US military data-mines America's kids for war recruiting

An amazing piece in Mother Jones on how the No Child Left Behind Act made it possible for military recruiters to gather personal data on millions of unsuspecting American teens.
fewgoodkids.jpgWhen I asked him whether he'd ever talked to a military recruiter, Travers, a 19-year-old African American with a buzz cut, a crisp white T-shirt, and a diamond stud in his left ear, smiled wryly. "To get to lunch in my high school, you had to pass recruiters," he said. "It was overwhelming." Then he added, "I thought the recruiters had too much information about me. They called me, but I never gave them my phone number."

Nor did he give the recruiters his email address, Social Security number, or details about his ethnicity, shopping habits, or college plans. Yet they probably knew all that, too. In the past few years, the military has mounted a virtual invasion into the lives of young Americans. Using data mining, stealth websites, career tests, and sophisticated marketing software, the Pentagon is harvesting and analyzing information on everything from high school students' GPAs and SAT scores to which video games they play. Before an Army recruiter even picks up the phone to call a prospect like Travers, the soldier may know more about the kid's habits than do his own parents.

A Few Good Kids? (Mother Jones, via @dangerroom; image: Nina Berman/Redux, via Mother Jones)


  1. I graduated from High School in June of 1976. The week following graduation I recieved a phone call from a Navy recruiter. He knew that I was considering the Navy as an option because I mentioned it to a counsler 2 years prior to that.
    So really it is not that supprising

  2. Recruiters used to call me at least once a month in High School, and they new us all by name. I would be walking down the hallways in school, and the recruiters would be like “hey Dan, blah blah”. This was the 80s. They knew my years of watching Star Blazers and Battle of the Planets while eating cereal straight from the box had prepped me for a military career.

    Nothing new, only more intense.

  3. I graduated High School in 2007; not only when I started college did I get calls from every branch of the military (to whom I did not give my number) but they also knew where I went to school and were prepared to drive out and come meet me. One recruiter even offered to take me out for a free lunch (at taxpayer expense of course). Looking back I probably should have taken the lunch just so I could have had a taste of that 500+ billion dollar defense budget.

  4. Even if they knew you were gay, I doubt that would stop them. They’d probably just think you were OK to hire for your design sensibilities.*

    *I am a gay man, and cannot dance, design, shop for shoes, or be your mom’s new best friend (unlike everyone else! WHOA! HO!)

  5. We want our kids to play free-range and to get early exposure to germs, isn’t this similar? They’re going to be cyberstalked eventually, better the Army than an ID thief or predator. And “watch who you give your info to or you’ll end up in Iraq” is a very concrete incentive for them to learn good computer hygiene.

    And on a Darwinian level, it will weed out the gullible.

  6. The US military has been attempting to recruit my son since he was about six years old.

    I’m not kidding. We get mail addressed to him quite regularly, offering all kinds of incentives, which he is too young to legally accept.

    1. Your kid isn’t really their target anymore, you are. I saw a really interesting presentation a while back about the evolution of military marketing from fulfilling a sense of patriotic obligation to personal benefits to really just targeting helicopter parents.

  7. I graduated HS in 1994, before all of this nonsense. That did not stop them from pestering me from my junior year of HS to my sophmore year of college.

  8. I think it is a shame and did not appreciate the harassment in high school either.

    But when the recruiter was directly confronted he stated:
    “I received your information from you Selective Service registration”.


  9. Makes me feel a lot better about being homeschooled through school – military ain’t got nothing on me. I don’t think I’ve gotten a single phone call about recruitment, and fewer emails than most of the more aggressive colleges sent out.

  10. The problem here isn’t so much the annoying recruiters as much as the colossal waste of money and resources spent in snatching up eligible cannon fodder. It’s mind-boggling how much money we do have to blow on stupid shit, even in the face of an oncoming massive depression.

    1. It’s mind-boggling how much money we do have to blow on stupid shit, even in the face of an oncoming massive depression.

      You know, if it weren’t for all the stupid shit we’ve bought, maybe we could afford healthcare.

