Sunday, December 23, 2007

Sunday Sunday

I don't know why, but I'm usually an early riser on Sunday. It's weird. I'll lay in bed long after the alarm went off on every other day, but Sunday, I'm up and at them. let me down this holiday. The stuff which was shipped directly by Amazon arrived on time, which was good. However, the stuff ordered through Amazon's partners didn't arrive on time. As a matter of fact, it never shipped. A "glitch" occurred which canceled the order. I wouldn't have been halfway upset if the cancellation happened quickly. However, the order was canceled at the last minute,which required me to go shopping at the last minute, which I hate.

Oh well, I managed to get everything for most everyone (I had no idea what to get my mother-in-law), which is good. Santa will be much appreciated in the SFC B household on Tuesday.

I am so close to being done with recruiting. So very, very close. I can practically taste it. I'm so very thrilled with almost being done. For those few who still read this and are currently detailed recruiters, it does end. It really does.

Anyways, have a good one.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Nightmare in November

Although I've already given the Offarcical Detailed Recruiter Presidential Endorsement to David Burge of the "Unpredictable Psychopath" Party, it's time to realize that, since Burge is currently polling at 0%, due in no small part to not being on any ballots, I might need to anticipate casting my eventual vote in another direction.

I have no clue who I'd actually vote for, but I do know for whom there is not a chance in Hell I'd ever vote. And I'm worried there is a chance this runoff could actually come to pass.

There is a very likely chance that Senator Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic Party's nominee. If she were to win the election it would mean that the same two families have held the presidency of The United States of America for nearly a quarter century. That's simply unacceptable in my mind. And with there being a whole second tier of Bushes there would be a non-zero chance that this two family presidency could continue. That is simply terrifying.

Although my best man would beat me for saying this, I could actually see myself voting for Hillary. I have no opinion on her family situation regarding the former president's marital infidelities and the Vince Foster conspiracies theories and their ilk were "The Right's" version of how some numb nuts think that Bush was behind 9-11. I could live with her likely attempts to nationalize health care at the expense of my tax dollars and American innovation because, unlike the rest of the Democratic field, she has remained as committed to the War on Terror as her political realities will allow. However I just can't accept the thought of the same two families having the highest office in a country founded on the concept of avoiding such... royalty.

"Why not just vote for the Republican?" you may ask. Because, within the Republican field, there is a man for whom I hold nothing but personal contempt. That this man is from my home state is... depressing. I can't stand the thought of President Paul. I am so repulsed by Paul that I'd consider voting for Hillary Clinton over him. That is the depth of my disgust with Ron Paul. The whole thing involving his supporters spamming people endlessly. His supporters swarming web pages that mention him. The fact that Ron Paul has, willingly, gone of a fascist wanna-be's radio program, repeatedly and has failed to distance himself from some of the most repulsive people in America is simply unacceptable for me in my president. That he would also seek to destroy the ability of Americans to raise money by returning to the gold standard is simply icing on the cake.

Woe unto me should the choice come down to Clinton/Paul. Anyways, enough political wiriting. I suck at it.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Dang it

Well, the recruiting gods reminded me of their evilness. My contract from last month was a DAT loss.


Well, it was only marijuana so he'll be eligible to enlist again late in January. I'll still be able to write him before I leave recruiting. However I doubt I'll actually write him since, at that time, I'll be on my transition leave for my new assignment.

Oh well.

I'm currently on leave for the holidays. Mrs. SFC B's family is in town. I do like them. It's not like they're stereotypical in-laws. But Mrs. SFC B, bless her soul, gets wicked anxious around her folks. And, of course, it gets passed on to me. Oh well, I'll survive.

I did most of my shopping online this year. About half of what I ordered arrived shipped and arrived quickly. Unfortunatly, the half that is for my in-laws, I haven't received any shipping notification on. This is starting to cause me some degree of concern, you know, with it being the 19th of December and Christmas is like 5 days way. If I have to go Christmas shopping because of a poor delivery schedule I'll be very, very cross.

Anyways, time to call it a night. Have a good one.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Belated Caturday

Should have put this up here on Saturday, but I forgot.
funny pictures
moar funny pictures

Another One Down

Enlisted a grad bravo yesterday.  That was good.  Now the station is one RA contract away from boxing for the quarter.  If we'd had success like this earlier in my time out here I might actually have my ring (bring flagged a couple times for PT doesn't help though).  Oh well.  The Gold Badge is the only authorized recruiter incentive which gets put into my permenant file, so as long as I've got that I'm happy.

Now I just have to sweat the next couple days out in the hopes that the Recruiting Gods don't punish me for my insolence by having my guy pos match or DAT hot.  He was good when I DAT'd him the night before, and I've run all appropriate police checks and court checks, so I should be good.  But the Recruiting Gods are evil.

