Ladies and Gentlemen,
In my last diary, I posed a question, "what do you do?"
Well, this diary is about how I was told "thanks, but no thanks" by the Army today!
Meet me after the fold...
As I made quite clear, I am a bomb technician by trade. It is what I do. I served 10 years in the Air Force as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal technician. Faced with few prospects in my area of any meaningful employment, much less employment in my field of specialty, I decided to try and enlist for a second time.
Now, let's be clear. I am against the occupation of Iraq. I have protested against it. I have spoken out against it. But, with my skills and knowledge, I had decided that I could do worse then try to save some of our best.
So, I call up the Army recruiter today and after 5 minutes on the phone am told, "thanks, but no thanks".
No, I was not discharged dishonorably, thereby barring me from enlisting. I, in fact, was discharged honorably twice (you get one after each enlistment is over, btw). No, I am not over the age of enlistment, thereby barring me from enlisting.
So, why was I told "thanks, but no thanks"? Because when I separated from the military I had reached the "high year tenure" for my rank.
Basically, it came down to this: for me to enlist again, I had to enter service at the last rank I held, and because I had already reached the maximum time I could serve under that rank, I cannot enlist in the military again.
Now, being ex-military, there are two things I know for a fact;
- The military regulations can be set in stone when the military wants to enforce something, ie, punish somebody.
- Any military regulation is waiverable by higher command if they wish to waive those requirements.
So, I learned something today: faced with shortages in recruitment, the Army decided that instead of trying to get a waiver, they could afford to let my skills go unused. Color me amazed!
Our military is stretched beyond all limits now. Soldiers are on their 5th deployments. The military has had to bring in EOD from different services just to have enough to do the mission, much less try to sustain that mission. And when someone asks to help, someone who has the knowledge, the experience, the skills, they are told "thanks, but no thanks", because the recruiter didn't even want to try to see if they could a waiver.
Providence maybe? You tell me...
(sorry this is short... but, after my last diary, I thought an update would be appropriate)