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Parents are fighting back
June 29, 2005 7:43 PM   Subscribe

Leave My Child Alone! --a new group teaching parents how to stop the very intrusive recruitment tactics of the military, including getting their kids off the Pentagon's list of 30 million potential recruits,: (...a joint effort of the Defense Department and a private contractor, disclosed last week, to build a database of 30 million 16- to 25-year-olds, complete with Social Security numbers, racial and ethnic identification codes, grade point averages and phone numbers. The database is to be scoured for youngsters that the Pentagon believes can be persuaded to join the military...), and getting your kids off the School district records lists (School districts are required under Section 9528 of the No Child Left Behind Act to release student records to military recruiters or risk losing funding, but they are also required to inform families of their Opt Out rights. Notification varies wildly across districts, and it's a bit of a crapshoot whether families know or not.)
More on this from Bob Herbert here: The Army's Hard Sell
posted by amberglow (68 comments total)

 
It's sad that the military has to resort to such measures.

Strangely, I can't seem to get off the lists, despite already being in! Think how odd it is to be an Army Officer and get a mailer from the Navy saying "Accelerate your life: enlist." Yeah, like I'm going to give up my commission to take that offer... (note: not an army/navy feud issue, just saying what's happening)
posted by mystyk at 8:27 PM on June 29, 2005


We could do it the Singapore way, or like the Swiss - mandatory service. Of course we have around 65x the people available (age for serving).
posted by tomplus2 at 8:41 PM on June 29, 2005


Don't kids own their private details, and wouldn't they need to be old enough to enter contracts in order to legally give their details away? If so, how is it that schools are allowed to give it away essentially on their behalf?

Is it just the fact that nobody has questioned it yet, and it really is illegal?
posted by odinsdream at 8:44 PM on June 29, 2005


I read Herbert's column today and was similarly intrigued by Leave My Child Alone!, but it should be mentioned that strangely intrusive tactics are hardly new. Back in the mid-80s, I made up a fake name/address for the Columbia record and tape club. A few months later, that name/address was getting mail from the Army's Officer Training School. Data mining for teenage cannon fodder has been going on for a long time.

mystyk: I've never served, but got a letter from the American Legion national HQ yesterday, offering me a "special gift" and asking if I'm sure I'm "getting all the available benefits of your status as a war-time veteran." Data mining is an imperfect science, I gather...
posted by mediareport at 8:51 PM on June 29, 2005


Well, I wish mortgage brokers from India would stop calling my cell. I also cherish my "SGT Nelson, what a leader" junk mail post cards I get from the Army inviting me to return. HA HA HA HA.
Most recruiters are required by regulation to perform their jobs, carry out orders, etc. After 10 years in the Army, you must stay for 20, and you can be reassigned to be a recruiter, drill sergeant, cook, ... according to the "needs of the army".
I guess young people are getting some early experiences in decision making via recruiters calling... just say "no", and if the person gets too pushy, they can mature to the next level of dissatisfaction and learn how to write a complaint letter. "Dear Commanding Officer of recruiting station ...."

I have yet to see anything in the news about recruiters stealing identities. Probably has something to do with responsibility and accountability.
posted by buzzman at 9:03 PM on June 29, 2005


mystyk, same with me, only switch the services involved. Of course back then they were offering me the opportunity to be all I can be, rather than be an Army of One.
posted by Osteo at 9:06 PM on June 29, 2005


That 'Army of One' ad campaign is odd to my mind. Am I wrong in thinking that one of the basic functions of the Army is to, by and large, act as a group and defer individualism to the collective process, or at least individuals high up in the process? Seems the LAST thing the Army would want is X-million Army of Oners
posted by edgeways at 11:15 PM on June 29, 2005


When I was a high schooler, ages ago in the Bush I era, I got nothing in the way of requests from the Armed Forces. My cousin, however, was constantly harassed. I remember being there when the recruiter would call him, and he'd talk to him for hours trying to convince my cousin. (This was all pre-Gulf War I).

I always wondered what, if anything, in my "file" kept me from getting anything, and had my cousin constantly bothered. Maybe it was just luck, I dunno.

But recruiters are just like used car salesman, except they're asking for your ass rather than your money.
posted by teece at 11:18 PM on June 29, 2005


I disconnected my land line phone after the Army recruiter started calling for my wife to join.
So far they haven't found our cell #'s, so far, so good.
I knew they wouldn't take a 'No' for an answer once they found an able body who actually answers the phone.
It was either disconnect the phone, or chop off both my wifes and my feet off at the ankles.

