Archive for the ‘Military Recruiting News’ Category

Yale Law School forced to accept military recruiters

September 20, 2007

From the Daily Texan:

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Yale Law School will end its policy of not working with military recruiters after a court ruling this week jeopardized about $300 million in federal funding, officials said Wednesday.

Yale and other universities have objected to the Pentagon’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which allows gay men and women to serve in the military only if they keep their sexual orientation to themselves.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Yale on Monday, rejecting its argument that its right to academic freedom was infringed by a federal law that says universities must give the military the same access as other job recruiters or forfeit federal money.

“The fact is we have been forced under enormous pressure to acquiescence in a policy that we believe is deeply offensive and harmful to our students,” said Robert Burt, a Yale law professor who was lead plaintiff in the case.

(more…)

Advertisements

With recruitment down, Army fast-tracks robot development

September 19, 2007

From TIME Magazine:

With military recruitment a constant struggle, the U.S. Army is coming up with a new way to come up with bodies: it is going to build them. This week, the Army begins a “drive-off” to see what contractor is going to provide up to 1,000 bomb-clearing robots by year’s end, with a possible follow-up order for 2,000 more. The requirement is for a remote-controlled, wireless robot that weighs 50 pounds or less “to be used for Improvised Explosive Device (IED) detection and identification,” according to the Pentagon’s solicitation.

IEDs have killed 48.5% of the 3,270 U.S. troops killed in action in Iraq. Finding — and disarming — such roadside bombs before they detonate is one way to curb such bloodshed. “You send out a robot to interrogate these things to see if it is, in fact, a roadside bomb or if it’s just trash,” Army Colonel John Castles of the 82nd Airborne’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team said from Iraq last week. “They’re a huge benefit to what we’re trying to do.”

This is an “urgent” requirement, the military notes, and so there won’t be any of those lengthy development phases common to military hardware. In fact, the Army wants the first pair of robots delivered within 10 days of the contract award, expected to happen Sept. 14. This week, several contenders are putting their machines through the paces, running them over and around rocks, through rough terrain and water, and ensuring that the robots can peer into, and under, vehicles — and then let its human operator know what it has found.

The need is so pressing that the Pentagon is eliminating many of the hoops suppliers usually have to jump through. This time around, instead of filling in forms and submitting paperwork to qualify as a bidder, those interested in participating merely have to register at this week’s competition to qualify. Among the front-runners is iRobot, the same Massachusetts-based company that makes the Roomba vacuum cleaner.

Read the rest »

Nonprofit shouldn’t send kids to work at military recruiting station

September 17, 2007

An editorial rom El Diario:

The city should channel teenagers into jobs but not at U.S. Army recruiting stations.

Yet that’s what happened this summer. Fourteen youths were assigned to work at an Army recruiting station through a Queens nonprofit organization participating in the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP). The city’s Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) administers the program.

Fourteen is a drop out of the thousands of jobs that tax-payer dollars support. But the assignment is troublesome. These are impressionable youths working in centers geared precisely at convincing and enlisting young people. It is doubly troubling in light of the social context driving the latest aggressive push in military recruiting, namely the bloody and deeply unpopular war in Iraq.

In minority neighborhoods, Army recruiters have opened storefront “career centers.” They draw kids to recruitment booths at street festivals by giving away trinkets and blaring Hip Hop. The intrusive recruitment activities at high schools, especially where kids are lagging academically, have been documented by El Diario/la prensa and others. Under the No Child Left Behind Act, the Army has access to student information.

Intensified recruiting to meet enlistment quotas has included misleading information. Last fall, CNN showed how New York recruiters were downplaying the possibility of being sent to a battlefront.

With more than 150 New Yorkers dying in Iraq, our city and state have already carried a heavy burden. We’re still reeling from losing baby-faced soldiers like Juan Alcantara, the 22-year-old Washington Heights resident killed in Iraq earlier this month.

DYCD and contracted organizations should refrain from bringing kids a step closer to military service as a condition of their city-funded and assigned summer job.

Corporation recruits Kenyans for combat in Iraq

September 13, 2007

From allAfrica.com:

A company contracted by the US Government has been recruiting ex-military men and former police officers to serve in war-torn Iraq.

The Standard has established that Sentry Security of East Africa Limited, a liaison company for Sentry Security of East Africa, USA, is targeting to take some 800 Kenyans to serve in Iraq.

The first batch of ex-army soldiers and former police officers with clean service records is expected to leave the country sometime this month, according to sources privy to the exercise.

The recruitment of the former security personnel, aged between 30 and 50, has been going on across the country for the past two months.

(more…)

North Carolina: Mandatory leadership class a military recruitment tool

September 10, 2007

At the end of this station’s report (video at the link), the anchor adds that only after parent and student complaints were ROTC exercises uniforms dropped from the class curriculum.

From WRAL.com:

Creedmoor — Some parents are balking at a study-skills course being taught to high school freshmen in Granville County, saying it borders on military recruitment.

The course is required for all ninth-graders in the county, and school administrators said it is needed to teach students the study and communications skills they will need throughout high school and college.

