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Services Continue to Make Recruiting Goals Despite Tough Market, Mullen Says
American Forces Press Service ^ | Jim Garamone

Posted on 04/22/2008 6:21:53 PM PDT by SandRat

FORT BELVOIR, Va., April 22, 2008 – The military services continue to make their recruiting numbers despite the most difficult recruiting market in years, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told noncommissioned officers here today.

However, Navy Adm. Mike Mullen said at a quarterly NCO breakfast, there is concern in some quarters that the Army is letting in too many recruits with physical or criminal waivers.

“We’re recruiting at the most difficult time,” he said.

Mullen stressed that standards to enlist are high. Out of the total pool of 18- to 24-year-olds, only three out of 10 qualify to come into the military without a waiver, the chairman said. “And out of that three, a lot of them want to do something else besides come into the services,” he said.

The services must meet their goals, because not making them causes a long-term problem. “It creates a hole that takes you 20 years to recover from,” Mullen said.

The military services must compete with private industry for the most talented young people, Mullen said. “In the long run, it’s going to be about us competing in the marketplace,” Mullen said.

Regarding paying bonuses to qualified recruits, Mullen said the practice does not mean that the military is moving toward a mercenary force.

“(We are) competing with the best companies in the world for these young people,” he said. “(We have a) noble cause, a higher calling, get an education, gain a skill, whatever you do you can set yourself up for life, whether you stay or not. There’s an awful lot to offer in the military.”

Another challenge is that Iraq has affected the way “influencers” -- parents, relatives, coaches, scoutmasters, etc. -- advise young people about military service, Mullen said. “Because of what is an unpopular war in Iraq, the counselors across the board are not inclined to send their young people to the services,” he said.

Mullen said he also is watching the number of high school graduates who join the services. Historically, completing high school is a good indicator that recruits will complete their terms of service, he said.

In a broad-ranging question-and-answer session, Mullen said he does not want to see a one-uniform, joint service for the U.S. military.

“It is a wonderful mix of cultures that I would not change at all,” Mullen said. “This is the best military in the history of the world. These five services provide a capability that is unique.”

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Government
KEYWORDS: dod; goals; recruiting

1 posted on 04/22/2008 6:21:54 PM PDT by SandRat
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To: SandRat

I understand the Marines and Army are now recuriting hundreds of convicted felons. Just read it yesterday. It was probably posted here.

2 posted on 04/22/2008 6:24:45 PM PDT by dragnet2
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To: dragnet2

Do the math. It’s an very, very small percentage.

3 posted on 04/22/2008 6:25:48 PM PDT by FreedomPoster (<===Bitter, Gun-totin', Typical White American)
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To: FreedomPoster
That may be true, but if recruiting is just going alone great, why would they be recruiting hundreds of convicted felons?

Do the math.

Don't seem to add up.

4 posted on 04/22/2008 6:31:05 PM PDT by dragnet2
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To: dragnet2

It adds up to one thing: the war in Iraq has become so unpopular that patriotic young people are not volunteering in sufficient numbers for our military effort. Maybe that’s just the way of wars. We had a draft during WW2. This war has lasted way longer than a volunteer military can take us without the strain starting to show.

5 posted on 04/22/2008 6:57:33 PM PDT by onguard
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To: onguard

It’s because it’s gone on too long, and has been more of a police action than a war.

6 posted on 04/22/2008 7:05:19 PM PDT by dragnet2
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To: dragnet2

They took twice as many as they did last year. But it’s only 500 out of 180,000 recruits.

That though was the lead in our local paper — the “large increase” in the number of felons that they HAD to take to “meet their numbers”.

Frankly, if they got 180,000 people last year, did they really need those last 250 to make their numbers? Unlikely.

7 posted on 04/22/2008 7:40:04 PM PDT by CharlesWayneCT
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To: onguard

180,000 recruits. They took 250 more felons than the previous year. If they hadn’t, they would have had 179,750 recruits.

Not really having that hard a time. The incentives are getting better, and it helps that the economy took a downturn. But the war is not that unpopular among those who would be recruited.

8 posted on 04/22/2008 7:42:16 PM PDT by CharlesWayneCT
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To: CharlesWayneCT
Correction -- I believe the 180,000 is the total number of recruits for all services, but the 500 vs 250 number is the Army numbers. I think the total numbers of felons for all services is 900 vs 500 last year.

And these aren't really hardened criminals. They are kids who make bad choices. For example: "One recruit described in news reports as a “bomber” actually was a young person who blew up a mailbox using a soda bottle full of gunpowder".

Hey, I blew things up when I was young, but never anything that didn't belong to me, so I didn't get in trouble.

9 posted on 04/22/2008 7:50:00 PM PDT by CharlesWayneCT
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To: CharlesWayneCT
And these aren't really hardened criminals. They are kids who make bad choices.

You're joking?

They generally don't hand out serious felony convictions for minor little reasons or simply making, "bad choices".

To receive a felony charge, and be convicted of a felony, generally means you were involved in a serious crime.

10 posted on 04/22/2008 9:06:13 PM PDT by dragnet2
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To: dragnet2

I provided on example above. In another case, a 16-year-old got drunk and killed someone. That is a seriously bad action, but not necessarily indicative of an evil person. Now he’s I think 21, and they accepted him into the military. He’s not a career criminal.

Several of the cases they mentioned had sex with minors when they were minors themselves, but in states where they violated the statutory rape laws (like a 16-year-old having sex with a 15-year-old). Again, a bad act, and they paid for it, now they are older, have served their sentences, and there is no indication that their bad act was a sign of inherent evil.

You don’t think that in the nation of a million 18-21-year-olds, there can’t be 250 who were convicted of felonies but aren’t hopelessly criminal.

I imagine there are more than a few who were convicted of drug offenses. I don’t condone drugs either, but I believe that there were more than a few drug users in the army even back when we had a draft.

11 posted on 04/22/2008 10:58:17 PM PDT by CharlesWayneCT
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