So far, so good.
posted by Balisong at 11:28 PM on June 29, 2005


Just tell the recruiter your boyfriend wouldn't be happy with your enlistment.

I would note, FWIW, those in private schools aren't affected by this reporting.
posted by Goofyy at 12:16 AM on June 30, 2005


"That 'Army of One' ad campaign is odd to my mind. Am I wrong in thinking that one of the basic functions of the Army is to, by and large, act as a group and defer individualism to the collective process, or at least individuals high up in the process?"

It is pretty much in keeping with the US military over all. While obviously rules following and obedience is critical to thesucess of large bodies of combatants the US military has always been characterized by a large amount of lattitude and support for individual initiative within mission parameters.
posted by soulhuntre at 1:37 AM on June 30, 2005


Buzzman

...you can be reassigned to be a recruiter....

I thought recruiting duty was something you had to apply for -- at least, once upon a time in the Navy (which isn't having the recruiting challenges the Marine Corps and Army are seeing), it was sought after as a shore rotation. Now that it's gotten to be harder than selling life insurance, has the pool of willing victims applicants dried up, and now the Army has to find people and plug them into recruiting duty that they'd otherwise avoid?
posted by alumshubby at 3:18 AM on June 30, 2005


I don't understand why it's so difficult to just say no? I'm 28 now but I remember the recruiters coming to my high school, even up to the point where I went into the Marine recruiting office at age 21 to consider an enlistment. I decided against it and a solid no to the follow up call was all that was required. I just can't see that my situation would be any different, this is not some vast conspiracy and young men and women are more than capable of making up their minds and saying no OR yes.

She said parents complained that in some schools "the military recruiters were on campus all the time," sometimes handing out "things that the parents did not want in their homes, including very violent video games."

Boo hoo. Suck it up bitch. If you or your child can't handle pressure or unwanted attention or can't deal with "inappropriate" things now I'd hate to see what a pussy they become later in life.

I guess this makes me angry because the US military is voluntary. That's right - YOU decide to go and ONLY you. Hell, does everyone believe all the commercials on TV for every other product and service out there or do you look past that and find out information beyond all the gloss? That's what you should do here too.
posted by evilelvis at 3:24 AM on June 30, 2005


Tell them you're gay. It's not like they're going to ask you to prove it.
posted by raaka at 3:30 AM on June 30, 2005


The "Army of One" campaign has nothing to do with what happens once you enlist, edgeways. It's an ad campaign. I would guess that that particular tagline tested well with focus groups - Marketing 101.
posted by tizzie at 3:55 AM on June 30, 2005


No one has mentioned anything about the 'opt out' option. Is it just me, or does that sound like you're setting yourself up to be on another, entirely different list? (We all know how some administrations like to keep enemy lists. Heck, I was on several lists of protestors in the late 60s... )

Somehow opting out of the Pentagon's database strikes me as opting in to an altogether more sinister database.
posted by Corky at 3:57 AM on June 30, 2005


the terrahist list!
posted by matteo at 4:46 AM on June 30, 2005


The "Army of One" campaign has nothing to do with what happens once you enlist, edgeways. It's an ad campaign.

Has anyone seen the recent advertisement for the Army Reserves? It features a young lady talking about how great it is that she can serve her country on the weekends, then "put her jeans back on" and go back to work during the week. That is some misleading advertising.

In Portsmouth, NH, there's an Army recruitment center set up right next door to a large temp agency. They try and wave people going into one to come into the other--it's like, "Why take a temp job when you can be employed, full-time?"

They are obviously desperate for manpower, and are doing everything possible to meet their recruitment goals and avoid the dreaded D word.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:50 AM on June 30, 2005


Has anyone seen the recent advertisement for the Army Reserves? It features a young lady talking about how great it is that she can serve her country on the weekends...

I've also seen another ad for either the Reserves or National Guard. Kid and Dad playing pool. Kid persuading dad how great it'll be when kid joins up. Something like:
"They'll give me all this training, and I can stay close to home until they need me."
[Which will be like, yesterday.]
While you're fuming about everything else related to this war, don't forget to be p.o.'d that part of your tax dollars is going to pay for these propaganda ads.
posted by NorthernLite at 5:12 AM on June 30, 2005


The military really needs to rethink its approach to staffing.

