandoras Box on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 07:19:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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