Friday, November 24, 2006

Catching up

Had a good Thanksgiving. Fun was had, turkey was eaten, beer was consumed, my fantasy team got off to a good start on the legs of Marion Barber III. All-in-all a good day.

In the run-up to Thanksgiving I ran into a former applicant of mine, Mr. Hanging. Often I don't give a full picture of the people I process when I write about them. I'm limited in what I can say for a couple of reasons. I'm not a very good writer, I can't get into too many details, and there is a selection bias at work here. I'm usually not going to write about the leads, prospects, applicants, and future soldiers who are ready, willing, and able to go. Misery fuels my muse so only things that piss me off get written about.

Over a year ago I processed a person who was trying to join the Army. I'd nicknamed him Mr. Hanging/Robb (I don't always keep my names straigt). Despite my less-than-flattering description in my blog of this applicant I was actually glad to work with him. He had his warts but he also had the attitude of being able to become a good Soldier. I'd recently visited the unit to which he was assigned and his commander was telling me I needed to find more of, now, PFC Hanging because he was a squared away Soldier. That made me feel good inside.

As luck would have it I was out getting eggs the night before Thanksgiving and I happened to run into PFC Hanging. He came up to me and was quick to thank me for working with him because he's loved the past year he's been in the Army. He was telling me all about his past drill and how he can't wait to get promoted to SPC in a couple months (I couldn't believe I've been doing this long enough for my enlistees to be in line for E4). He also made my day when he told me about a co-worker of his who wants to join. I'll be going by their work on Monday to talk with him.

I tell this story because PFC Hanging represents the "lowering" of the Army's standards. He enlisted into the Army with a serious offense waiver. The waivers who some view as a lowering of the standards and diminishing the force. Thanks to the two weeks of work that went into assembling and processing PFC Hanging's waiver a unit commander now has a Soldier who he wants more of. And this is just the most recent example of something I've noticed a couple times. I've processing several waivers in my time in recruiting, and I've never heard a single discouraging word about any of the now Soldiers I processed as a waiver. I've beaten this horse before, but sometimes it needs to be beaten again just to make sure it's dead.

When my seven readers (Hi Mom!) go on about their day and maybe some time in the future read some story in the paper about the Army lowering their standards to meet recruiting objectives please think back to this post. Oh, and have a great weekend.


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