Wednesday, January 11, 2006

High Demand

Holy crap. That was interesting.

Yesterday I had a couple people scheduled to take the ECLT and the ASVAB. Although there were some minor glitches, the ECLT was taken and there was much rejoicing. For some strange reason though, no one at my level or visible from my level has any clue what these two scored on the ECLT. That is kind of important information for someone going 09L. It is more important for a Middle Eastern translator to know how to comprehend English than it is for them to pass the ASVAB. I need that info, and don't know if I'll ever get it. That might be a moot point.

One of the applicants, AJ, has been in the US since he was 13. He's gone to school in the US, he works in the US, and he can read and write in English. The other applicant, Imed, can not. Although he speaks English very well, and can understand what you tell him, he is illiterate. Cannot read or write at more than a very basic, functional level. At least in English. Apparently he is literate in Kurdish. Too bad the ASVAB isn't given in Kurdish.

Anyway, when I had scheduled Imed for the ASVAB he was under the impression that it would take him 15 minutes to complete the test. My fault for not driving home the reality. Well, I guess the reality is that if you can't read the ASVAB will only take 15 minutes. Imed has been taking classes at an adult learning center and the ASVAB was going to interfere with that class tonight. I could have talked him into being late for the class, but I felt that it really is more important for him to try and learn to read and write. The Army might be hard up for translators, but I thought they'd need to at least be to kinda understand what they're signing when they enlist.

Turns out I was wrong.

Brigade wants these two in NOW. It wouldn't surprise me if I got a phone call asking why I was writing a blog post rather than putting AJ and Imed into the Army. I don't track anything above Company level. If it's a mission that's beyond the station or company, I don't know it. Apparently these two 09Ls will box the brigade for the quarter in that category. How 1/6th of the US can only be responsible for providing two translators for a 90 day period is beyond me, but if that's what I'm told that's what I'm told. I am to get these two enlisted sooner than possible.

As always Imed, the guy with no issues beyond the inability to read, isn't committed. Yet. He's got the usual assortment of worries and concerns. He also can't read, he's unemployed, and he can't get unemployment benefits. However he speaks Kurdish and Arabic-Iraqi, and damnit we need that skill. He'll make a ton of money compared to what he's earning now, and the Army will teach him how to read and write.

AJ is committed. He wants in. Wants in now. He also committed aggravated assault when he was a juvenile and requires a brigade waiver. Of... course. Trying to get a packet, ECLT, OPI, and ASVAB done in a 72 hour period is fun enough. Throwing in a serious offense waiver just makes it skippy-keen. It's not as bad as it could be though. He's 18 and has lived, worked, went to school in just two cities and they're both local.

I'm all about putting these two in. I'm on a nut and this would get me off one. If I can close out a special category at the same time all the better. Here is my issue though: I don't know if they're qualified.

Did they pass the ECLT? We at the station are assuming they did because, quite frankly, I find it hard to believe that Brigade would be calling down saying to put these two in if they didn't know that they were qualified. But I'll be pretty damned hot when I complete a serious offense waiver packet and a whole lot of processing in two days for someone who is ineligible to enlist.


Post a Comment