Mrs. SFC B and I spent about $5,000 on new furniture for the house.

Ouch.  It hurts to type that.

But it's really nice stuff.  We'll finally have a matching bedroom set.  We've been married for almost three years, and we've been living together for over 4, yet we've never had a matching bedroom set.  I feel so grown up.

Anyways, have a good weekend folks.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sunday Funday

Hey folks. Again, I apologize for the infrequent postings, but as always, I blog best when there is mucho strife in my world, and, frankly, I'm so close to being gone from here that, there simply isn't much that can be strifey. I almost want to roll a couple nuts in a row so that I can sit in Zero-roller training and have my long-term plan be "not be in recruiting anymore suckas." However, between my desire to not fail and my desire to be left alone, I can't let myself nut out.

In recruiting news, the Glendale Recruiting Station managed to his phaseline (the new word for mission box) for the second month in a row. First time it's done that in my time in recruiting. To make things even better, the company and the battalion hit phase line as well. We're even in a position to hit phaseline for the entire quarter. It's a fight every day though and the station still isn't in a posture which SFC SC3 wants. However, life is always better when the problem is we're not making mission early enough in the month, rather than not making mission at all. When forced to play a hellish game of "Let's Make a Deal" USAREC style, I'd rather box on the last day of the month, than not at all.

In browser news, Opera continues to frustrate me. I continue to use it though because its less of a memory hog than Firefox. I love Firefox, but it's just such a memory hog on my system that I have difficulty playing EQ2 and using Teh Intertubes at the same time. Opera, while it sucks something fierce takes up very little memory and doesn't make my game slow down.

In Thanksgiving news dinner was fantabulous. Mrs. SFC B out did herself with a delicious turkey, green bean cassarole, and, best of all, sticky buns! Oh my god those sticky buns were sinfully good. I contributed by preparing the sweet potato cassarole (her receipe, I just executed it well) and some slightly needing more mashing mashed potatos. I could have swore I got all the big chunks of potato, but apparently I missed a good bit. I didn't pay as much attention to the potatos as I should, and we paid the price. Oh well, everything else was near perfection.

In SFC B news I managed to hurt my back a little over a month ago while playing football for a FS function. SSG Patton threw a pass behind me, I turned to catch it and... tripped over my own two feet. Wound up straining a muscle, suffering a buldging disc, and aggravating my sciatic nerve. A triple threat I am! After a month of favoring the injury, and a good bit of drugs, it finally feels almost normal. It still bothers me when I have to drive for a long time (and as fate likes to make me its bitch, I'm working a prior service who lives in Yuma), but I'll live. Which is good.

Anyways, hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day. This is a fun time of year for me personally. I do like the holiday time and try to make it a point to be slightly cheery as I go about my business.


I did some work on the ol' blog roll. Added a couple of cop blogs. In "small world" fashion, Officer Gary hails from my current neck of the woods, and Jason hails from near my home town of Sugar Land, TX.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Blocked Again

Well, reality has blocked me in many ways today.

First, the nut I was on grew bigger.  The one glimmer of hope I had chickened out.  Normally I'd feel harsh using a judgemental term like "chickened out", but those were his words, not mine.  So I feel fre to use them.

Second, as I was driving home I thought of something.  I thought of an awesome idea for a blog post (it's been a while since I had one of those so I was excited).  I knew that USAREC met its mission for the year, but I didn't recall hearing anything about it outside of the recruiting world.  I figured that "The Media" had allowed the event to pass unnoticed.

I was wrong.

A quick Google Search revealed that, indeed, Mission Box was covered.  While I was thrilled to see that an event this important wasn't allowed to pass unnoticed (including by myself), I was saddened to discover that the idea I had was now less topical.

Then, I actually put my semester of journalism in college to use.  I dug further.

Hit 1:  From NPR.  It's actually from May 2007 and refers to only that month.
Hit 2:  From the San Antonio Express.  I'm going to expand on this one in a minute.
Hit 3:  Fox News.  Although it touches on the waiver issues, there's a lot less editoralizing than the piece.
Hit 4:  Defense Link.  The DoD press release of the entire DoD's recruiting numbers.
Hit 5:  A Google Group discussion of Hit 1.
Hit 6:  Never heard of them until just now.
Hit 7, 8, 9:  Hot Air, Strategy Page,

I decided to do a bit of an experiment.  I like experiments.

Here's my thesis.  Media coverage of Army recruiting has a negative bias.

Here's my experiment.  Using a popular internet search engine, I will search for three terms related to the Army and recruiting.  There will be a search for the positive term "Army meets Recruiting", the negative term "Army fail recruiting", and a control term "Army recruiting".

If my thesis is correct, there will be noticably fewer positive results when compared to the negative.  Further, within those positive results, there will detectable negative commentary (for example, comments like "althought the Army met their recruiting goal, they accomplished it by enlisting illegal immigrants").  