  11. So why the hell do they keep calling a obese, 37 year old housewife, every 6 months? Sure I fit the profile of having brains, dependability, masters in science, but geez to get me ready for their programs would take some serious effort – like at least a years worth. And they follow me from town to town too! Always a new recruiter calling me, and when I tell them I’m an obese midwife they drop me ASAP.

    Seriously, not all their datamining works.

  12. This is only the first generation of American kids who the military has a semi-comprehensive data-set on. If there is no action it will continue to collect and hold this information.

    This will, in fact, go down on your permanent record.

  13. I’m gonna suggest that maybe not entering pointless wars that kill and permanently injure thousands would also be an option to their numbers problem.

  14. In 1979 I happened to mention to a counselor in H.S. that my Father served in Korea & my Grand Dad in W.W. II.
    2-3 week’s later I was hounded by all the branch’s to the point that my Mother got pissed ( the term NO just don’t seem to fit in their world view lol )
    And I wont even go into how it was when My 2 Sons were in H.S.

    So, No This does not surprise me in the least. They are just using the tools available to them.

    Do I Like it? Hell No!
    But it’s most likely been going on for decades and I don’t see the practice stopping anytime soon.

  15. I’ll be redundant here, but yeah, I got calls before and after graduation and this was before no child left behind. I think there used to be a law that if a school received public funding that it had to release information.

    Funny bit about the recruiter calls I got-I told him I smoked a lot of weed and was going to be a rock star. He said “That’s ok we can work around that.” and “We have a band.” Glad I was lying, because thinking back he could have called the cops. But I love that he was willing to work with someone who stated they were breaking the law.

    1. He was willing to work with a supposed pothead because he was desperate to meet his intake quotas. The job stinks just as bad for them as being harassed by calls is for you.

  16. Please… like this is new? Everyone in my high school was required to take the ASVAB for “career planning” purposes.

    My mom took the call from the recruiter – she said he was clearly reading off of a script based on the giant pause between the general and specific parts of the pitch: “we see your daughter is perfect for a military career in…… whatever she wants!” (which isn’t even technically true, since I got basically a zero in the mechanical/construction-type areas).

    I told her she should have offered to send a picture of me. I can’t imagine the military is all that interested in someone under 5′ tall who didn’t even have enough respect for authority for the marching band.

  17. i really dont see the enormous deal. recruiters called me in higschool, and in college even offered to fly me to d.c. to take the nuclear engineering test. do you think them knowing i’ve dabbled in halo or madden is going to be the swing? or perhaps blackmail me with my ssn knowledge? the only people who would fall for that are people that are on the fence about joining anyway. whats worse IMHO, is the commercials of navy seals jumping out of helicopters blasting godsmack, or convincing kids that being an army ranger is just like playing a tom clancy video game… but better!!!

    that being said, the armed forces are the only reason an awful lot of people in my grandfathers generation got a college education, you can think of them as pawns in reference to the whole “war is where old men talk and young men die” thing, or you can think of it as a pretty decent career with a lot of training and money for college they wouldn’t otherwise have. its not like they are offering candy in the back of a van for chrissake.

    1. Except that (i) people no longer need to kill or be killed in order to receive a college education; (ii) in the vast majority of cases, you don’t actually get the benefits the recruiter will promise you; (iii) recruiters target high school kids aggressively with tactics that exploit their naivety and ignorance in order to get them to sign their lives and civil rights away for 5 years (excluding reserves) or, if they’re unlucky, permanently; and (iv) if you’re talking about WWII, there was actually some specific, cognisable threat to the country, as opposed to endless war waged against an abstraction.

  18. When a recruiter called my house to talk to my 17-year-old daughter, I told him “She’s not interested in a military career.” The guy said, in the smuggest possible tone, “You don’t know that.” I asked her later if she’d expressed any interest in the military or filled in anything at school telling someone she might be interested and she said she hadn’t. Obviously, their research is telling them things about my daughter that she doesn’t even know herself!

    1. Yup. But by the time Google has its own private military (I give it 20 years), all the fighting will be done by robots, anyway, so I wouldn’t worry about similar calls from them.

