Army Scrambling to Increase its ranks from high school studentsSomervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


 

Army Scrambling to Increase its ranks from high school students
 


14 June 2005 at 7:43:22 AM
salon

They Won't Go

With the war in Iraq going badly and allegations of abuse by military personnel widespread, young men and women are increasingly deciding that there's no upside to a career choice in which the most important skills might be ducking bullets and dodging roadside bombs.

The primary reason the U.S. went to an all-volunteer military in 1973 was to ensure that those who did not want to fight wouldn't have to. That option is now being overwhelmingly exercised, discretion being the clear choice over valor. Young people and their parents alike are turning their backs on the military in droves.

The Army is so desperate for even lukewarm bodies that it is reluctant to release even problem soldiers, troops who are seriously out of shape, or pregnant, or abusing alcohol or drugs. And it is lowering standards for admission to the junior officer ranks. For example, minor criminal offenses that previously would have been prohibitive can now be overlooked.

At the same time Army recruiters have been chasing high school kids with such reckless abandon that a backlash is developing among parents who, in many cases, want the recruiters kept out of their children's schools.

"To the extent that we think students are threatened by recruiters, it's our job to intervene," said Amy Hagopian, a co-chair of the Parent-Teacher-Student Association at Garfield High School in Seattle. Ms. Hagopian, who has an 18-year-old son, complained that recruiters too often put the hard sell on impressionable high school youngsters without informing them of the potential dangers of a life in the military.

Recruiters with the gift of gab go into the schools with a glamorous pitch, bags full of goodies for the kids (T-shirts, donuts, key chains) and a litany of promises they often can't keep. The kids don't hear much about their chances of being maimed or killed, or the trauma that often results from killing someone else.

(A soldier's job is to kill. I can still hear the drill sergeants in basic training screaming at us decades ago: "What are you? What are you?" And we'd scream back: "Killers! Killers!" And the sergeants would say, "What is your purpose?" And we would shout: "To kill! To kill!")

The Army, frantically searching for solutions, is offering enlistments as short as 15 months and considering bonuses worth up to $40,000. But it may be facing a problem too difficult for any amount of money to overcome. Americans are catching on to the hideousness and apparent futility of the war in Iraq. Five marines were killed in a single bomb attack in western Iraq on Thursday. On Friday, a front-page Washington Post headline described the effort to rebuild the Iraqi military as "Mission Improbable."

A Washington Post-ABC News poll last week found that nearly three-quarters of Americans believe the number of casualties in Iraq is unacceptable, and 60 percent believe the war was not worth fighting.

There's something frankly embarrassing about a government offering trinkets to children to persuade them to go off and fight - and perhaps die - in a war that their nation should never have started in the first place. It's highly questionable whether most high school kids are equipped to make an informed decision about joining the military, which is exactly why they're targeted. The additional knowledge and maturity gained in the first few years after high school make it easier for a young man or woman to make a wiser, more meaningful choice, pro or con.


Permalink
     Views: 845 
Latest Blog Post by salon -Video- Somervell County Commissioners Court Special Sessions (2) Dec 23 2019

 You! Leave a Comment! You Know you Want To!
You must be a registered member to comment on the blog.
Your first post is held pending approval to make sure you're not a spammer bot

 Not registered? Or you can login!

LOGON - Name:Password:

New poster comments are moderated, meaning they won't show up until approved... or not.  Be patient-we have lives outside this blog, so it might take awhile You want to be rude? totally stupid? inappropriate? Racist? Bigoted? Flame war baiter? Your post may be deleted. Spammers or people posting pretend interest comments but really wanting to hawk their latest book or sell stuff or govt propaganda flacks won't see their posts published. Comments do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the site owner(salon).
If you have a problem with logging in or registering, please speak up right away. Love your comments. Oh, except spammers
More on commenting



     

Click Here for Main Page



Guest
Today Is  
Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Latest Posts


Paul Harper offered to settle State of Texas ex rel. Best v Harper lawsuit for $68k back in 2016
pharper 12/29/2019 Views 559



Video- Somervell County Commissioners Court Special Sessions (2) Dec 23 2019

salon 12/23/2019 Views 590



Top 100 Posts on Somervell County Salon for 2019

salon 12/22/2019 Views 400



Plans for Somervell County Salon Blog for 2020
salon 12/22/2019 Views 309



Imagine you were called up for jury duty and some people said they'd already made up their mind
salon 12/22/2019 Views 324



National Review on Removing Trump from Office (12/2019)
salon 12/22/2019 Views 317


More Blog Headlines








 



Comments

salon > Quick update on this, via Pacer-Click on pic to see larger (Turk Case Update- Telephone Conference Hearing Set for March 8 2019 )

salon > Lance Been awhile. Send me an email at salon@glenrose.net with the names of who you're talking about, above. Also, the newspaper editor is no longer local, ie officed here, but the paper is run.... (What Happened to Jerry Jacene? )

LanceHall > I'd love to see the Hotel Guest books and see if Jacene's name shows up long before he officially *found* the tracks.  I'd like to know if the Visitor's Bureau has emails wit.... (What Happened to Jerry Jacene? )

LanceHall > I see the land or that part of it is now in the hands of Glen Rose's own Corky Underwood. Is Jacene still involved?   I had already informed the Visitor Bureau manager (who's.... (What Happened to Jerry Jacene? )





Home | Blog Home | About | News | Piazza | Calendar | Audio/Video/Open Rec | Search
Write!  |profile | quotes |
top Daily | top Weekly |top Month | top Year | Top All! | archives | subscribe RSS