I searched the national news webpages for three things.

1.  Army Meets Recruiting
2.  Army Fail Recruiting
3.  Army Recruiting

1.  221 hits with the "Most Recent" headlining "More Army Recruits Have Criminal Past".
2.  322 hits.
3.  4750 hits.  Most of them were just stories that mentioned the word "Army" and "recruiting", but not related to the topic I'm interested in.

1.  0.
2.  0.  
3.  66.  Top hit:  "Army Has Record Low Level of Recruits".

1.  1,146 pages of results.  Top hit?  "Army Meets Recruiting Goals -- Surprise Success or Accounting Trick?".  The date of the story?  December 15, 2005.
2.  1,755 pages.  The top hit that's related to the topic at hand?  "Army Marks Record Low Level of Recruits".  The date?  October 31, 2007.  We're not even out of the first quarter, yet the "Army will miss recruiting" meme has its first entry from the AP.
3.  1,573 pages.  Top hit?  "Army Defends Recruitment Standards".  This is nearly the same story that Fox News ran from the Google search above.  The headline in that story?  "Military Meets Recruitment Goals for the Year".

1.  84,100 hits.  The top hit is Fox News.  Second is NPR.  This makes sense since, apparently, uses Google as its search engine for its website.
2.  145,000 hits.  The fourth hit? which is a right-wing whackjob website run by someone very familar with the good guys at Screw Loose Change.
3.  177,000 hits.  The first hit?  The first non-Army or non-military website?  SF Gate with a story titled "U.S. is recruiting misfits for army".  They don't even have the common courtsey to capitalize the proper noun "Army".

1.  18.  Top hit?  The story from the initial Google search.
2.  8.  None of them actually related specifically to Army Recruiting.
3.  448.  Top hit?  The AP Story I mentioned in the ABCNews section.  

This is some painfully bad research on my part.  I have no illusions about this Googling to be taken seriously.  It's just something I did to give me something about which to write.  But, I'm pretty confident that, even with a poorly done experiment, I proved my thesis.

We are in Year 6 of the War on Terror.  Six years of sustained combat operations using an all-volunteer force.  This is a war that can be accuratly described as "unpopular", being fought under a lame-duck president who is called The Devil by those who disagree with him, in a good economy, with daily "butcher's bill" accounting of casualities, helpfully with combat and non-combat deaths combined, and split between total and "Mission Accomplished", and Soldiers are called stupid or inhuman by elected officials and media personalities.  Despite this enviroment 116,141 people chose to enlist into the Army and the Army Reserve this past year.  You would not know this if you were to read or watch most news outlets.


That would make Armyenlistmentburg the 206th largest city in the United States.  Actually, it should probably be called Armyenlistmentville, but I digress.

The entire city of Evansville, IN enlisted into the Army last year.  And the major theme of the stories reporting this incredible accomplishment is that 1,620 of them required a Serious Criminal Misconduct waiver.  Here is my tale of the Serious Criminal Misconduct waiver I enlisted two years ago.
I enlisted one person last year with a serious offense waiver. He’d been involved in a robbery when he was a juvenile. He enlisted when he was 28 years old. His offense was over 10 years old when he enlisted, and it still required a waiver. I’m confident that an analysis of those serious offense will show a large number of people who committed crimes a long time prior to their enlistment.
I still stand behind that last sentance.

Anyways, it's late, I'm tired. 

Normally I'll take full responsibility for formatting errors, but I've been trying Opera, and it sucks.  It sucks horribly and does terrifying things in Blogger's posting window.  I fear it.


I added a line I'd forgotten to when I wrote it.  It's in bold italics.

Thursday, November 01, 2007


is there any body in there?

Just smile if you can hear me.

Is there anyone home?


I'm still here.

Oh?  The thing I'm sitting on?  It's a giant nut.

Aside from that?  Life isn't going too shabbily.  The station boxed last month, and with a little bit of luck we should fall not too short of making it this month.

Did I say "box"?  I meant "phase line".  I guess we no longer box, but instead, phase.  If I had my way I'd phase myself right into Kathy Ireland.  Two objects can't occupy the same space my ass.  Phase Line baby!

Tonight was our company award ceremony.  My usual response to such things is "darn, I'd prefer to just be left alone."  And I kept to my usual self.  It was a good time though, even if we did spend most of the evening watching one station take all the awards.  And of course I sound bitter about that because it wasn't my station.  I might despise recruiting and be counting the picoseconds until I'm done (7.884e*10^18 in case you were curious), but I still don't like having it rubbed in my face that I'm not assigned to a mall a suckass recruiter.

A couple weeks ago we had a Future Soldier function where we played touch football.  I'd like to lie and say that I injured my back on a glorious play to score a winning touchdown.  However, there are too many witnesses and I must confess:  I tripped over my own two feet.  But it wasn't just my back that was twisted in a way it didn't want to go.  Thanks to a secondary effect, I discovered how to spell sciatic.  Yay.