  19. I am certain the U.S. Marine Corps did a detailed psychological analysis to determine my exact weaknesses in an attempt to coerce me into signing up.

    They sent a long-legged blonde with a Southern accent, who asked me if I wanted to go in a back room to watch a video and look at some pictures with her.

    It was like they could see directly into my soul.

  20. As a Canadian, I find this very difficult to relate to, because I’ve never experienced anything like that, nor have I known anyone who’s had that experience. The only times I ever saw a military recruiter in highschool (800 students, late nineties) was on career day, and they weren’t very agressive at all. In fact, their message seemed to be that unless you’ve always wanted to be in the military, then you shouldn’t join the military. And this was on P.E.I., where other job prospects weren’t exactly plentiful.

  21. The US will get universal health care when our permanent war state realizes that a healthy citizenry is the basis of a successful soldiery.

  22. In CA you have to fill out a from saying that you don’t want the military to know your info and you have to do it every year! I’m a CO so I always made sure I had my parents fill the from out, in my junior year my teacher didn’t collect them so the military got my info. they where calling me every month then when my Dad told them to “leave his little girl alone” they stopped for a year. then they called the next year and the guy asked if I was available, my mom said “nope” “will she ever be?” he asked “nope” my mom said. he hung up. they still call my parents, i’m in college. this year my mom said “Look she is a CO and at College 6 hours away, no matter how much you try she isn’t going to join the military!”

  23. Data Mining? Seriously? The No Child Left Behind Act requires that schools are “generally required to provide students’ names, addresses, and telephone listings to military recruiters, when requested”. A five second search on can tell you that. Plus 11,900 High Schools administered the Armed Services Vocational Battery (ASVAB)test to 621,000 students in ’06-’07 school year.
    It’s institutionalized, nothing sneaky about it.

    1. i agree. you also start getting unsolicited offerings from colleges come junior year in high school, but no one seems to have a problem with that.

      and its hard to take someone seriously when they claim that a test called the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery “makes no reference to its military applications.” it’s not like there is any service obligation for taking the test, so i don’t quite see the problem.

  24. Jeebus it sounds bad in America. And what sounds worse is the blase reaction to this shit – “its not like they are offering candy in the back of a van….” No, sure, they’re offering the opportunity to think that going abroad and killing A-rabs is the highest pinnacle of human achievement. Much better. Sheesh. And I thought we had a problem in the UK with the crappy example set by the Royal Family.

  25. I graduated in between the end of the Vietnam War and the beginning of our next ‘police action’, so at the time I don’t think our military recruiters were at quite the fever pitch. I had another strike against a military career; despite excellent grades and an avowed interest in engineering and the sciences, I was female. No one ever tried to contact me. Oops!

  26. Patrick: You don’t know the half of it. It’s an awful place to live. And with TSA out of control, a truly miserable place to visit.

  27. This was going on even before massive databases. I graduated in 1984 from high school. Late one night, weeks before H.S. graduation, I got a call from a recruiter asking me when I wanted to be picked up for the pizza party. Hesitantly I asked him what he meant and he gave me this big talk about how great it was that I was considering the army and that he looked forward to meeting me at the pizza party I’d signed up to attend to hear the recruiters talk. Politely I told him that there must be a mistake and that I never signed up for a pizza party.

    The next week I got to talking to other guys in my class. Seems the same recruiter had called them too. In discussing the timing of the calls we figured out the recruiter was just going down the student directory alphabetically calling everyone with a male first name.

    Their tactics never change. They just get more sophisticated.

  28. Remember – its a volunteer Military. Whatever you think about it, no one is forced to join. I joined the Marines and it changed my life for the better. Some people HAVE to answer the call and serve. BTW-the same government that gives the free public education and subsidizes universities is asking those education establishments for the info. Its not criminal or nefarious. College or just chilling at home/working offers work, education and lots of fun and free time. Military offers not much fun, lots of discipline, and the chance to die before you can legally drink. That being said, the military is not terrible and its not a plot to suck these oh so poor unsuspecting kids into an evil machine bent on world domination. Look up the free rider concept in economics and defense, there has to be someone out there willing to serve, so the 99% that do not want to will be allowed to skip out on serving their country. Semper Fidelis. Mike.

