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Author Topic: Excellent Editorial in Local Paper on Military Recruiting  (Read 2137 times)

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Offline National AcrobatTopic starter

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Excellent Editorial in Local Paper on Military Recruiting
« on: June 12, 2006, 08:23:59 AM »
This, I thought, was an excellent editorial, written by a former soldier, who has some ideas on how to improve recruting in America for the Marines and Army, who are facing real issues in the terms of recruitment goals.

I have several friends and family members who are veterans, and one thing they all have in common is the belief that today's legislature and president don't fully realize what it means to send our soldiers into combat, because a dwindling number of them have military experience. Today it's roughly 25%. Now, having military experience isn't a requisite for serving at the highest level of government, but I think it does offer a different view when our boys and girls are committed to combat if you yourself have been there and served.

Quote

Help From All: How Will Military Solve the Recruiting Dilemmas It Faces?

JOHN HORTON
GUEST COLUMNIST
   
Jun 4, 2006

Norfolk. Is anyone listening? Supposedly, there is a "war" going on. Do most Americans really -- truly care? Are we willing to commit to and to support this war effort? Are we willing to enlist and/or allow our children to enlist for the cause? What about the rich and famous among us?

Recently the media reported that the Army and Marine Corps were having difficulties getting enough recruits to fill their ranks. The Army failed to reach its recruiting goals by 15 percent or so during the recent fiscal year (a shortfall of 6,600 of an overall recruiting goal of 80,000), and the Marines barely attained their overall recruiting goals for the same period.

Uncle Sam is now asking parents and others to help recruiters enlist enough personnel into military service, particularly into the Army and Marine Corps. As a combat veteran, a 30-year retired Marine sergeant major, and the father of a petty officer first class with nine years' active-duty service, I believe this recruiting dilemma is more complicated than meets the eye.

It intrigues me that the military -- particularly the Army and Marine Corps -- is experiencing recruiting shortages in the land of the free and the home of the brave. Since many of us want to spread freedom and democracy all over the globe, now we have an excellent opportunity to put our beliefs and philosophies into actions and deeds.

I began thinking about a few things in regard to the public helping the Army (and Marine Corps and other services) with recruiting efforts. Wouldn't it be nice if our leaders -- political, military, civic, business, and others -- encouraged their sons, daughters, relatives, and friends to volunteer for the cause? When it comes to these matters, nothing speaks as loudly as personal sacrifice and involvement. It would speak volumes when it comes to commitment and sacrifice on behalf of the elite and leadership class.
Few 'Elites' Serve Country

With very few exceptions -- and I mean very few exceptions -- the rich, famous, and powerful among us do not volunteer to serve their country and fight for freedom and democracy throughout the world. While many have accused the Bush administration of harboring "chicken hawks," the Supreme Court and Congress are not filled with many military veterans, either. For example, 70 percent of members of Congress were veterans in 1969. Only 25 percent were veterans in the Congress of 2004.

If joining the military is good enough for the average American, it should be just as good and honorable for everyone else. This action would go far in setting the example, especially for those who believe so deeply and strongly in our military and in this just cause. What a great way to show that you are willing to do your share.

As the saying goes, "Actions speak louder than words." After all, Uncle Sam needs you. And, what better way to show your support for the military and for Uncle Sam in this time of great need, sacrifice, and commitment?

Recently the military has lowered some of its personnel standards, raised the enlistment age, retained subpar personnel, and offered higher monetary incentives to address this recruiting shortfall. Even talk of reinstating the national draft has been suggested by some prominent members of Congress and influential others.

Several significant barriers hinder a call to arms among the general (and diverse) populace:

First, many Americans believe this is an unnecessary war. Second, while most Americans (parents and influential others) support the troops over there, they are not willing to go and/or send their sons and daughters over there. Third, there is an underlying feeling that this war (like Vietnam) is not being fought in an all-out effort to be won in a timely and/or efficient manner. Fourth, there is a "blood for oil" stigma attached to this war effort. And there are too many industrialists and profiteers involved in this valiant effort.
Issue Needs Resolution

Until these kinds of issues and realities are discussed and resolved, there will not be enough support to eradicate the military's recruiting dilemma.

I hope somehow, some way, we gather the leadership and insight to deal with these issues. Otherwise, this is just the beginning of a bigger problem that may cause us to make future choices and decisions that are not in our best interests.