Anyways, I'm still alive.  I'll be working on the blog a bit over the weekend.  No, I won't be changing the colors.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Il molto tempo nessun vede

How is everyone?

Good to hear.

Missed y'all too.

I spent the past month dealing with a combination of issues and a lack of things about which to write. I know, I know, how can I have issues and have nothing about which to write? Simple, not everything that happens in life is something which is helped by being broadcast to the eight people who read my blog.


Looks like someone ran the quick out play which the computer is seemingly never able to stop. The Army made its recruiting mission for FY07.

You didn't know that?


How could you have missed it? It was all over the news.

What was that? It wasn't?

Every month the Army fell short, by whatever amount, it was reported above-the-fold or before Bob McFormerathlete with sports. So when the all-volunteer Army makes its mission, for the fifth time in the six years of the War on Terror, silence.

Anyways, it's early and I need to shave after the long weekend. Have a good one.

Friday, September 07, 2007


My time in recruiting is drawing to a close. Yesterday I got my orders. I'm scheduled for ANCOC in JAN08, and I'm reporting for my next duty assignment in FEB08.


So I find myself wondering what to do about this tiny sliver of The Intertubes.

I'll no longer be in recruiting, although it's something I do plan to retain some interest in, from a distance. And you can bet your bottom dollar I'll have SMART in my favorites folder. However, I'll no longer be SFC B: Detailed Recruiter.

I'm looking for someone, or someones, to replace me.

If you're a recruiter, and you've ever thought about putting your thoughts and experiences into an electronic format for the world to read, I'd like to hear from you. Email me at tearecrules-at-gmail-dot-com or at the link on the upper left. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard... I don't care. As long as you're a recruiter.

Here's what you'll need to know going in though:
I'm not going to be quitting this blog. This is going to be a collaborative thing.

You can be anonymous or you can identify yourself. I don't care, however I do need to know who you are so I can verify that you're who and what you say you are. However, that will stay between you and I.

Have something interesting to say. I know, it's hypocritical of me to say that since I rarely do. You don't need to be Bill Whittle or Steven den Beste, but at least every so often saying something cool is good.
If you're worried that you're not the best speller or writer, don't be. No one cares. I've been doing this for over two years and I'm barely literate. If you have something to say, people will listen... er... read. Granted, it might just be my mom, my wife, two of my coworkers, and a pill-popping exhibitionist, but people will read. Who knows, maybe you'll be entertaining enough that you'll have more than 8 readers.

To repeat, if you're a recruiter, and ever thought about blogging about what you're doing. Or heck, if you're a recruiter who used to have a blog but lost interest in maintaining one yourself, shoot me an email.

Oh, and I got my orders!!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Thank you nanny...

... may I ride my bike now.

With football season bearing down on us like a HGH fuelled train I'm making daily trips to Football Outsiders (It's Baseball Prospectus for football!). One of their regular features is to collect football related news and commentary into a single source for me to peruse at my leisure.

Thanks FO.

Today I was reading their link to Gregg Easterbrook's Tuesday Morning Quarterback editorial. Mr. Easterbrook launches into a tirade about the actions of NFL players and their motorcycle shenanigans (it's about 3/4ths of the way down).

The actions of Kellen Winslow Jr., Ben Roethlisberger and LaVar Arrington were anywhere between stupid to inexperienced. Roethlisberger had an expired motorcycle license. Winslow was on a learner permit, and Arrington was totally unlicensed. Big Ben wasn't wearing a helmet. Winslow was still learning how to ride his motorcycle. Arrington would possibly have died if he hadn't been wearing his helmet when he misjudged a turn and played the stoppable force to an immovable object. All three of these men who, really should have known better, made a mistake which could have cost them their careers, if not their lives.

Young people and high performance motorcycles are a riskier duo than young people and cars. The level of performance available in a modern sportbike is heartstopping. Consider this. The motorcycles Roethlisberger and Arrington were riding, a Suzuki Hayabusa and a Kawasaki ZX-14, are capable of a higher top speed than a Ford Mustang, Chevy Corvette, Dodge Viper, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, Mercedes Benz CL55 AMG, Lamborghini Murcielago, and a Ferrari Maranello. They also cost half the price of the cheapest of these cars, and 1/20th the price of the most expensive.

Easterbrook is right that these three men put more than just their safety and well-being at risk when they chose to get on to motorcycles which were either too much for them, or not wearing the proper equipment. They put their families at risk, and they put their employers at risk. Apparently language in their contracts restricts them from being able to ride a motorcycles because of the greater risk to their team's investment. Mr. Winslow suffered a significant financial hit when the Browns recouped some of the money they paid him because he didn't live up to his end of the contract.

