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New hope for Rush Limbaugh!

Military Recruitment standards low standards

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#1 waterpanther

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Posted 05 June 2005 - 12:14 PM

Well, now, it looks as though Rushbo just might have a second chance to serve his country, the way things are going.  The Army's now willing to take overweight drug addicts with "poor fitness," which should include (tough not be limited to, to toss in the legalese) such minor things as boils on the posterior.  Go, Rush!  Run, do not walk, to your nearest recruiting office!  Accept the accolades of millions for your courage!

Or not.  :whistle:

Quote

US lowers standards in army numbers crisis

Jamie Wilson in Washington
Saturday June 4, 2005
The Guardian

The US military has stopped battalion commanders from dismissing new recruits for drug abuse, alcohol, poor fitness and pregnancy in an attempt to halt the rising attrition rate in an army under growing strain as a result of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. 
An internal memo sent to senior commanders said the growing dropout rate was "a matter of great concern" in an army at war. It told officers: "We need your concerted effort to reverse the negative trend. By reducing attrition 1%, we can save up to 3,000 initial-term soldiers. That's 3,000 more soldiers in our formations."

Officially, the memo, reported in the Wall Street Journal and posted on Slate.com, ordered battalion commanders to refer cases of problem soldiers up to brigade level. Military experts warned that the move would make it more difficult to remove poor soldiers and would lower quality in the ranks.

A military spokesman told the Guardian yesterday: "It was merely a question of an additional set of eyes looking at an issue before we release potential recruits."

The Wall Street Journal quoted a battalion commander as saying: "It is the guys on weight control ... school no-shows, drug users, etc, who eat up my time and cause my hair to grey prematurely ... Often they have more than one of these issues simultaneously."

Asked what the new policy meant, John Pike from the thinktank Globalsecurity.org said: "It means there is a war on. They need all the soldiers they can get. But it is a dilemma. You need good soldiers more in wartime than peacetime."

The latest controversy comes amid a growing recruitment and retention crisis in the US military. Last month the army announced that it was 6,659 soldiers short of its recruitment targets for the year so far. On Wednesday, the department of defence withheld the latest figures, a move seen by most commentators as heralding more bad news.

The military's target is 80,000 new recruits this year, but the army only managed 73% of its target in February, 68% in March and 57% in April, forcing the expansion of a pilot programme offering 15-month active duty enlistments, rather than the usual four years.*

The crisis has even led to fears - despite repeated denials by President George Bush - of a return to the draft system that conscripted 1.8 million Americans during the Vietnam war.

Major General Michael Rochelle, the head of army recruitment, said this was the "toughest recruiting climate ever faced by the all-volunteer army", with the war raising concern among potential recruits and their families.

"Recruiters have been given greater leeway," said Mr Pike. "By doing things to increase quantity you are also doing things to decrease quality, but they have made the judgment that that is the way to go."

One recruiting standard that was about to be lowered was a rule governing tattoos in the navy and marines. "If you have excessively prominent and vulgar tattoos they will not take you right now, but that is about to change," he said.

A commander quoted in the Wall Street Journal linked the growing attrition rate among new recruits to a slipping of standards by recruiters, who were under pressure to meet their monthly quotas.

An army spokeswoman said: "We are doing our best to decrease attrition level, but we have not and will not lower our standards for recruiting and retaining soldiers."

Yet in March 17.4% of all new army recruits failed to complete training, while another 7.3% did not finish the first three years with their unit.

Last month it emerged that one recruiter gave advice on how to cheat a mandatory drug test to a potential would-be soldier who said he had a drug problem.

In another incident in Texas, a recruiter threatened a 20-year-old man with arrest if he did not turn up to an interview. As a result all military recruiters stopped work for one day to attend retraining classes on acceptable practices.

* The Army is currently withholding its May figures.  That means they've got to be even worse.

Army recruiters becoming desperate
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#2 eloisel

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Posted 05 June 2005 - 12:33 PM

Interesting.  The daughter of a friend of mine is about to be discharged now that she has completed boot camp and other training.  Something about fractures in her foot bones caused by all the marching.

#3 waterpanther

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Posted 05 June 2005 - 12:53 PM

Let's hope they do discharge her.  (Sounds like stress fractures.)  A friend of mine is preparing to send her teenage daughter to Mexico on five minutes' notice because, official denials to the contrary, a draft is looking more and more likely.
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#4 HubcapDave

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Posted 05 June 2005 - 01:00 PM

Someone (was it Ogami?) pointed out several months ago that the army has all kinds of people still on inactive reserve (is that the right name?) that can be called up long before we would have to resort to a draft.

I'll see if I can dig up the info.

#5 Talkie Toaster

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Posted 05 June 2005 - 01:03 PM

Manpower problems are nothing new. It would take something incredibly stupid to create a real crisis... like instituting a draft.

Edited by Talkie Toaster, 05 June 2005 - 01:03 PM.