  29. O NOEZ!!!

    So 17 year olds, who are just about to be eligible to vote, are getting job offers that involve both the risk of death and also a huge amount of money for the increasingly ridiculous costs of college. This is way the hell better than having a draft, and for some kids, provides an opportunity to get the hell out of a dead-end town. That’s way better odds than trying to be a professional dirt biker, and may be better odds than whatever blue-collar jobs may still be left for the new generations of kids who didn’t go to prep school.

    Boingboing readers may be somewhat of an elite group, not necessarily subject to the horrible suckitude of still having to take unskilled work in the 21st century at the one employer in a small town. Last I heard, the Army still lets you choose your job, and the Navy and the Air Force don’t have a ton of enlisted guys dying in Iraq and Afghanistan. If you’re a macho 18-year old and want to risk your life to show how cool you are, then Army and Marine recruiters will pay you money to do so, and provide medical benefits if you’re injured. If you have limited opportunities, but know where you want to go and are willing to work your tail off working with machines for a couple of years, then the Navy and the Air Force (and also a lot of jobs in the Army) will employ you, without much risk to your life. This is not necessarily a bad deal.

  30. i had one nice chat with a friendly marine recruiter over the phone, a couple days after i graduated high school. they didn’t seem to know much about me, and i didn’t provide much info, but in a very polite way told ’em i had no interest in the military. the hardest they pushed was an “are you sure?”

    from the stories i’ve heard about recruitment since then, i got off easy. that was in mid-2002, when i believe there had just been a surge in volunteers inspired by the literally-still-smouldering sept. 11 events. i guess they didn’t need to try hard?

    worth noting that in many countries, military service is straight-up required, no two ways about it.

  31. I exepcted the calls when I was graduating high school, but when (in my 30’s) I went back to college? Not so much. I started getting regular calls from the marines trying to find out if I was interested in joining. “No thanks, I have a family and a career, not really looking to throw it all away right now.”

  32. Here’s a fact sheet on military recruiting, from Quaker House. Key point: recruiters lie.

    Could be a lot worse — when I was in high school, you signed up for the draft and showed up when they called you, or you went to a Federal pen. Casualties were 10X as high in Vietnam as they are in Iraq/Afghanistan, due to the unlimited supply of cannon fodder.

  33. After reading all these comments, I’m starting to wonder what the hell was wrong with me — I graduated back in 1990, but don’t think I ever got a single call/visit/letter from a military recruiter in high school or in college. Not a chance in hell I would have gone, but it’s always nice to be wanted.

    I’m thinking it was my Drama Club membership. Or my early registration with the ACLU. One of the two, definitely.

  34. Kids, the number one topic of discussion at any service’s boot camp is how your recruiter screwed you over. Promising a certain specialty, but writing an assign-me-anything code on the paperwork? All too common. Google ‘recruiter screwed me over’.

    Recruiters are also reluctant to discuss how powerful the contract is. It’s for life. You can be reactivated and compelled to serve at any time, even after retirement. You have no rights. The Government can excuse itself from the many laws that employers must follow.

    If involved in a criminal matter in the civilian world, you will face a civilian and then a military trial, and serve back to back sentences.

    I am not anti-military, I just wish everyone went in well informed with thorough disclosure.

    1. Totalforge recommends:
      Google ‘recruiter screwed me over’.

      How ironic/beautiful/recursive/boggling. I did, and your post was the 2nd hit!

  35. To those of you here posting that “this was no surprise”, etc. I would like to congratulate you on not being the least bit surprised. You have dodged bOING bOING’s surprise bullet and that’s no easy task. Once again, thank you for informing everyone that you are not, indeed, surprised.