Easterbrook is wrong when he suggests that what needs to happen is government intervention into the construction and design of motorcycles.
Congress has taken no action to impose horsepower limits or safety standards on sportsbikes.
I'd like to think that Congress has better things to do than perform an in depth study on the proper limits for horsepower and performance in sportsbikes. As for safety standards... I'm curious if Mr. Easterbook has ever actually seen a motorcycle.

There is only so much safety equipment one can install on a vehicle with two wheels, no doors, an engine under your ass, and a fuel tank between your legs. The most important safety measures a motorcycle rider can take are ones to protect themselves. Helmet, gloves, and jeans are mandatory when I'm on my motorcycle, and I'll add a Kevlar/padded jacket and pants if I'm going to be doing anything more involved than my daily commute. I've also taken the Advanced Rider's Course offered by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. I've even watched the videos on MSF's website, as well as read advice and tips on more advanced riding techniques. Keith Code's Twist of the Wrist books were eye-opening for me.

On the list of risks facing NFL players though, maybe the "motorcycle" thing should be slightly lower on the list of Mr. Easterbrook's concerns.

While a motorcycle rider is 28 times more likely to die in an accident than someone in a car, NFL linemen have a 52% greater risk of dying from heart disease. Three NFL players were involved in motorcycle accidents over the past couple years, they're all alive and well. Thomas Herrion was a lineman for the 49ers when he collapsed and died after a preseason game. Cause of death? Heart disease. He was 23 years old and weighed 310 pounds. He was light for his position. The average weight of an offensive lineman is now 318 pounds.

And Mr. Easterbrook wants Congress to intervene in the design of motorcycles because he thinks they're ridiciously overpowered. If Congress can take the time and waste the money to spend days interviewing baseball players for their use of steroids and how that will affect "the children", then maybe they should take the time to bring NFL players in to discuss how their obese image is encouraging "the children" to become behemoths.

This wouldn't even rankle me up as much if Mr. Easterbrook had taken the time to get his statistics right.

Mr. Easterbrook points to the performance motorcycles ridden by the three players as if they were at fault for the increase in fatalities for motorcycle riders. Unfortunately, the greatest increase in motorcycle ride fatalities is in the 40+ age group. In 1995 541 riders over 40 were killed in accident. In 2005, 2143 were killed. The engine class with the greatest increase, and the greatest number of fatalities? 1,001-1500ccs. While the Hayabusa and ZX-14 fall into that category, they're a small minority of the bikes in that class. The type of bike that dominates the big engine class? Cruisers. The reason for the huge increase in fatalities for motorcycle riders isn't people on high performance sport bikes. It's older people riding bigger, slower, heavier cruisers.

Unfortunately, blaming old men on Harley's for the increase in motorcycle fatalities isn't as flashy, and probably hits some of Easterbrook's readers a bit too closely. It's a lot easier to pin the blame for the increase on those flashy plastic-clad machines exemplified by "bike racing and X-Game-style events". Just for argument's sake, I'll talk about this as well.
bike racing and X-Game-style events
So, motorcycle racing encourages one-wheeled stunting and other risky moves? Watch any motorcycle race. The riskiest move you'll see will be passing. And it's a race, they're supposed to do that. You'll also see them all wearing full leathers, gloves, and helmets, and possessing a level of skill that 99.9% of the riding population wishes they could demonstrate. Watch the X-games. Motorcross doesn't even use the same class of motorcycle which Easterbrook falsely accuses of causing the increase in motorcycle fatalities.

Easterbrook continues his assault on my sanity when he starts to compare the power-to-weight ratio of sportbikes to that of airplanes. Now, does he compare the Hayabusa to other performance-engineered aircraft? No. He compares it to the Cessna 172. The Cessna 172 is a 50 year old design with a 160 horsepower engine. The power-weight ratio for the 172 is 15lbs/1HP. The Cessna is the aircraft for training new pilots. It's the entry-level machine when one is learning how to fly. The aircraft equivalent for a ZX-14 would be something more performance-oriented. Say, the Learjet 60. The LJ60's thrust to weight ratio? .4/1.

I despise having people tell me how to live my life. Some might consider that ironic since I enlisted in the Army. I don't see it that way though. I chose to join the Army. I wasn't compelled, coerced, or forced into this life. I made that choice wholly aware of the risks inherent in it. Gregg Easterbrook has made the choice that the motorcycles I consider fun and enjoyable are too dangerous for my own good. He can take his nanny-state tendencies and put them where the sun don't shine.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


I am do very hung over right now. So much pain. Let the world stop spinning.

That is all.

Saturday, August 18, 2007


This is a post I have been mulling over for ages. I'm actually semi-worried about the fact I'm writing it.

"Recruit with Integrity."

