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11-21-06, 04:03 PM #1
Investigation shows some Army recruiters talk of gangs and drug use to get recruits
(CBS4) DENVER A CBS4 investigation shows how the U.S. Army is accepting more applicants with criminal records, including drug problems, through a system of "waivers" to bypass regulations.
With a high demand for soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army has struggled to meet its recruiting and retention goals in past years. However, in the 2006 fiscal year, the Army exceeded its goal by enlisting 80,635 new troops.
The Army failed to reach its goal by 8 percent in 2005 which is a year they said was a less challenging recruiting environment.
The factors for an increase in enlistment include the change of the age limit from 40 to 42, a lowering of aptitude test score standards and an increase in what the Army calls "moral waivers."
Nationally, the Army has increased its acceptance of moral waivers from 7,640 in 2001 to 11,018 in 2006.
To see how the policy works, CBS4 sent a woman into local recruiting stations and claimed to have a marijuana possession record.
"You could still be an officer with that," a recruiter told the woman. "It may slow it down a bit … it requires a waiver."
At another recruiting office in Aurora, a different recruiter told the woman that her marijuana possession charge wouldn't keep her from getting into the military.
"It's a waiver," he said and then took his prospective enlistee outside for what he called a "heart to heart."
"I smoked in Amsterdam," the recruiter said. "Since I've been in the Army, I have smoked, but you can't smoke all the time because you will get busted."
The Army said drug usage is not compatible with military service.
But at another recruiting center, a recruiter said smoking marijuana is fairly commonplace among active duty soldiers.
"You would be surprised," he said. "Especially like the unit I came from… there was a lot of people up there… a lot of people but it's like they did it in increments, you know. It wasn't like an addiction."
Waivers are written permission to waive or bypass certain rules. The Army said the burden is on the applicant to prove they have overcome what might have previously disqualified them.
A CBS4 employee also went in with a hidden camera and this time suggested he was a gang member.
"Does it matter that I was in a gang or anything like that?" he asked the recruiter.
At first, he was told the Army doesn't accept enlistees who were gang members, but then the senior officer stepped in.
"You may have had some gang activity in the past and everything, ok, and that in itself does not disqualify you," he said.
From 2004 to 2005, the number of recruits brought into the Army with serious criminal misconduct waiver jumped 54 percent, drug and alcohol waivers increased 13 percent and misdemeanor waivers increased 25 percent.
The Army, however, said it's not waivers but money incentives that have attracted new soldiers. Some are receiving bonuses of up to $40,000 and benefits now as high as $73,000 for college.
The Army's new advertising slogan is "Army Strong" but it comes as the Army appears to be weakening some of its standards to enlist.
Lt. Colonel Reginald Cox commands the Army recruiting battalion based in Denver. He insisted standards have not been lowered.
"These new applicants are doing an outstanding job for their country," Cox said. "They're brave. They have courage. They're living the Army values."
The Army said the waivers are a way to give young people the chance to overcome the mistakes made earlier in their lives by enlisting in the U.S. armed forces.
11-21-06, 04:09 PM #2
Sadly, there are plenty of people in the military who had no other place to go, and are slugs and drains on the system. It's a shame the good folks have to work with morons like that. Idiots like the ones who raped and killed an Iraqi family recently cast a bad light on organizations that are, overall, very professional and honorable. Hopefully once things settle (if they settle) in the Middle East and Asia we can be more selective in our recruiting.
11-21-06, 04:19 PM #3
Mine bribed me with beers and broads.
"I am the guy that keeps Mister Dead in his pocket." -'Mad' Max Rockatansky
"An Englewood Ranger is no stranger to Danger.." -Unk
Good Night Chesty Where Ever You Are.
A Good Friend will bail you out of jail, but a true friend will be sitting next to you in the cell saying, "That was Awesome."
God Made Police Men so Fireman Would Have Heroes.
11-21-06, 05:08 PM #4
Well for people that make big mistakes in their lives, they can straighten up and make a decent living in our military and be productive members of society where as in the civilian world, they would have a very hard time.
That being said, I would not want to go to combat where my life depends on someone who is a burnout.
11-21-06, 05:19 PM #5
My cousin was a recruiter for the Navy before she retired.
She hated it, said she felt like a babysitter. Even after the kid signs the contract, she'd have to go pick them up and drive them to the airport, because they would try to back out at the last minute.Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.
Do not puff, shade, skew, tailor, firm up, stretch, massage,
or otherwise distort statements of fact.FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley
11-23-06, 08:08 AM #6PATROL DEPUTY
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The military is a whole difrent world. Dope, crime, racest peolpe, rape,ect... I feel for the military police who work the road, they will have to deal with the folks getting in with "waivers". we just called them shit bags.
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