  36. I graduated ’01, my brother ’03. We both got letters but definitely no phone calls. I’m curious why they weren’t more persistent as they were with some other commenters, but on the other hand, it would have been a huge waste of their time, so better that they didn’t. I spent one year of high school reporting on and traveling to our ROTC’s competitions, which I enjoyed, but not once did anyone involved attempt to recruit me. I did have waist-length hair back then, though…

    On a somewhat unrelated note, my sig other’s brother was recently given an honorable discharge from the Marines although he attempted to reenlist. They told him the reason was because he turned in his papers so close to the deadline, which had them doubting his commitment level. He has done two tours, one in Iraq, without a problem, and clearly keeping him on would be less costly than getting a new recruit (as these stories demonstrate, recruitment is a lot of time/money). Mind you I’m not disappointed that he will be in a less hazardous line of work now…but frankly I’m still puzzled.

  37. I graduated high school in 1990, and I was forced, along with everyone else in my class, to take the ASVAB at the beginning of our junior year. No biggie, I thought, it was a few hours out of class for what turned out to be a surprisingly easy test.

    IIRC, it wasn’t two months after the ASVAB that the Air Force, Army, and Navy began calling and mailing. The contacts were constant, and the pressure was intense. Hell, they even contacted me at school.

    Finally one day my mother snapped and yelled at one of them, “Why won’t you people stop calling?!” to which that particular recruiter replied, “With an almost perfect ASVAB, how can we not?”

    I’m pretty sure that if I had been born male, the Marines would’ve been calling as well.

    I moved out of my parent’s house at 19, but my mom once told me they kept calling until I was 24. Nowadays I think you can get a waiver to join all the way into your 30s.

  38. The only person I knew in high school who really got hounded was a girl whose father was career military. I graduated in 1999, and I’m a chick, so I might have a skewed perspective. But I don’t remember a military presence at the high school I graduated from and I don’t recall any guys I know being recruiter-stalked.

    It’s interesting how this seems to vary a lot from place to place.

  39. While it’s true that these are the same arse-faces who man the tables in cafeterias across America just like they did 2 decades ago when I was in HS, the difference is that this time they’re probably scraping all the online social networks to pad out their profiles of future prospects.

  40. They used to call me in high school (early 90s), and they always knew everything about me.

    I used to be polite and tell them (honestly) that a military career was one option of many I was considering, and that if I wanted more information, I’d let them know.

    But they kept calling.

    Finally, when I had decided that I didn’t want to go into the military (something I sometimes question–I think I would have been a good officer–I always find I have a lot in common with those folks), and when telling them that didn’t work, I inserted a very slight lisp–not a cartoony one, a real one, the kind where the /s/ whistles–and asked for more information on the choirs and if there were drama troupes I could be involved in (these actually are things I enjoy a lot). It was stunning. The calls stopped. I did this exactly one time to each of the 4 branches, and they never called again.

    Hooray for institutional bigotry.

  41. A medical malady with unknown diagnosis and possible debilitating consequences. Stopped the calls cold. Soon there after the diagnosis was easy to treat and so far no long term side affects.

  42. Coincidentally, a new employee I’m training at work just told me her horror story about 3 of her 4 sons being scooped up by recruiters as they each turned 18. Very recently they went after the 4th, the baby of the family, and she was understandably pissed and tried her best to stop them from signing him up as well. Apparently she called his cell phone when he happened to be in the recruiter’s van, having been lured there not by candy, but by a pizza party with video games(!) The recruiter grabbed the boy’s phone and tried to calm Mom down as he drove her only non-enlisted son away to be militarized. Here’s some of the lies she says this recruiter told her–all in ONE phone call:
    –He said he wanted to join the Army! That means I HAD to let him sign. (BULLshiiiit, dude tricked him with pizza!)
    –Don’t worry, you can still stop the process, he’s already signed up but I won’t let them swear him in without your approval. (BS, he’s already signed up! That IS the last step)
    –Look, I promise I won’t let him be sent into combat. I’ll make sure he doesn’t even leave the U.S. (Okay, so an army recruiter outranks the troops commander? This boy’s going into training with a note pinned to his back, “Please don’t let him see armed conflict as his mother does not approve” NO!)
    –When I was 18, I signed up for the army and my parents were proud! Where’s your patriotism, don’t you want your son to protect his country? (To this she replied “Back when YOU signed up, were there multiple active conflicts going on? Would your family have been that happy to send you off to war in Afghanistan or Iraq knowing you might come home in a pine box?”)
    Here’s the insane part: He answered “No, I know my dad would have been happy to know I was fighting for his freedom in Iraq. And you should be just as happy for your son.” (Another lie. Not only were the recruiter’s parents probably scared as hell that their son would be shipped back in a coffin, but also, how the EFF is killing Iraqi insurgents/Afghani goat herders contributing to freedom of US citizens? If anything, I think our military actions in the Middle East are pissing off the rest of the civilized world and someday they’re all going to come over here to the U.S. and say, “Look, you’ve had your fun, you’ve done plenty of damage, now go stand in the corner and think about what you’ve done!”)
    At least, I HOPE that happens.