It is said over, and over, and over again. And it's meant every time it's said. And it will likely prevent the recruiting mission from being met.

The other day I was sitting in the office and one of the other recruiters was interviewing a young man. The young man was ready to go. He starts filling out the 2807 and he pauses.

Uh oh.

Asthma. Still has an inhaler. Hasn't used it in a while so he forgot to mention it during pre-qual, but still carries it.

Integrity check.

The right thing is said and done. "Sorry man, if you have asthma you're disqualified. Now if you want to enlist you need to be off the inhaler for X amount of time and a couple tests run by your doctor showing you don't have asthma." Regardless of how badly this kid wants to enlist, he's now disqualified. Sure, it's possible to get a waiver for someone who has had asthma in the past. I've just never seen one get approved. Ever. But I'm sure someone, in the all of USAREC, has had it approved.

One of my first recruiting "learning experiences" involved my previous station commander taking me in to his office, shutting the door, and telling me that no one would ever be eligible to join the Army if they were 100% honest on the 2807. He proceeded to tell me about how he lied on his enlistment (ironically, he had asthma), and then roleplayed for me the technique to get someone to conceal their disqualifications. I was stunned. The reason I was standing at parade rest while being told how to get someone to lie? I had submitted a 2807 on someone where they admitted to having been in rehab for alcohol abuse.

A week later Denver happened.

Seeing that recruiter go to Pucker-Factor: HIGH when that reporter replayed that video tape made me resolve to never be that guy.

The Army Value Integrity is defined as "Be willing to do what is right even when no one is looking." My addendum to that is "Even if no one is looking, assume someone is." While I might regret that we live in a world where some people will only uphold their integrity because they're afraid of being caught, I prefer that kind of weak integrity to a total lack of integrity. I'm a realist. Doing the right thing for the wrong reasons is still doing the right thing.

I'm looking at my USAREC Talking Points and I see that, as of July, the Regular Army was 1.4% over their YTD mission. One and a half percent. 741 people.

13% of Americans have asthma. Up to 6% of Americans have ADD/ADHD. The GAO found that the services could do a better job in identifying and tracking recruiting improprities. And lastly, it's almost human nature to take a short-term benefit over a long term one. To me, this means people are more likely to risk their careers to enlist one person now, than to not enlist that person, but leave USAREC with the same rank they had when they reported.

I had talked about the recruiters in Tennessee who had told an undercover reporter to not say a thing about taking Zoloft. This was a random person walking into a nearly random recruiting station. Had that not been an undercover reporter, and instead a legitimate person walking in off the street, they'd have probably enlisted him, and the Army would be at 742 people over the YTD mission.

Here we are in Year 6 of the War on Terror. Six years of combat operations. Six years of recruiting volunteers in a war. A war which is not popular. A war which is, for the most part, not reported on competently or honestly. The margin for success in this recruiting enviroment is razor thin. And the success we have had to this point has been accomplished by permitting a much broader swathe of the population to enlist, and using a very, very big carrot.

The mission isn't going to go down. We're not going to wake up tomorrow and see that "terror" has stopped and everyone can go home. You can't make someone volunteer for the Army. Volunteering is a binary decision. You do or don't. You want to or you won't. If a recruiter "makes" someone enlist, 9 times out of 10 they're just enlisting a Future Soldier loss. MG Bostick said that only 16% of the market would consider volunteering for the Army. Let alone actually enlisting, or meeting the qualifications for enlistment. That is a pathetically small percentage of people from which to recruit.

I've worked with recruiters for a good chunk of my career. Back when I was a PSNCO I had to deal with recruiters looking for acceptance letters, etc. When I worked in Retention, most of them were former recruiters. And now I am one. Stories about Gold Seal, ringers, telling people to shut-up about some disqualification flowed from the recruiters I knew from back in the day. They were badges of "honor" for them. The feeling I got was that you weren't a real recruiter until you'd done you first impropriety. These were recruiters who recruited back when the FBI check took weeks to get back, and it was possible to get In-DEP waivers. And this was back when the Army was so far ahead of the game that the only contracts which counted for anything were Grad/Senior Alphas.

If I were to read a GAO report which said that the Army improperly enlisted 741 people who were actually disqualified, I wouldn't bat an eye. It wouldn't shock me. I don't even know if it would upset me anymore. As I said, while I wish we lived in a perfect world, I know we don't.

Take a look at Page 27 of the GAO report. It's a chart of when recruiting irregularities occur. Guess what? The end of the month is when most recruiting irregularities occur. Color me shocked. Imagine that. The end of the month is when most recruiters send down people who are unqualified. I wonder why? Those are just the ones that were caught.

I have no idea how many recruiting improprieties go undiscovered. Lord knows that the docs are MEPS are damned good at getting people to talk about things they never mentioned to me, so I'd like to think that most are caught. But still... one and a half percent was the margin for error.

