Monday, October 10, 2005

We Have Excellence and Service. Where's the Integrity?

As an active duty veteran of the Air Force, I am proud of my military service and proud of those who continue to serve in uniform stateside and in theater. I encourage my students to join the military; despite the obvious dangers today, it can be an excellent career, with a decent enough benefit package and a way to gain discipline in yourself and pride in your country. I am most certainly a minority in this view, but the semi-fascist side of me believes that serving your country in some manner should be a requirement for elective office at the very least, if not for the franchise. The rational, liberal side of me wishes to put that other side in a locked room with combat disabled veterans. All of that being said, recruiters who mislead or lie to recruits are some of the lowest scum in the service. From the Boston Globe:

Brian Shepard thought he had the perfect plan: a special program, offered by a Marine Corps recruiter last spring, that would let him finish four years of college before he faced active duty.

Instead, the 18-year-old was notified last week -- less than one month into his freshman year at New Hampshire Technical Institute -- that his Marine Reserve unit will be sent to Iraq early next year, a development that Shepard said his recruiter never told him was possible.
I will grant that this young man should have read the (very) fine print, but it is up to the recruiter, I feel, to ensure that there are absolutely NO misunderstandings prior to signing that paperwork. This is young person's life we are talking about here, not an automobile lease. The enlistee needs to go in with eyes (and mind) open. In a related topic, the recruiters should also make recruits aware of the whole concept of Stop-Loss. When I was Stop-lossed a few years ago, I couldn't believe they could do that. Fortunately, it was only a couple of weeks. Integrity, Excellence, and Service Before Self was the motto of the USAF when I was in. Recruiters need to start paying attention to the Integrity part again.
(Crossposted by Bostondreamer at FloridaBlues)
< Blogarama