  43. I refused to take the ASVAB in high school– you can do that!

    I still get email from some Lieutenant in the Navy offering to let me train to pilot a surface-to-air missile or plane or whatever. Little do they know I barely passed my driving test… I’m a chick, so it’s not just the guys these days. I was tempted to send the “I kiss girls” or “Incurable Chronic Allergies/Diseases” responses (both true actually), but Iw as too lazy, another asset I assume they would have valued highly in boot camp.

    Can you ever get kicked out of boot camp for just going catatonic or something?

  44. A recruiting sergeant came our way
    To an Inn nearby at the close of day
    He said, “Young Johnny, you’re a fine young man
    Would you like to march along behind a military band,
    With a scarlet coat
    A big cocked hat,
    And a musket at your shoulder?”
    The shilling he took and he kissed the book
    Oh, poor Johnny, what will happen to you?

    The recruiting sergeant marched away
    From the Inn nearby at the break of day
    Johnny went too, with half a ring
    He was off to be a soldier, he’d be fighting for the King
    In a far off war
    In a far off land
    To face a foreign soldier
    But how will you fare when there’s lead in the air?
    Oh, poor Johnny, what will happen to you?

    Well, the sun shone high on a barren land
    As a thin red line took a military stand
    There was sling shot, chain shot, grape shot too
    Swords and bayonets thrusting through
    Poor Johnny fell
    But the day was won
    And the King is grateful to you
    But your soldiering’s done and they’re sending you home,
    Oh, poor Johnny, what have they done to you?

    Well, they said he was a hero and not to grieve
    Over two wooden pegs and an empty sleeve,
    They carried him home and they set him down
    With a military pension and a medal from the crown.
    You haven’t an arm
    You haven’t a leg
    The enemy nearly slew you
    You’ll have to go out on the streets and beg,
    Oh, poor Johnny, what have they done to you?

  45. I thought _EVERYONE_ knew that, under the PATRIOT act, high schools are required to send in information — home addresses, phone numbers, GPAs, projected graduation dates, &e. — to the recruiting commands for all services.

    This explains why my brother Matthew, who had Down’s Syndrome, a congenital heart defect that nearly killed him after birth and required open heart surgery with days of birth and was profoundly deaf, received recruitment letters and phone calls from the marines, Army, Navy and Air Force for years after his death — which was the same month he completed the 11th grade the summer before he was to start his senior year. The calls from the Marines were by far the most hostile and combative; “why won’t you put him on the phone so he can decide? Don’t give me that ‘he died a year ago, bullshit! If he’s such a pussy, why can’t he admit it to me face-to face!'”

    The Army, Navy, and Air Force took him off their lists right away and apologized — usually within minutes after a simple phone call or quick visit; WHILE the Marines were fantastic dicks about the whole situation. When I went down to the marine recruiting station, the gunnery sergeant demanded that I show a death certificate before taking him off the list; at one point calling me a pussy and unpatriotic scum. It was at that point that I informed him that I was set to ship out to Navy basic in a few weeks and demanded that he get his commanding officer on the horn. Still, he refused, and told me that the only person who could get his name taken off the list was Matthew himself. It all got straightened out after I wrote to marine commandant, the guy’s CO, and my congressman.