With 6,000 recruiters recruiting 69,500 people (RA and USAR) in 10 months, I find it stretches my disbelief to think that every irregularity has been uncovered. 2% of recruiters had a substantiated impropriety in 2005. These were people whose fraud was discovered, investigated, and determined to have been intentional. What goes undiscovered?

I recruit with integrity. I've done some stupid stuff in my life, but the people I'm putting in the Army are, as best as I'm able to determine, fully qualified. They might need a waiver, but I get the waiver. SFC SC2 tells us frequently how important it is to do the right thing. I preach it as often as I can as well. SSG George, SSG Tomas, SSG Tree, and the rest of my recruiting station do our human best to find people who we'd want next to us in combat. It's difficult work to do the hard right over the easy wrong. We finished last month one, one short of mission box. One freaking contract. We could have had that one if we'd told that kid to shut-up about his asthma.

When I go into the office to work on what should have been a day off, I'm doing it knowing full well that it could have been avoided if another recruiter had been willing to convince an applicant to lie. As much as I hate having to work on a day I really, really wanted off, I prefer this to the Sword of Damocles which is an applicant who is lying at your suggestion.

Here's the rub though. Recruiting with integrity doesn't get you the day off.

You don't get credit for doing the right thing. It's a flaw of human nature really. No one remembers the surgeon who does everything right, but if they don't account for a sponge, everyone knows about that. The tens of millions of people who go through life without a disease because of a very good vaccine aren't remembered when three families take the drug company to court over their child's freak allergic reaction to the drug. Being the good guy in the movies lets you save the day and get the girl. Being the good guy in the real world gets you nothing.

Recruiting with integrity doesn't get you out of having to complete a 50 page Excel spreadsheet on why you were a low producer. You can't tell your station commander that the reason you didn't write X contracts was because you didn't find enough qualified people and you weren't willing to tell an unqualified person to shut the heck up. You can't point out that the number of people who are morally, medically, and aptidutinally (is that a word?) qualified, and who also want to enlist is very small, and that finding one at any given moment is, essentially, random.

Being told to "recruit with integrity" is simple. It's abstract. You're not dealing with a specific. I've always been curious how it would be dealt with if, instead of it being abstract, it was specific.

What is the answer when presented with the scenario of "If Ms. Snuffette doesn't reveal her asthma, then the company will box." There is no other choice. It's mission day. Ms. Snuffette is it. She enlists, company is successful. She doesn't, failure. Push the scenario up. Suppose that the Army was going to 500 people short of making the YTD mission. Just 500 people. If every recruiting station just had one person who shuts-up about something, then the Army meets it's recruiting goal.

That was a real scenario for this station last month. One person. One person enlists and I'm not working today. We made our choice, and we're paying the price for it. It's a price I'm glad to pay, but man, I'd have loved to be off today.

Anyway, enjoy your weekend. You're welcome to come over for a BBQ.


I removed a couple sentences which I just really, really didn't like. They didn't fit with what I'd thought I was writing, so they were removed.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Return of the Patriot

No, this is not about my screenplay for a sequel where Mel Gibson's Benjamin Martin returns to avenge the murder of his family at the hands of the British during the War of 1812. However Mel, if you're reading this, give me a call back.

The world of blogdom just got a shot in the arm. Holly, formerly of Politics of a Patriot, has returned to the fold. Her new blog is, cleverly, titled Politics of a Patriot.

Seriously Holly, you couldn't have thought of a better name? Maybe next time you could ask for some suggestions.

I'd like to take this moment to welcome Holly back to the blogging world. She has accomplished a lot of good things. Her work supporting Marines is an inspiration. Her devotion to her country and her desire to serve is admirable. Her addiction to prescription painkillers is lamentable, but we all have our faults. Plus, when she washes the pills down with SoCo, she'll sometimes lift her shirt up for anyone who asks, and that has value.

The Hollyless blogging world was a cold, harsh one. I was only able to persevere the dark times through the occasional emails Holly would send to her well-wishers. Her trials and tribulations as she sold pink phones to Soldiers made us laugh. When she cut her hair to try out for a role in "CATS", it made me care about musicals for a brief second. When she asked me for my bank account so she could send me my share of a fortune she has in Nigeria, it made me suspicious.

Many of us have been touched by Holly.

Er... well.... Holly's writing.

It is a joyous occasion now that she has been returned to us. I'm sure we'll all check back daily for the latest updates about her quest for love, joy, happiness, and those damned kids who will never let her just eat her Trix in peace. So please, join me in welcoming Holly back.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Helping and Not Helping

As if to prove a point from the previous post, I checked my email this morning and there was a lead waiting for the entire station. We had a new "Hot" Lead waiting for us. The person had been a FS Loss, and had a history of mental illness, prescription medication usage, and law violations. None of that was mentioned in the information provided to the "refinement" center. Not one whit. To look at the information we' been provided you'd think that this lead was the hottest one ever and was just itching to go. Maybe they are, maybe they are not, but they are wicked unqualified and would be a waste of a recruiter's time to contact.