“The curriculum was approved by the school board as the 9th grade freshman enrichment curriculum,” South Granville High School Principal Pauline Brady said.

The course was piloted last year at South Granville High, and only one ninth-grader had to be held back, Brady said. The course was expanded to the county’s other two high schools this fall.

But parent Steve Strazis said he wants to pull his daughter from the course because it appears too military-oriented. The class is taught by an ROTC instructor, and initial requirements called for students to drill with ROTC classes and to be given the option of wearing uniforms at school.

“I think it’s disingenuous of the school to insist that this not recruiting going on,” Strazis said, noting the curriculum emphasizes “leadership enrichment” for students.

“(The course outline) doesn’t say what methods will be used, but it doesn’t say anything about military,” he said.

During the first day of class, he said, the instructor discussed college expenses and how the military could help defray the cost. But Brady said the instructor was just mentioning scholarship opportunities.

“One of them happens to be a military scholarship, so the information is shared with students so they have options,” she said. “I have (other) teachers who say, ‘I went to school on an athletic scholarship.'”

Still, Strazis said the class appears to go too far.

“I still have some questions about whether or not this may be used as a recruiting tool,” he said.

Canada: Military recruiter marketing strategy targeting ‘action-oriented males’ revealed

September 7, 2007

From CTV:

The plan was an ambitious one.

Last fall, the Canadian Military launched an aggressive recruitment campaign in an attempt to bolster its numbers by more than 20,000 people over the next ten years.

Now there are questions about just who they’re trying to put in uniform and how they’re finding them. This after CTV obtained formerly classified documents detailing the recruitment strategy.

Andria Hill-Lehr says she’ll never forget the day her son told her he was going to Afghanistan. “It was November 2005 at a Christmas party when he came home and told me he’d been chosen to go. He did that, I think because he anticipated there would be some emotion, so I tried to keep it together. In the end I excused myself, I went upstairs and cried and cried and cried.”

Hill-Lehr says her son joined the Reserves after being won over by what she calls “military propaganda.” That’s why she’s so angry at how the Canadian forces are now reaching out to Canadian youth. “I think it’s irresponsible. I think it is preying on young people to make killing look like fun.”

Under the Access to Information Act, CTV News obtained formerly classified documents detailing the Military’s latest recruitment campaign, which launched last summer.

Documents reveal the military wanted to “inform, entertain and seduce “action focused males” between 17 and 22 years old.

It decided the most fertile ground for that was online, around video games.

“Keywords will be purchased on Canada’s major search engine networks (Google, Yahoo, MSN), the documents say, “based on gaming searches & other target-age interests (ie. Halo, MechAssault, Medal of Honour, etc.)

That, says the NDP Defence Critic, is irresponsible and dangerous. Dawn Black says, “War is real, it’s not a video game. People are being killed, people are being maimed. People are being terribly injured both physically and psychologically, and in the war in Afghanistan and I think it’s wrong to glamourize it.”

The Canadian Forces said nobody was available to comment on this story, but they did release a statement saying: “The primary purpose of recruit advertising is to raise awareness with the 17 to 34 year old target audience of a career in the Canadian Forces and to attract them to approaching the CF for further information. The Internet is only part of the strategy to meet the recruitment requirements of the Canadian Forces.”

Those requirements are hefty. The forces want to add 13,000 people and another 10,000 reservists over the next decade.

A professor who studies how video games influence the behaviour of young people, says the military may want to think twice about its approach. Michael Hoechsmann of McGill University says, “Playing a game is not going to cause you to go and kill people. It can however desensitize you to death, and it can also make war appear as a game and as something spectacular and exciting.”

Despite the controversy in Canada, using video games to recruit soldiers is common practice south of the border.

In fact, one of the most popular war-themed games on the market was developed by the U.S. Department of Defence. It’s called America’s Army.

Las Vegas: Army recruiter found innocent of child prnography charges

September 5, 2007

From the Las Vegan Sun:

FALLON, Nev. (AP) – A former U.S. Army recruiter in Fallon was found not guilty of charges he produced pornography using two female minors interested in joining the military.

A district court jury deliberated for about 2 1/2 hours Thursday before clearing Richard Asher of one count of using a minor as a subject in producing pornography and one count of preparing, advertising or distributing pornography involving a minor.

The charges stemmed from a relationship Asher, 34, developed with two 17-year-old high school girls while he worked as an Army recruiter in Fallon in 2004.

In a written statement prepared for the Army’s investigation, Asher admitted to having sex with the girls and taking photos.

But defense attorney Kevin Karp told the jury that the girls sought out Asher and the sexual relationships were consensual. The girls often stopped by the recruiting office and left notes for Asher, he said.

“They said they pursued Sgt. Asher. Finally, he gave in and he had sex with them. It was their idea to have sex,” Karp said.

“It’s pretty obvious it was a victimless crime. I think the statute was designed to protect children, not 17-year-old nymphomaniacs, actually a term (one girl) used in her testimony. I don’t think the statute was designed to protect women like this,” he added.