    I had to do all the footwork myself because my parents were so entirely offended and outraged; my father made it clear in the phone call’s he’d taken that he gladly take the time to, and accept the consequences of, driving to the recruitment depot and punch people in the face and groin.

    This is why I have absolutely no respect for the marines. The Army, Navy, and Air Force took care of it right away and were entirely apologetic… the fucking marines on the other hand, decided the best course action was to call me, my dead and disabled brother, and myself a coward and a pussy

  46. Interesting. The military here in Norway are very low-key. I’ve seen their stands at career shows and the like, but even that’s usually just “look at our shiny toys, admire our advertisement videos” – no real recruitment drive.

    There is, of course an obvious reason for this: You don’t have that much choice when it comes to joining, anyway. The base state is that every man is conscripted around 18, and then does 12 months of service. Importantly, this can not include foreign service: You have to sign up for that.

    I have been to a recruitment drive, mostly as an observer: Telemark Battalion, our rapid response unit, were trying to recruit among the king’s guards [1]. They did the expected stuff – one video showing off all the macho things they did, and one short talk about the practical details. Interestingly, they were quite insistent that no one could sign up there and then – they wouldn’t accept anyone until a few days later, and strongly suggested discussing it with your parents first.

    To be fair, they were and are operating under a rather limited budget; the bottleneck is certainly money, not manpower.

    [1] I was stationed among, but not in, the guards, and was working for the (army) civil course office – sending them to truck driving school or whatever, mostly so they’d learn something that would be useful in their civilian life.

  47. Whoa. Clearly, the U.S. has done such a good job of brainwashing its citizens that many of you don’t think there’s anything wrong with what the military is doing. Or maybe it’s a cultural thing. Is armed conflict considered a ‘way of life’??? Whatever it is, I am astounded that the military can do this, and ever more grateful to be living north of the border. That said, if Harper stays in power much longer, there may not be much point in having a border at all.

  48. I was an Army Recruiter for almost 20 years both in uniform and as a civilian contractor. My son has just return from Iraq after his 2nd tour and yes I was his recruiter. All the information I used in Recruiting was directory information that was open to the public but when the school provided it it saved a lot of man hours that translates to your tax dollars. In te old days 1980s and 90s we used high school year books and phone books.

    I am currently unemployed since there are so many peple walking into recruiting stations to sign up there is no demand for expericed recruiters. So if you live in horror of someone shacking your hand and offering a meal and information, relax you can walk the mall again or at least get out of your mom’s basement.

    If you enjoy your freedom thank a solider.

    If you were not drafted, thank a recruiter.

    Your welcome.

  49. There is another side to recruiting that needs to be addressed. The Army Recruiters – 75% are combat vets. They come home after surviving Iraq/Afghanistan and become desk jockey and salesmen. The work is a total grind, much mismanagement and actual cruelty. If any department needs to be contracted out, Army Recruiting is it! Google army recruiter suicides and you will see what I mean – over 25 since 2001. The most recent one was on June 23, 2010, at the Alameda, CA Recruiting Station. The Recruiter walked out to his SUV and shot himself. He worked for LTC Richard Rivera, the Commanding Officer of the Fresno, CA Recruiting Battalion. Rivera reports to COL Michael C. Howitz, Commanding Officer, of the USAREC 6th Recruiting Brigade. Howitz reports to Major General Donald Campbell, Jr, at Fort Knox, KY. Campbell reports to LTGEN Benjamin Freakley at U S Army Accessions Command. GEN Freakley has signed another contract with NASCAR for $11.3 million for a car with an Army sticker on it to drive around a race track up to 23 times. Come on. The Army Recruiting Command needs more funding to attend to the soldiers. At least $170 million per year is spent on NASCAR and rodeos to try to attract our blue collar youth. Getting killed in combat is one thing, but killing yourself 100 feet from your desk on American soil? How effective is this NASCAR farce? How accurately can you track expenditures? May God bless this valiant Recruiter and may God rest his soul. Get involved. Write your Congress representatives – quit funding these war machines. Thanks.

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