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#6 eloisel

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Posted 05 June 2005 - 01:07 PM

waterpanther, on Jun 5 2005, 05:53 PM, said:

Let's hope they do discharge her.  (Sounds like stress fractures.)  A friend of mine is preparing to send her teenage daughter to Mexico on five minutes' notice because, official denials to the contrary, a draft is looking more and more likely.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yeah - that is it - stress fractures.  The daughter is upset about it - she wants to be in the military.  She seems to be in excellent shape other than that but she's been told it will affect her ability to run and walk long distances.  

So far as a draft - are women to be drafted now?

Edited by eloisel, 05 June 2005 - 01:12 PM.


#7 waterpanther

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Posted 05 June 2005 - 01:12 PM

If there is a draft, women will be liable as well as men.  Have to be--unconstitutional otherwise.
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#8 eloisel

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Posted 05 June 2005 - 01:17 PM

Interesting.  I've never heard of women being drafted before.  I wonder if I broke a law by not registering for the draft back when I turned 18 many, many, many years ago!

#9 waterpanther

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Posted 05 June 2005 - 01:18 PM

Is that the IRR, dave?  Inactive Ready Reserve?    Yes, those folks can be called up, but whether they can bring the fighting force up to where it needs to be is another question.  The real question is whether, having made a mess of Iraq, we make an honest effort to fix in--requiring 2 to 3 times the current manpower to actually secure the county--or just let it piddle along as a war of attrition and eventually abandon it to civil mayhem.  Mind you, I'm against this war.  But I don't think we can, morally speaking, just get out and blow it off.
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#10 eloisel

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Posted 05 June 2005 - 01:33 PM

Here is what I found about the Selective Service System:

The potential draftee pool is made up of male U.S. residents between the ages of 18 and 25. Under current law, women cannot be drafted, as the Department of Defense does not employ them in ground combat.  A few select groups of men are also excused automatically. These groups include:

Men who are actively serving in the military
Men who are attending a military service academy or select university military officer procurement program
Foreign citizens in the United States on valid student, visitor or diplomatic visas
Certain foreign agricultural workers
Men who are confined to a hospital or psychiatric institution
Handicapped men who cannot function in public
Inmates

All other men between 18 and 25 are legally required to register with the SSS within 30 days of reaching eligibility. Men can register via mail, over the Internet, at the post office or with a high school Selective Service Registrar.  The SSS keeps the names and addresses of all registered men on file so they can be called up easily if the draft is reinstated. Most U.S. citizens become eligible on their 18th birthday; others become eligible the day they are no longer exempt (the day they drop out of a military academy, for example). Eligible aliens are required to register within 30 days of entering the country.

#11 HubcapDave

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Posted 05 June 2005 - 01:36 PM

I found the topic which speaks about it.

http://www.exisle.ne...hl=reserve&st=0

Ogami is indeed in the Inactive Reserve, though it seems a bit muddled as to whether or not members of that Reserve had been called up already or not.

If you read, you'll see that Ogami was ready and willing to volunteer again for the army, and but for a paperwork snafu would be serving again. Say what you want about the man, he was willing to put his moneywhere his mouth is.

#12 Ogami

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Posted 05 June 2005 - 01:37 PM

HubCapDave wrote:

Someone (was it Ogami?) pointed out several months ago that the army has all kinds of people still on inactive reserve (is that the right name?) that can be called up long before we would have to resort to a draft.

:cool: :innocent:  :cool:

Stay tuned.

-Ogami

#13 Hibblette

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Posted 05 June 2005 - 01:52 PM

Rolling Stone had an article not to long ago about why they [the government] don't want the draft started.

It was a very interesting article.

The bottom line was that there have not been that many protest of the war because this is a volunteer military we have at the present time.

If they start drafting there will be a whole new perspective for so many people.  Not just the ones that will be drafted but we parents.

Edited by Hibblette, 05 June 2005 - 01:53 PM.

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#14 waterpanther

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Posted 05 June 2005 - 01:58 PM

Quote

If you read, you'll see that Ogami was ready and willing to volunteer again for the army, and but for a paperwork snafu would be serving again. Say what you want about the man, he was willing to put his moneywhere his mouth is.

Uhm, nothing I said referred to Ogami or any other member of the board.  But  the current situation should certainly be a golden opportunity for anyone, on EI or not, who wanted to serve and for some minor reason couldn't.
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#15 Lord of the Sword

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Posted 05 June 2005 - 02:12 PM

Well perhaps the numbers wouldn't be so bad if the Administration actually STOOD behind it's soldiers....rather then charging them for their own hospital food when they get injured, throwing them to the media everytime a reporter spins a story, arresting and charging them with crimes when they are merely following orders...that sort of thing is definately going to have an impact on recruiting. I know there would be no way in hell I would join the army...I would expect the Government I'm protecting to watch my back also...which, given this administration, is apparently asking too much.
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#16 Spectacles

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Posted 05 June 2005 - 04:12 PM

Here's an article from about six months ago discussing the strains on the Army National Guard and the Reserve, nationally and from a local perspective:


http://www.post-gaze...4353/428818.stm


Quote

Guard, Reserve showing strains; Experts predict serious problems
Saturday, December 18, 2004

By Jack Kelly, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette



The U.S. Army is running on fumes and could run short of reservists within months unless tens of thousands of troops can be withdrawn from Iraq after the Jan. 30 elections there.
   

