Friday, December 23, 2005

Strange Tales Of Military Recruiters

Some briefs anecdotes from people I know concerning their experiences with military recruiters:
  1. My cousin was promised a position with Army intelligence by his recruiter. He ended up being a truck driver. Surely, the recruiter (his uncle) must have lied to him! My cousin, on the other hand, will tell you that his re-assignment was brought about by his own failure to learn the Czech language.

  2. The bright young son of some friends was promised a position in the Air Force special forces. (And yes, the Air Force has its own special forces.) Last time I saw him, he was in civilian clothes. The Air Force had offered him some alternative assignments. He could either accept re-assignment to other service in the Air Force or take a furlough until such time as he was eligible to re-apply for special forces training. He took the furlough. It is reported that he could not master some of the finer points of special forces training and was labeled a "screw-up". More lies from military recruiters.

  3. Recently I had a discussion with a young man from a middle class background with whom I have a professional relationship. While discussing some issues regarding his career advancement path, I asked him if he had ever considered military service. I thought the structure of the military might help him through this difficult period in his life. He replied that he had visited a Marine recruitment center and was somewhat surprised by their lack of interest in him as a potential member of the Marines. It seems that his failure to complete high school made him a "quitter" and unsuitable. Perhaps he was too white and not poor enough. Or maybe the recruiter was just lying to him.
There may be a common thread in these stories.