And that would be devastating for us as a people and a nation.
A Norfolk resident, John Horton is a retired Marine sergeant major and a recently retired juvenile probation officer. He is currently working as a volunteer with inner-city youths, parents, families, and organizations.


Offline Hunter

Re: Excellent Editorial in Local Paper on Military Recruiting
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2006, 12:20:49 AM »
Too many politicians see war as a political solution and only talk about the monetary cost.  They prefer to forget the human cost.  And don't know what it's like to have to fight to survive.

Offline National AcrobatTopic starter

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Re: Excellent Editorial in Local Paper on Military Recruiting
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2006, 08:06:38 AM »
I agree, and I agree with the former Marine's assessment that if you want to show the way for today's young people to enter the armed services and to spread the democracy and freedom that we cherish, the politician's need to remind their own children that risk and sacrifice are part of keeping our nation free, and that no one is above the call.

I think at last check, only one member of Congress had a son or daughter in the active military.

Offline Brandon

Re: Excellent Editorial in Local Paper on Military Recruiting
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2006, 04:39:50 PM »
Before I start Ill remind everyone that I am ex-military and I have been shot at before in the name of freedom and democracy. Its my belief that anyone who joins any branch of the military is a hero and should be treated as such.

Lets remember that our military currently is completly vollentary. You can not be forced into service. If the sons/daughters of politicians dont want to enlist then they cant be forced and certainly shouldnt be coerced into it for any reason. The families of politicians tend to be wealthy and allow for those young men and women to have different options then the middle class and lower class citizen's. They can choose to go get an education and have it all payed for by their parents.

The military is an excellent way for anyone to get a start in life. Its my opinion that the real problem lies in the underhanded tactics used by recruiters and the military in general and also the extreme amount of bull that one has to go through while in the military. New recruits get screwed a lot of the time because information is not available, information is not accurate, or things are changed behind the persons back. For example, a recruiter will tell you that while you go to college during your service that the military will pay 75% of your tuition. This is true. However they dont tell you that your commanding officer has to approve that. In my time I saw many people get screwed out of that because our commander didnt like the person, the person was being punished through legal military actions, or chose not to reinlist.

That said, if you had your choice, would you really choose the military over a free ride through college? Even though I enjoyed my time as a soldier, and even knowing what I know today, I know that normal college life would be my choice. If the military really wants to get more soldiers in their ranks then they should realy stop screwing over the ones they have and lying to the newer ones. This is of course all my opinion, formed from my own experiences as a solder.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2006, 11:44:18 PM by Brandon »

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Excellent Editorial in Local Paper on Military Recruiting
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2006, 01:20:29 PM »
I think we should bring back the draft. Its an equalizer and not to allow exemptions for going to school or some other nonsense. Face it service be it military OR nonmilitary but required  of all young citizens brings the social classes together that may never meet now. Rich and poor, minority and non-minoriity. My view here is simple if the rich and powerful had to send their daughters and sone to Iraq they would think twice of getting us involved in a foreign conflict that is none of our business. How many Senators or the upper 25% of society have chidren in active military service or even a volunteer program doing useful service- FEW? In WWII everyone had people in the fight they loved the poor and the rich- women were volunteers in war service and again everyone joined in those services. That is what's wrong with a volunteer army they should be the basis of our defense but draftees can free up poepl professional to fight- even I could work in a base and file and do clerical work to free up a full-time soldier to be in a more dangerous place.

If Paris Hilton had to be in the Army for two years in my opinion it would do her good.

I may have illness that might keep me from the army but I can work in other places for two years for the United States and I would like to if offered.

Offline Moondazed

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Re: Excellent Editorial in Local Paper on Military Recruiting
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2006, 02:57:39 PM »
Things like that always sound good in theory, but when you frame it in the context of this country being based on freedom, it gets more complicated.  Not to mention the fact that not all people have children who would deter them from sending soldiers overseas, and not all people with children would let that deter them.

If the military were run based on honesty and integrity, more people would feel honored to serve, but that would require the politicians who make the rules to be honest and have integrity, and that's certainly not the case a lot of the time.

Offline Jefepato

Re: Excellent Editorial in Local Paper on Military Recruiting
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2006, 05:07:39 PM »
My view here is simple if the rich and powerful had to send their daughters and sone to Iraq they would think twice of getting us involved in a foreign conflict that is none of our business.

I'm sure that's true.