It promotes enlistment as a good thing for the unskilled, immature, and/or directionless, and (intentionally or not) send the message that it has litttle to offer those with more on the ball.

Commissioned service is hardly promoted at all. I bet that nine in ten kids who graduated from college this month and last had no idea of the scope of intellectual and leadership challenges faced by a young officer, nor any any idea that just by graduating they were (preliminarily, at least) qualified to seek a commission.

Given that the military probably doesn't need a lot more officers, and probably also can't/won't make change the traditional character of entering service as a private to make it more appealing to the better skilled/educated, I think that the military ought to create a third point of entry, designed to appeal to, and fully utilize the patriotism, resources and talents of, all those people who are out there spinning their wheels in stupid management trainee programs or going off to law school because they can't think of anything better to do with their lives.
posted by MattD at 5:33 AM on June 30, 2005


alumshubby... yes, soldiers can be and are assigned to be recruiters. And since they are already enlisted, they can file paperword against it; but it is usually denied.
I read somewhere a recruiter has to call 100 people just to get one to listen to the army story.
MattD, now everybody that advances moves in rank from specialist (E-4) to sergeant (E-5 +). I do know that during Vietnam, the army allowed for specialists to advance in rank above E-4, which allowed for rank advancement due to technical excellence.
The army loses a great deal of talent due to the attempts to turn every soldier into a "leader" (or screaming idiot, depending on who you ask). As a former MI Spanish linguist, I can say the army loses 80-90% of first term linguists because after 42 - 120 weeks of full time language school when the new linguist arrives at a unit and gets put to work as low grade day labour. Ergo, the current lack of Arabic, Pashtu, Chinese Mandarin, and other linguists who leave as soon as their enlistments are up.
posted by buzzman at 6:09 AM on June 30, 2005


I remember getting a call from a Marine recruiter. He went through all the blah-blah-blah about how they could supply training and education equal to any college. Then he asked what I was going to college to study.

"Art."

After a fairly pregnant pause, he wished me a nice day and hung up. Never got another recruitment call.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:13 AM on June 30, 2005


Don't kids own their private details, and wouldn't they need to be old enough to enter contracts in order to legally give their details away? If so, how is it that schools are allowed to give it away essentially on their behalf?

No. See FERPA. Your address and such is "directory information" and can be distributed without consent of the student (if over 18) or parents (if under 18). Not to mention that all the young men have to go down to the post office and directly hand their information over to the DoD, it's called Selective Service.

When I was in school, the recruiting amounted to some junk mail, a booth at the school/job fairs and sponsorship/advertising at sporting events. Have things changed? In my day it was no worse than what some schools were doing to recruit me.
posted by Pollomacho at 6:13 AM on June 30, 2005


I would note, FWIW, those in private schools aren't affected by this reporting.
Very good, and telling, point.

I wonder whether the private database will also use federal financial aid data, which includes parents' income.
posted by amberglow at 6:41 AM on June 30, 2005


I would note, FWIW, those in private schools aren't affected by this reporting.

That's not entirely true. If they want to be accredited they still have to produce their enrollment data, plus, as I mentioned, the male students still have to sign up with Selective Service.
posted by Pollomacho at 6:52 AM on June 30, 2005


Great. Undermine the military's effort to meet enlistment numbers so that current troops don't have replacements, can't properly cycled out, and have to stay active longer. Good show, amberglow. I hope you're proud of yourself.

You better not bitch next time, amberglow, when someone suggests that you don't support the troops. You are promoting a policy which directly and negatively effects our troops.
posted by dios at 6:57 AM on June 30, 2005


You know, you could just draw down and withdraw the forces in Iraq, but, that would be silly. I not arguing for or against that, just saying there are alternatives to simply leaving them there indefinitely, such as cycling through army units stationed elsewhere. It's not just an all or none deal here. We still have one of the largest militaries in the world and not all of them are in Iraq.
posted by Pollomacho at 7:22 AM on June 30, 2005


Great. Undermine the military's effort to meet enlistment numbers so that current troops don't have replacements, can't properly cycled out, and have to stay active longer. Good show, amberglow. I hope you're proud of yourself.

Yes. amberglow has singlehandedly, with one Metafilter post, crippled the US military's ability to recruit.

