Sunday, August 16, 2009

Radio Silence

Yet another month has come and gone w/ the military recruiting forces not only achieving their missions, but exceeding them by leaps and bounds. Here in Phoenix the rumor mill has it that the Phoenix Recruiting Battalion is filling the pipeline for November-December. FSR2 reservations, which were good for only 7 days when I recruited, are now good for almost 150. There is a waiting list to enlist.

As was popular during the 90's "It's the Economy, Stupid" pretty much covers the reason for this increase. Even the success and progress in Iraq, and Afghanistan not blowing itself up, wouldn't have resulted in so many people enlisting that the services need to cease recruiting for extended periods.

Even the recruiter-suicide story has left the first pages of Google News as commands establish limits to the hours recruiters spend in the office. There is going to be a harsh wake-up for some young recruiters out there when the economy turns around or if Afghanistan goes wicked sour. In the mean time though it's interesting to see a class of stories which never made it to those first few results.

My first years on the recruiting trail, recruiting events would be covered by major-market network affiliates, the New York Times, Washington Post, etc. Now, among the first hits for Army Recruiting News is The Queens Chronicle profiling the local recruiters in a recruiting station.

About the most interesting "bad" recruiting story I've found recently is one from St. Louis about an allegation that a recruiter convinced a mother to forge a signature to allow her 17 year old daughter to enlist. Of course two days later it's reported that the Army's counter to the "THEY LIED AND TRICKED MY DAUGHTER" is the whole "The parents threw a going-away party and invited the recruiter" defense.

Hopefully the good times will keep on rolling for the fleet of soon-to-be ring-knockers.


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