Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Compare and Contrast

A timeline.

Around this time four years ago a GAO report detailing a shocking increase in recruiting improprieties. It was such a problem that the Army had to cease recruiting operations for a day.

Another GAO report was released on this topic back in late January. I saw the first mention of it in a press agency today.

In the user-driven news source "Kansas City Info Zine".

Five years ago this would be an above the fold in the New York Times. Today, it takes a Kansas City resident to post it online.

There has been a 27% decline in substantiated recruiting improprieties across all services despite a 4% increase in the number of people being recruited. The number of reported improprieties has declined as well.

More people, fewer shady things.

The report continues and talks about the impact which the focus on reducing RI and improving QC has had on the services.

It's not that this is something which should be front-page news.

It should be expected that this country's military recruiting personnel should be held to a high standard, a standard higher than what we hold the main of their respective services. As I've written before, in most communities their recruiting center is the only military presence. The individuals manning that station should be expected to embody the service for which they serve (a recent conversation with someone makes me wonder if the Marines aren't embodying their service by having their second-most common RI be sexual misconduct).

While NBC shouldn't interrupt their regularly scheduled programming for the important announcement that the military recruiting services are no longer lying to get everyone in, it shouldn't be up to some diligent Kansas City resident to provide the only media exposure for a story that is the coda to a story that was the talk of the military-bashing only five years ago (I was going to link to one of the blogs I read back then who was always on about how dirty and filthy recruiters were, but his site is either down, or he's protected it from being viewed by people who he doesn't want reading it).

For all the strum und drang about recruiting throughout the hard part of Iraq, it's certainly taken a back seat. Even before the economy took a hit, mission success never mattered as much to the press as the mission failure narrative.

Color me shocked.


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