I'm equally sure that forcing people to join the military is reprehensible.  You can't send people to die unwillingly just to knock sense into politicians.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Excellent Editorial in Local Paper on Military Recruiting
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2006, 05:12:00 PM »
We are not based on Freedom a country like ours is based on money, power, fame and that's it. The rich step on the poor, the strong step on the weak and the fameous and the others get their own laws. And liberty is a dead dream we are at the mercy of those who don't care about the country or the people they swore to protect and serve- but by the elite.

Who serves in the military? Three groups those traditional to service in the military or legacy families like mine that have served in the military as a group for many generations back, the racial minorities most poor and the poor. The one rare exception are officers are just unusual like that football star that joined after 9/11.

Get it through your heads we as people mean nothing and your votes mean nothing- unless you have money, connections, fame and/or are lucky to break the mold you are not free. We are in a dictatorship more insideous than any other in history.

Look at our government seriously it may work locally somewhat, maybe to the State level but not higher up at all.

The army in there made up of the poor and those that have few options and the government will hurl these people to the trash for nothing and no one cares that matter.

Offline Ajoxer

Re: Excellent Editorial in Local Paper on Military Recruiting
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2006, 05:33:40 PM »
I respect people who can go into military service- I'm afraid I'm too cowardly to go into anything like that. The chance of losing my life at any time... I hope too much for the future to be able to do something like that, at least in a war like this.

World War 2- That's a war where we had a real danger of being invaded- That's a war I can support. If something ever threatens my home, I hope I can summon the courage to do the right thing.

Offline Hunter

Re: Excellent Editorial in Local Paper on Military Recruiting
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2006, 05:34:39 PM »
I can't speak for you, naturally, but I find a jumbo jet being flown into a skyscraper in a major city rather threatening....

Offline Ajoxer

Re: Excellent Editorial in Local Paper on Military Recruiting
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2006, 05:40:15 PM »
You know, I actually live in New York City... It was threatening, and I feel worse about the loss of life than most disasters seem to bring out in me, but... it was a fairly isolated incident. It was bad, but it was hardly U-boats in American waters. The islamic militants are dangerous, but I don't know how effective a military conflict is against them...

Meh, I have a thousand viewpoints on anything. It's a wonder type good i can seweeble giiff purple monkey dishwasher!

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Excellent Editorial in Local Paper on Military Recruiting
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2006, 05:50:26 PM »
You do understand several of those terrorists and the money that funds them is from Saudi Arabia- not one were Iraqi. And Saddam had not one viable WMD and every inspection team never found any over the years we had people looking. I undersatand we had to attack Afghanistan the main terrorist base that we had GLOBAL support for even China and Russia. That was reasonable. Attacking Iraq was not. I know Saddam was not a good man but WE deposed the former leader to put him in there, we helped Bin Laden when he fought Russia and we allowed Iraq to use chemical weapons against Iran by not saying doing so openly was wrong. If they wanted him out in Iraq the Iraqi people had more than enough opportunity to do it themselves we did not have to send our soldiers to invade.

At least Bush's father had UN support, a true international coalition and a clear purpose to get Iraq out of Kuwait and just did that- this man we have now is a arrogant monster.

As for terrorism we are spending BILLIONS for a problem that is not that bad we have a large population any terrorist attack would be a blip on the screen and the one weapon they could use to the best effect a nuclear device we have many allies in keeping out of their hands including China, Russia, Europe and Israel.

I say if we had a draft and the rich and mighty had to serve in Iraq we would be unlikely to have went in- right now only the poor are the ones in service by far.

Offline Moondazed

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Re: Excellent Editorial in Local Paper on Military Recruiting
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2006, 06:02:33 PM »
We are not based on Freedom a country like ours is based on money, power, fame and that's it. The rich step on the poor, the strong step on the weak and the fameous and the others get their own laws. And liberty is a dead dream we are at the mercy of those who don't care about the country or the people they swore to protect and serve- but by the elite.

Get it through your heads we as people mean nothing and your votes mean nothing- unless you have money, connections, fame and/or are lucky to break the mold you are not free. We are in a dictatorship more insideous than any other in history.

Pardon me if I choose not to resign myself to the state of things.  I "have it through my head" that the system is broken, but that doesn't mean that taking it to an even more dictatorial state will solve anything.