The National Guard and Army Reserve are falling far short of recruiting goals. Reservists in critical specialties are completing their active service obligations. Key reserve officers are quitting, and other reservists are going AWOL (absent without leave).

Congress has approved adding 30,000 troops to the regular Army, but veteran generals think more are needed and say it would take two years to integrate them into new combat units. There may not be that much time.

"I think we can go about six months more before things begin to break down," retired Army Lt. Col. James Carafano said at a recent conference on the future of the reserves.

"The next rotation breaks the bank," said retired Army Gen. Barry McCaffrey on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday. "At that point, we're going over a cliff. A year out from now, we're in trouble."

Quote

The heavy demands placed on reserve forces in Iraq are starting to hurt recruitment and are prompting an exodus of lieutenants, captains and sergeants.

The Army Reserve met its recruiting goals for the year that ended Sept. 30, but recruitment now is in a "precipitous decline," Lt. Gen. James R. Helmly told the House Armed Services Committee on Monday.

Worse, thousands of reservists have stopped showing up for drills, said Helmly, the head of the Army Reserve. The Army Reserve also is short more than 5,000 lieutenants and captains, and more of these company grade officers are trying to resign from the service than are willing to join.

The Army National Guard failed to meet its recruiting goal last year and is falling short so far this year, mainly because of a sharp drop in the number of people who join the guard as they leave active Army units, said Lt. Col. Mike Milord, a spokesman for the National Guard.

Customarily, about 30 percent of those who join the Pennsylvania Army National Guard are coming off active duty, said Capt. Cory Angell, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Guard. So far this year, this supply of recruits has dropped more than 50 percent, he said.

Quote

In addition, about 5,600 members of the Individual Ready Reserve are being involuntarily recalled to active duty.

Members of the Individual Ready Reserve, 114,000 strong, have completed active service but still have time remaining on their eight-year enlistment obligations. Those being recalled are truck drivers, mechanics, combat engineers and other logistics specialists.


Quote

The best-case scenario is that the elections calm the insurgency as more Iraqi military units come on line.

"We just don't have enough people to sustain this," Carfano said.

"The only real solution is to reduce the number of troops [in Iraq] and the operational tempo."


Unfortunately, at the moment, it looks like we're going to have to maintain the current troop level (and some argue it should be increased since we're having a hard time holding areas we clean out) for a while unless the insurgency peters out--which is something we'd all better hope for.

I doubt that the draft will be reinstated because it would be politically disastrous. Plus, the armed services prefer a volunteer force because they can better control its quality. However, when standards are being lowered, eventually the military leaders may argue that since numbers matter most, a draft is OK with them. The bottom line is that we need to maintain the strength of our military.
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#17 HubcapDave

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Posted 05 June 2005 - 04:54 PM

waterpanther, on Jun 5 2005, 11:58 AM, said:

Quote

If you read, you'll see that Ogami was ready and willing to volunteer again for the army, and but for a paperwork snafu would be serving again. Say what you want about the man, he was willing to put his moneywhere his mouth is.

Uhm, nothing I said referred to Ogami or any other member of the board.  But  the current situation should certainly be a golden opportunity for anyone, on EI or not, who wanted to serve and for some minor reason couldn't.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I was making that comment as an aside.

#18 GiGi

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Posted 05 June 2005 - 05:48 PM

eloisel, on Jun 5 2005, 11:17 AM, said:

Interesting.  I've never heard of women being drafted before.  I wonder if I broke a law by not registering for the draft back when I turned 18 many, many, many years ago!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I thought it was dependent on the Equal Rights Amendment being passed.  The Amendment didn't pass, but I remember being terrified that it would because I would have been eligible to be drafted.

I see that you posted more info... looks like women still are not drafted but for different stated reasons.
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#19 eloisel

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Posted 05 June 2005 - 05:55 PM

No, apparently it has always been because women are not to be used in ground combat.  The Supreme Court supported the idea that it was not a violation of the Fifth Amendment to treat women differently in not drafting them because they were not to be drafted to be used in ground combat.  However, somebody somewhere is probably smart enough to rewrite the conscription laws so that women can be drafted for non-ground combat use.  As we've seen with the women that have been taken prisoner, hostage, killed, not being used in ground combat is no assurance of their safety from the enemy.  Are we not employing air power of any kind in Iraq at this time?

#20 tennyson

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Posted 05 June 2005 - 05:58 PM

Thier's plenty of air power being used for the close support mission in Iraq right now. That and logistic support are the primary missions of the air force in Iraq right now. A-10s and F-16s have well as the other services helicopters have been very busy in support of ground troops.
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