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May 19, 2004

An Object Lesson in Recruiter Deceit

Posted by Mike on May 19, 2004 10:53 PM

Unfortunately the local TV station reporting the story doesn't have a copy of the item on its web page, but the Oregon National Guard says inactive reserve soldiers who re-enlisted in the National Guard to avoid mobilization and possible deployment to Iraq because of fraudulent high-pressure tactics will be allowed to back out of their new enlistments.

KPTV interviewed a blandly unapologetic National Guard Major named Arnold Strong, who rationalized the matter by noting that "we're a country at war," and said "to characterize this as unfair is, I think, inaccurate." Fortunately, the commander of the Oregon National Guard overrode Major Strong and said soldiers who believe they were deceived into re-upping "may be permitted" to end their enlistment.

The Oregon NG has enlisted over one hundred soldiers this week, apparently on the strength of the scare letters retention specialists sent out.

Major Strong is pretty much representative of the recruiter mentality, by the way. He and the people under him are under pressure to make their quotas, and whatever word came down about potential mobilizations surely made their eyes light up with the possibilities. Did they think twice about ruining peoples' lives with their pressure tactics? If they rationalized the matter as glibly as Major Strong, that seems unlikely. Par for the recruiter course.