Just my 2 cents.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Excellent Editorial in Local Paper on Military Recruiting
« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2006, 08:40:24 PM »
We are already IN a dictitatorship just instead of one laudy leader ,even Bush is not all powerful, we have 5% of the people controlling everything a dictatorship by an elite class is still a dictatorship.

Offline Jefepato

Re: Excellent Editorial in Local Paper on Military Recruiting
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2006, 09:00:59 PM »
We are already IN a dictitatorship just instead of one laudy leader ,even Bush is not all powerful, we have 5% of the people controlling everything a dictatorship by an elite class is still a dictatorship.

Uh, no it's not.  It's an oligarchy, which isn't great but is significantly better than a dictatorship.

Offline Ajoxer

Re: Excellent Editorial in Local Paper on Military Recruiting
« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2006, 10:46:57 PM »
Eh, it depends. A dictator can be overthrown. It's a lot harder to overthrow the richest 5% of your country.

Offline Jefepato

Re: Excellent Editorial in Local Paper on Military Recruiting
« Reply #16 on: June 25, 2006, 10:51:58 PM »
Eh, it depends. A dictator can be overthrown. It's a lot harder to overthrow the richest 5% of your country.

True, but I'd much rather have a 5% who don't necessarily agree on everything (or on anything) than a dictator who can just do whatever he wants.

Offline Ajoxer

Re: Excellent Editorial in Local Paper on Military Recruiting
« Reply #17 on: June 25, 2006, 11:56:52 PM »
Course, neither are desireable. :-P. But that brings the question- Is it possible to have a fair society? If we do not allow those people their power, then the effort that they or their ancestors have put into it would be rendered moot. Think, if you worked your entire life to create a business, a thriving one, so your children would live a life of fufillment- How would you feel if the government suddenly stood up and told you that you would not be able to pass that money along to them? I argue that what we have, currently, is the best that we can hope for... for the moment.

But hope is how we go forth. At least now, there's some modicum of power in the common man's hands- I think that as time goes on, it'll get better.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Excellent Editorial in Local Paper on Military Recruiting
« Reply #18 on: June 26, 2006, 10:43:29 AM »
Of course people will be in power. Some will always be in charge. My point is unlike all the generations that came before they don't care about anyone but themselves. Previous generations save Buffet gave away vaste amounts of their fortunes when they neared the end to Charity. They may have had wealth but rarely flaunted it nearly as much. And now we have the poster child of thios Paris Hilton who does nothing, doesn't work, doesn't go to college, doesn't do charitable work and doesn't even have a respectable hobby. She's unseemly.

May I ask anyone overseas when you have rich people lets say the Royals do they do anything along these lines I know in England if I read right most of the Royal Family are quite good at helping others. The Thai royal family all serve their people and are highly regarded serving either in government or doing charitable work- at least mostly.

I believe the greter ones place in society the MORE you have to give back to that society- for they support you. This goes for athletes being good role-models, film stars being good role-models and the rich using their vast wealth to better their society and the world.

Offline kylie

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Re: Excellent Editorial in Local Paper on Military Recruiting
« Reply #19 on: June 30, 2006, 08:47:24 AM »
Course, neither are desireable. :-P. But that brings the question- Is it possible to have a fair society? If we do not allow those people their power, then the effort that they or their ancestors have put into it would be rendered moot. Think, if you worked your entire life to create a business, a thriving one, so your children would live a life of fufillment- How would you feel if the government suddenly stood up and told you that you would not be able to pass that money along to them? I argue that what we have, currently, is the best that we can hope for... for the moment.

I'm a little skeptical of the ancestor/child focus.  If it's North Korean politics, our media tends to hint that a dynastic system is inherently corrupt.  Yet in the US we take it for granted that certain families may dominate politics and the economy for ages -- and we call this a free market? 

I'm not convinced that an ability to "pass something on" necessarily causes society to receive broader benefits.  It protects notions of winner keeps all, tough luck for the rest.  And perhaps family as a primary way of keeping track of who won or lost. 

Over time, it also hides the issue of how the money was won in the first place.  That could happen through many ways, and those ways might not be looked upon so favorably in the present as they were in the past.  Okay, so some families were once terrible monopolies and some financed the most gruesome wars.  But want a loan today?  Want a job?  Guess who's your (ahem) daddy.  Punning about and irony intended.

Of course, some capitalists will find it useful or satisfying to spread the wealth.  But that's a different question than whether people should be offered similar opportunities at birth.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2006, 08:55:34 AM by kylie »