The trouble they're having enlisting new soldiers is amberglow's fault. It doesn't have anything to do with the fact that we're fighting what many see as an unwinnable war against a nebulous concept ("terror") and many of the young people getting sent off to fight it are returning in coffins. Couldn't possibly have anything to do with that, no.

Thanks a lot, amberglow.
posted by LeeJay at 7:38 AM on June 30, 2005


LeeJay, I didn't say it was his fault exclusively, so quit being hyperbolic. But it is an overt act to try to advance the undermining of the military's recruiting efforts. How can you deny that?
posted by dios at 7:43 AM on June 30, 2005


Civil_Disobedient writes "Has anyone seen the recent advertisement for the Army Reserves?"

I'm Canadian and these ads piss me off they are so dishonest. Is the goverment immune to false advertising suits?

Pollomacho writes "When I was in school, the recruiting amounted to some junk mail, a booth at the school/job fairs and sponsorship/advertising at sporting events. Have things changed?"

The amount of hard sell seems to have good corelation to the affluence of the school.

dios writes "Undermine the military's effort to meet enlistment numbers so that current troops don't have replacements, can't properly cycled out, and have to stay active longer."

You say that like it's a bad thing.
posted by Mitheral at 7:43 AM on June 30, 2005


Yup, when we lose in Iraq, if we haven't already, it'll be entirely my fault. Right. Absolutely.

I have no blood on my hands for lies. I'm not worried--at all. I'm actually helping to possibly save lives that may otherwise be lost for all the wrong reasons, by posting this. Someday you'll learn the difference, dios. (And you of course signed up today? Yesterday? If i'm responsible for harming the troops, why don't you help them, and go sign up?)
posted by amberglow at 7:45 AM on June 30, 2005


What? Com'on now.
posted by agregoli at 7:48 AM on June 30, 2005


Nevermind, I got behind.
posted by agregoli at 7:49 AM on June 30, 2005


You are promoting a policy which directly and negatively effects our troops.

Blame Donald "Downsize" Rumsfeld, not amberglow. I'd say ignoring the advice of your own generals and sending fewer troops than requested (armed with subpar equipment) "directly and negatively" effects the troops much more than teaching parents how to stop the military from harassing their children.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 7:50 AM on June 30, 2005


The day educating citizens about their options regarding government intrusion is seen as "hurting our troops" is a sad day for this country--just another in a long line of them. Dios, do you know that we actually have rights as citizens, and aren't just automatic cannon fodder for whatever misbegotten wars are created by murderous liars? That we can, and should, and that it's our right to, say "NO!"?
posted by amberglow at 7:50 AM on June 30, 2005


Back in the mid-80s, I made up a fake name/address for the Columbia record and tape club. A few months later, that name/address was getting mail from the Army's Officer Training School. Data mining

funny how making lists is now called data mining. you tech-talkin' d00dz are a hoot.
posted by quonsar at 7:55 AM on June 30, 2005


Whoa, nellie, who's being hyperbolic? Wow, a whole handful of kids might not get their junk mailers from the Marines because of this, how is that "an overt act to try to advance the undermining of the military's recruiting efforts?" Do you really think that the kids that are in this opt out program had military enlistment on the top of their to do list and now suddenly the Army will collapse because of their loss? They opt out because they aren't interested.

Further, what percentage of recruits does this effect?

Further to that, what percentage of recruits are swayed by direct mailing anyway? "Oh, I wasn't going to join until the sixth 'Be all you can be' pamphlet arrived."

I also don't get where you single out amberglow's comments as somehow undermining the process simply because of the questions raised.

Questioning policy does not equal undermining it.
posted by Pollomacho at 7:58 AM on June 30, 2005


Now I'm kind of disappointed that I wasn't harrassed more. I took the ASVAB in high school and scored in the top bracket, which was-according to the literature- to high for what I wanted to do (Combat Engineer or Tank Commander). I received maybe one phone call.

With a college degree behind me now, and a boring retail job/freelance job, I've considered enlisting depending on how things pan out, but without becoming an officer, my pay would be roughly equal to what I was making in retail a few years ago.
posted by drezdn at 8:00 AM on June 30, 2005


But it is an overt act to try to advance the undermining of the military's recruiting efforts. How can you deny that?

Like so: the army's recruiting efforts have failed for the past four months, even after lowering their quota. I don't think amberglow would waste his time "undermining" a failed effort.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 8:04 AM on June 30, 2005


LeeJay, I didn't say it was his fault exclusively, so quit being hyperbolic. But it is an overt act to try to advance the undermining of the military's recruiting efforts. How can you deny that?

