The United States Army insists that it's not so desperate that it would recruit the mentally ill. But now an exclusive NewsChannel 5 investigation has the Army investigating three of its recruiters.more>>
The U.S. Army has punished four Nashville-area recruiters. It stems from our exclusive investigation of the recruiters' Dishonorable Deceptions.more>>
(Story created: 7/20/07)
Here's what one Army recruiter's wife says about the pressures placed on those soldiers assigned to recruiting stations (her name has been withheld to protect her and her husband):
I am the spouse of an Army recruiter, and it sickens me, the things that any one of many Chains of Command will do to their Soldiers just because they didn't make mission for a particular month. All Commanders push for a "box" which means they make their mission as a whole station (Active Duty and Reserve contracts), for which no one gets any credit or acknowledgement except for the "higher ups" in the Battalion. The Recruiters where we are (not mentioned due to security for my Recruiter) don't get a day off for making mission. They work such hours that we call Recruiting "deployment but sleeping at home" and sometimes the Recruiters don't sleep at home.
My Recruiter has actually been threatened by individuals within his Chain of Command for NOT lying to prospective applicants. A member of the "brass" threatened to take his rank and bust him down, because he wouldn't lie to get that one extra contract. Even with this threat, my Recruiter thankfully doesn't lie to his applicants. I know that there are others who do. But in all defense of our Recruiters, we have prospective applicants that come in daily and waste the time and effort of the Recruiters and the thousands upon thousands of dollars getting them processed to find that they were in fact hiding something medically. Recruiters can only ask questions, they are not responsible for the complete medical screening of these applicants. This is where MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station) comes in. They are the ones who are responsible for screening these applicants, and give them a "go" or a "no-go."
These Commanders put their Recruiters under pressures beyond belief. In reading, one Soldier who contacted you via email/blog, commented about "hurting himself just to get a few days in the hospital to get a short break." Reality of Army Recruiting: they get hurt, have anything medical happen, this includes any surgery, they STILL HAVE TO BE AT WORK, no questions asked. The Soldier DOES NOT get time off for anything. They get ordered to not take their prescribed medications if they cause sleepiness so that they can still perform their duties as a Recruiter. The 70-80-hour work weeks are accurate, and believe it or not, sometimes it's even more than that. Recruiters do not get the same holidays, time off or leaves that the rest of the Soldiers in the Army get. They get told, "make your mission and you'll get a two day pass"-- and that NEVER happens.
Our men & women are burnt out, and in some cases, their hands are forced into doing things that are dishonorable. But the fault shouldn't lie strictly with the Recruiters, they're only following the orders given to them -- their "directive." The only time Recruiters get to take leave is if they have "too much" time accrued, they call it "use or lose" days, and even on days off, the Recruiters are expected to be in the office working. I have seen it personally, as I make sure that the guys have a meal. They don't get lunch breaks. They're told to "grab it and go, but you can't stop to eat, and you can't eat in the GOV" (Government-Owned Vehicle). They hardly get bathroom breaks. They have a "planning guide" that has to be filled out that documents exactly what they're doing, what their "mission plan" is every second of every day. And in reality, the Soldiers cannot follow their Chain of Command with any issue, as the Chain of Command doesn't care at all. All they see are the numbers for mission, what station is going to box and make them look good, and which one of the brass is going to get a nice shiny award or plaque to have in his/her office.
Another message posted on your article said that USAREC is like the Mafia, I couldn't agree more after seeing exactly how they work, and what they do to their Soldiers, and the lack of care and concern for the Soldiers. Even my spouse is so disgusted with Recruiting, that he too has stated that he'd much rather be deployed than have to be in Recruiting -- and he's been deployed many, many times in the past. Recruiters get treated like Privates. They're demeaned, degraded, and just made to feel as if they've failed at being a Soldier, and many of these Recruiters have served in the Army for many years. To be near retirement and to be belittled and made to feel like a private all over again, it's downright ridiculous!! These Soldiers didn't choose to be Recruiters. The Army chose them to do this horrible, horrible job. Is getting people to enlist important? Yes!! It most certainly is, but not at the expense of our outstanding Soldiers getting put through mental, physical and sometimes emotional torture, and dragging the families through it as well.
A multimillion-dollar contract for maintenance on state vehicles was supposed to save taxpayers' money. But "NewsChannel 5 Investigates" discovered some examples where you're actually paying more.more>>
A multimillion-dollar contract for maintenance on state vehicles was supposed to save taxpayers' money. But "NewsChannel 5 Investigates" discovered some examples where you're actually paying more. more>>