While the Army determined Asher did not commit a crime, it immediately removed him from his recruiter position and banned him from the high school. He also was reduced in rank and fined.

Karp said Asher last year married one of the girls, who now is 20. She’s expecting the couple’s first child next month.

Churchill County Deputy District Attorney Ben Shawcroft accused Asher of committing a crime by meeting with the girls and taking photos of sexual acts.

“The facts are he was recruiting for the Army, he came to Fallon, he had two girls come to him, he rented the hotel room and he brought the camera,” Shawcroft said.

After Asher photographed the girls, he prepared a photo CD for each of them. Law enforcement authorities learned of the case after one girl’s mother found the CD in her room.

Asher, who lived in Dayton when he was arrested in May, has served in Iraq, Bosnia and Operation Desert Storm.

Jury foreman Daniel Koch said the jury was split at first.

“In the end, given the facts and all the circumstances of the case, the jury came to the consensus that was the most just decision,” Koch told the Lahontan Valley News & Fallon Eagle Standard newspaper.

Army claims to have met July recruiting goal after shortfall

September 4, 2007

Also see “Army Adding Recruiters to Meet Goals” from the Post.

From the New York Times:

WASHINGTON, Aug. 10 — After falling short of its recruiting goals for two straight months, the Army said Friday that it had met its July quota, partly by pouring more personnel and other resources into the effort.

The Army is augmenting its recruiters in the field not only by pulling people from other jobs within the recruiting organization but also by adding personnel from elsewhere in the service. One thousand former recruiters are being shifted to bolster temporarily a field staff usually numbering about 8,000.

Pentagon officials have been paying close attention to recruiting efforts by the Army, which has struggled to attract new troops as the nation remains deeply engaged in a prolonged war in Iraq that has required repeated, lengthy deployments.

Announcing its July figures, the Army said it had signed up 9,972 new soldiers, surpassing a goal of 9,750 for the month. Each of the three other services also achieved the monthly targets for their active-duty and part-time components, except for the Air National Guard, which reached only 87 percent of its goal. The Marine Corps signed up 4,793 new personnel, the Navy 4,173 active-duty sailors and the Air Force 2,078 active-duty recruits.

Army officials acknowledged that their success in July, after two troubling months, was at least partly due to a new $20,000 “quick ship” bonus, offered as of July 25 to recruits who can report to basic training by Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year.

(more…)

High-tech Army advertising blitz tops $200 million this year

August 21, 2007

armystrong_4c_pos_300x.jpgFrom PRWatch.org:

“Army Strong, as the Army’s latest recruiting campaign is called … has a definite emphasis on electronic communications, from opportunities to chat live on the Web site with soldiers … to interactive sections showing what boot camp is like, the different specialties the Army trains people for, and more,” writes PR Week. Army podcast subjects range from soldiers’ experiences to “the latest results for the Army’s NASCAR team.” The $200 million-per-year campaign is led by McCann-Erickson, along with other Interpublic Group agencies. Army outreach to Hispanic communities is handled by Weber Shandwick, and to African Americans by Carol H. Williams. The Army’s racially-targeted outreach includes Spanish-language ads, “participating in Hispanic- or African-American-focused trade association conventions or job fairs,” and “awarding research contracts to historically black colleges and universities.” Meanwhile, the U.S.-led Multi-National Force-Iraq is seeking a new PR firm, for “rapid reaction information operations support” to encourage Iraqis “to support their fledgling government,” reports O’Dwyer’s PR Daily. The U.S. government is also “reviewing proposals for a multimillion-dollar PR blitz for its electricity sector rebuilding” in Iraq. Both searches are being conducted via non-public websites, as information about the Iraq PR contracts has been deemed “sensitive.”

Army throws money at shortfall of recruits, AP takes recruiter promises at face value

August 10, 2007

The Associated Press reviews the “buffet” of benefits and options the military is offering to new recruits in response to falling short of quotas last month. No mention of the vibrant counter-recruitment across the country, as documented on this blog, as a factor in creating greater difficulty for recruiters. Nor is there any questioning by the reporter of whether the promises to new enlistees will be honored. Given the military’s record, I wouldn’t count it. (See 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and soon-to-be-published page which will compile all the anecdotal evidence of lying recruiters seen on this site.)

From the Daily Texan:

WASHINGTON – Need a down payment for your home? Seed money to start a business? The Army wants to help – if you’re willing to join up.

Despite spending nearly $1 billion last year on recruiting bonuses and ads, Army leaders say an even bolder approach is needed to fill wartime ranks.

Under a new proposal, men and women who enlist could pick from a “buffet” of incentives, including up to $45,000 tax-free that they accrue during their career to help buy a home or build a business. Other options would include money for college and to pay off student loans.

An Associated Press review of the increasingly aggressive recruiting offerings found the Army is not only dangling more sign-up rewards – it’s loosening rules on age and weight limits, education and drug and criminal records.

It’s all part of an Army effort to fill its ranks even as the percentage of young people who say they plan to join the military has hit a historic low – 16 percent by the Pentagon’s own surveying – in the fifth year of the Iraq war.

(more…)