The armed forces' overly aggressive recruitment tactics are undermining their own efforts to enlist young people. amberglow just made a post about it. And instead of discussing the issue and suggesting ways in which the military could improve their recruitment strategy you attack the poster and accuse him of being the one actively putting soldiers in harm's way. It's a little difficult to respond to such an absurd statement with anything other than hyperbole.
posted by LeeJay at 8:06 AM on June 30, 2005


dios, why do members of a volunteer military need our "support"? maybe if they were actually defending us or "protecting our freedom" or something.
posted by sineater at 8:15 AM on June 30, 2005


Support the troops by supporting more troops. Makes sense to me!
posted by mek at 8:16 AM on June 30, 2005


amberglow broke the army. this is why we can't have lean, mean ass-kickin' machines. gosh darn you amberglow.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:22 AM on June 30, 2005


(And you of course signed up today? Yesterday? If i'm responsible for harming the troops, why don't you help them, and go sign up?)

I signed up and in fact will be in Iraq this time next year. Does this now give my voice on Metafilter more credence?
posted by Juicylicious at 8:33 AM on June 30, 2005


I'm sorry to hear that, Juicy. You don't accuse others of undermining the military tho, nor do you see any discussion of options as a threat.
posted by amberglow at 8:34 AM on June 30, 2005


I signed up and in fact will be in Iraq this time next year. Does this now give my voice on Metafilter more credence?

Take care of yourself, Juicylicious. I'll keep my fingers crossed that by this time next year you won't need to be over there.
posted by LeeJay at 8:36 AM on June 30, 2005


drezdn writes I've considered enlisting depending on how things pan out, but without becoming an officer, my pay would be roughly equal to what I was making in retail a few years ago."

Your cost of living would be lower though... Just sayin'.
posted by benzo8 at 8:39 AM on June 30, 2005


I don't understand why it's so difficult to just say no?

In addition to C-D's example of overeager recruiters there is the recent case in Seattle where Marine Corps recruiters kidnapped a 17-year-old and wore him down to the point he signed enlistment papers.

When Marine recruiters go way beyond the call
A single mom with a meager income, Marcia raised her kids on the farm where, until recently, she grew salad greens for restaurants. Axel's father, a Marine Corps vet who served in Vietnam, died when Axel was 4.

Clearly the recruiters knew all that and more.

"You don't want to be a burden to your mom," they told him. "Be a man." "Make your father proud." Never mind that, because of his own experience in the service, Marcia says enlistment for his son is the last thing Axel's dad would have wanted.

The next weekend, when Marcia went to Seattle for the Folklife Festival and Axel was home alone, two recruiters showed up at the door.

Axel repeated the family mantra, but he was feeling frazzled and worn down by then. The sergeant was friendly but, at the same time, aggressively insistent. This time, when Axel said, "Not interested," the sarge turned surly, snapping, "You're making a big (bleeping) mistake!"

Next thing Axel knew, the same sergeant and another recruiter showed up at the LaConner Brewing Co., the restaurant where Axel works. And before Axel, an older cousin and other co-workers knew or understood what was happening, Axel was whisked away in a car.

"They said we were going somewhere but I didn't know we were going all the way to Seattle," Axel said.

Just a few tests. And so many free opportunities, the recruiters told him.

He could pursue his love of chemistry. He could serve anywhere he chose and leave any time he wanted on an "apathy discharge" if he didn't like it. And he wouldn't have to go to Iraq if he didn't want to.

At about 3:30 in the morning, Alex was awakened in the motel and fed a little something. Twelve hours later, without further sleep or food, he had taken a battery of tests and signed a lot of papers he hadn't gotten a chance to read. "Just formalities," he was told. "Sign here. And here. Nothing to worry about."

By then Marcia had "freaked out."

She went to the Burlington recruiting center where the door was open but no one was home. So she grabbed all the cards and numbers she could find, including the address of the Seattle-area testing center.

Then, with her grown daughter in tow, she high-tailed it south, frantically phoning Axel whose cell phone had been confiscated "so he wouldn't be distracted during tests."

Axel's grandfather was in the hospital dying, she told the people at the desk. He needed to come home right away. She would have said just about anything.

But, even after being told her son would be brought right out, her daughter spied him being taken down a separate hall and into another room. So she dashed down the hall and grabbed him by the arm.

"They were telling me I needed to 'be a man' and stand up to my family," Axel said.

What he needed, it turned out, was a lawyer.

Five minutes and $250 after an attorney called the recruiters, Axel's signed papers and his cell phone were in the mail.
posted by ericb at 8:39 AM on June 30, 2005


Now I'm kind of disappointed that I wasn't harrassed more. I took the ASVAB in high school and scored in the top bracket, which was-according to the literature- to high for what I wanted to do (Combat Engineer or Tank Commander).

As a former combat engineer who was assigned to an armored cav regiment, I have to say that you really lucked out by letting that career choice pass you by...
posted by jperkins at 8:47 AM on June 30, 2005


Teece,

My cousin, however, was constantly harassed. I remember being there when the recruiter would call him, and he'd talk to him for hours trying to convince my cousin.

What? That guy badly needed to learn how to deal with phone parasites. You say "no", then take the phone from your ear, ignoring the protests from the phone, and put it on the cradle. It always works. I like to do it the moment I recognize an attempt to sell me something, without regard to whether the parasite has left me space to get a word in. If you need to rationalize being "mean", think to yourself that this frees the parasite/salesman to make his next call. But really, who cares what the parasite thinks of you anyway?

Without learning this very basic lesson, I predict your cousin will be the proud owner of many magazines, "special trials", and credit cards.
posted by Invoke at 8:49 AM on June 30, 2005


I took the ASVAB in high school and scored in the top bracket, which was-according to the literature- to high for what I wanted to do (Combat Engineer or Tank Commander).

Wait a minute, that can't be right. I scored in the upper 5% on the ASVAB and they had no problems signing me up as a combat engineer. And tank commander isn't an MOS.
posted by jperkins at 8:49 AM on June 30, 2005


I'm reminded of those who gorge themselves at length, and leave before the bill arrives. At most, recruitment is a calling. At least, it's an acceptable nuisance.
posted by rush at 8:55 AM on June 30, 2005


Something very similar to this was on 60 Minutes 2 last night (or Wednesday night, I can't remember, I have no idea what year it is).

They talked about a small town in Texas and how something like 80% of the graduating seniors from the high school looked at enlisting in the military, because they had no other options at home (there was no real commerce in the town, only government jobs that were mostly already filled). The whole town was very close and everyone knew everyone else. They were also a very patriotic and pro-military community, that celebrated the fact that so many of their children were serving their country.

At the high school "career day" there were no college recruiters in the gymnasium. There were no corporate HR tables set up doing interviews. There were 4 tables. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines. That's it. A small town, in fly-over country, forgetten by commerce and trade, but All American to the core of their being.

Then in 2003 their first casualty came home in a coffin. In a town of 4700, someone that they all knew was dead and being brought back in a flag draped coffin. Over 1000 people showed up for the arrival of the casket. They waited for until after midnight, standing vigil (the father of the deceased video taped the event, it was rather heart-wrenching). Then, shortly after that, they town was given another present from the military. Their second dead soldier. One who had been rotated back into Iraq after serving one term already, coming home and marrying his girlfriend, and then shipping back off to war.

The graduating class of 2004 did not enlist.
The graduating class of 2005 did not enlist.

Army recruiters are pretty much told, by the _students_ , to take a hike.


I liked the ending to this story.
posted by daq at 9:05 AM on June 30, 2005


communities all over the country are learning the same thing, daq, tragically.
posted by amberglow at 9:10 AM on June 30, 2005


My daughter just graduated from college. The Air Force called her cel phone at 3:00 in the morning two weeks after graduation to try to convince her to enlist. She was mostly asleep, but the recruiter kept telling her that the Air Force would pay off her student loans, that she would be doing everyone a favor and that this was all she could do with a psychology B.S. She finally hung up.

I called the number on her cel the next day - yup - it was an Air Force recruiting office in California. We're in North Carolina, where Army recruiters appeared at our house a couple times when she was a senior in high school - before the Iraq war.
posted by mygothlaundry at 9:20 AM on June 30, 2005


Why isn't someone identifying members of the right wing, neocon loving, keyboard commandos and forwarding their contact information as well as excerpts of their online cheerleading of the military in Iraq to their local recruiters.

Hell, talk the talk, walk the walk...
posted by jperkins at 9:30 AM on June 30, 2005


Invoke writes "Without learning this very basic lesson, I predict your cousin will be the proud owner of many magazines, 'special trials', and credit cards."

Wouldn't it be better if his cousin had the opprotunity to learn that leason with a magazine sub than with a decison that entails a life long commitment to having people shoot at you?
posted by Mitheral at 10:34 AM on June 30, 2005


I scored in the upper 5% on the ASVAB and they had no problems signing me up as a combat engineer. And tank commander isn't an MOS.

When I got the test results, there was a little sheet showing what you'd be qualified for. Military intelligence was the top rung. It may have not necessarily said I couldn't be anything below that on the chart (it was almost 9 years ago). As for the tank commander thing, it was one of the two "positions" I remembered reading about in the brochures that peaked my interest, though I could be remembering things wrong.

In the past few months, I've even requested materials from the Coast Guard, but haven't received a follow up call. I just assume they're not that hard up for people. I imagine that if I inquired about the Army, someone would stop by every day to see how I'm doing and would you be interested in joining the Army.

Your cost of living would be lower though... Just sayin'.

I have taken that into account in my personal thinking. I haven't ruled out enlisting yet, but I'm seeing how my other career choices pan out first.
posted by drezdn at 10:47 AM on June 30, 2005


Perhaps the recruiting problems have less to do with amberglow than with our Administration:

The war in Iraq was sold to the American public the way a cheap car salesman sells a lemon. Dick Cheney assured the nation that Americans in Iraq would be "greeted as liberators." Kenneth Adelman of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board said the war would be a "cakewalk." And Donald Rumsfeld said on National Public Radio: "I can't say if the use of force would last five days or five weeks or five months, but it certainly isn't going to last any longer than that."
posted by leftcoastbob at 11:12 AM on June 30, 2005


I don't have a problem with using whatever technique works (within the law of course and within reason).
So I don't see the big deal. And the name "Leave my child alone!" is a bit hysterical.
Of course if a recruiter called my kid at 3 am I'd have his/her balls/ovaries for breakfast that morning. I don't think it's legal to call someone at that time.
And I'm all for privacy.
But I do wholeheartedly support the 'volunteer' part of our volunteer military.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:26 AM on June 30, 2005


I was pretty heavily harassed in my senior year of High School by the Navy. I was early decision at my liberal arts college though, so after Thanksgiving I just asked the guy if they had boats in Charlotte. No, but we have them in Norfolk, Va, or whatever he said. I said, well, since you don't have boats on land and you dont want to pay for me to go to my private school, I guess we're done talking.

Miraculously, we were.

I understand these people have a job to do, but I dont know how you get up and look in the mirror every morning if you're calling people at 3 am and/or kidnapping them to meet your numbers.
posted by Medieval Maven at 12:13 PM on June 30, 2005


tank commander isn't an MOS

19K3O
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 12:14 PM on June 30, 2005


If your kid is really smart he can make the recruiter take him to lunch. Do it with a bunch of recruiters.

Alternatively, if you really don't want your kid in the militry start feeding them milkshakes and sundaes.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:46 PM on June 30, 2005


Alternatively, if you really don't want your kid in the military start feeding them milkshakes and sundaes.

Huh? Then they'll get pudgie and get a bad body image and low self esteem. Then they'll be even more susceptible to the military advertising image of the strong, fit soldier.

If you don't want your kid to join, teach them that killing other people is a sin.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:53 PM on June 30, 2005


19K3O

The 30 appended to the MOS implies (iirc) E-5 or above. You're not going to enlist and get the rank automatically.
posted by jperkins at 1:08 PM on June 30, 2005


If your kid is really smart he can make the recruiter take him to lunch. Do it with a bunch of recruiters.

Then get two or more recruiters over at the same time by telling them you're willing to sign up and then make them fight it out for your recruitment.
posted by ODiV at 4:13 PM on June 30, 2005


If you don't want your kid to join, give them a medical excuse like flat feet. Preferably genetic.
posted by breath at 4:31 PM on June 30, 2005


ODiV, you just gave me a reason to contact my local recruiters. I'm going to invite them over, tell them that I'll sign up with whichever service has produced more of a man (or woman). And then have the fight and run obstacles. Sort of like American Gladiators. I bet I could sell tickets too.
posted by Hactar at 3:07 AM on July 1, 2005


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