To make it worse, this individual is a liar. They lied to my face, to the recruiter's face, to the station commander's face, and even to their family. Apparently they continue to lie as their pre-qualification questions all say they have a clean background with no issues. If we hadn't enlisted this person before, we'd have known none of this from the lead information we'd been sent.

I know recruiting is painfully tough and our ability to accomplish out mission is contingent upon finding someone, anyone, who is willing and able to serve. However pushing down someone who is not only unqualified, but is known to be unqualified is not helping. We're lucky that the lead went to my station instead of another one because they'd have likely enlisted this person and either take the FS loss or be investigated when they went crazy at Basic.

However, while the lead generation system seems to be broken there is hope on the horizon.

Today we got our new computer. It's not a "new" new computer, but a computer we didn't have before. Apparently someone at USAREC got the idea that, rather than turn in old desktops, they could be given to recruiting stations as machines dedicated to March2Success. We've also installed the EST on it so we no longer have to lose a laptop when someone is taking the EST. Now, when we have Mr. Motivated CAT4, they can come in to our office and use that computer to do their studying. I don't know how often it will help us move someone from CAT4 to Bravo, but if it works with one, really, that's a success for us.

This is really unnecessary sniping on my part, but it sure would have been nice to have had this system before the last month of the recruiting year. However better late than never.

Anyways, it's late, I'm tired. Have a good one.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

4th and Goal from the 45

The scenario in title is a situation I found myself in once when I forgot to pause Madden when I ate dinner. I came back and found that Delay of Game penalties took my once goal-line play to the bad side of the 50 yard line. I went ahead and tried for it anyways, and failed miserably. Not only did I not make it, my WR was injured on the play and wound up missing the rest of the game.

When I read the comment from "Blah" in my last post, it reminded me of that time in my living room way back in the glory days of pre-USAREC. Blah is talking about a HUGE bonus available for people who agree to ship by 27 August 2007. This Quick Ship bonus is, with few qualifications, a $20,000 bonus for anyone, regardless of MOS, who agrees to ship for Basic prior to the end of August. In my office we've seen $40,000 bonuses for bravos going in to Combat Service Support MOS's. This is ridiclious money and it's money available just to get someone to ship. Blah refers to it as desperate, and I can't help but think that he's right.

I don't pay enough attention to what happens at the USAREC level stuff. All I know down here in Recruiterlandia is that we're not in a good position. This feeling of mine is bolstered by the actions being taken to help us try and recover the shortfalls from the previous months.

Over 1,000 Gold Badge recruiters being called back to serve as lead generators. While Jack Army managed to escape being recalled via a risky, but brilliant strategy of being deployed to Iraq, others were not so lucky. I know two of the recruiters who were recalled. One of them was pretty grateful for the opportunity to get back out there talking to kids. I hear the other one had to be talked off a ledge.

During MG Bostick's remarks to the military personnel subcommittee of the House Armed Service Committee he mentioned that the Army has requested additional funding to create a veritable flood of HRAPs and SRAPs to further help us recruiters in making mission. The rumor I've heard is anywhere between 4,000 and 5,000 HRAPs will be going out on to the streets.

Another piece of this puzzle has been the continued application of lead refinement services. I'd mentioned this before, but never really got in to much detail on it. I simply called the numbers as they came down. Well, now there is, apparently, another company going through the bajillion names and numbers generated by recruiting and its activities and providing us in the field with things called "SuperLeads". Yes, there is no space.

I'm going to go ahead and give a little stock tip. If anyone knows who currently has the contract to refine these leads; invest in them. They have the sweetest deal on Earth. In my experience they're getting paid by the government to give me leads I've already gone through.

Today I was going through a list of these SuperLeads and saw a name that looked familiar. I checked the contact history and here is what I found.

JUN2004: No Contact. Recruiter: SFC B's mentor's mentor
SEP2004: No Contact. Recruiter: SFC B's mentor
FEB2005: No Contact. Recruiter: SFC B's mentor
MAR2005: No Contact. Recruiter: SSG B
APR 2005: No Contact. Recruiter: SSG B
MAY2005: No Contact. Recruiter: SSG B
JUN2005: No Contact. Recruiter: SSG B
OCT2005: No Contact. Recruiter: SSG B
DEC2005: No Contact. Recruiter: SFC B
APR2006: No Contact. Recruiter: SFC B
JUL2006: No Contact. Recruiter: SFC B
APR2007: No Contact. Recruiter: SSG Tree
AUG2007: No Contact. Recruiter: SGT W^3, SSG Tomas, SFC B

I wish I was exaggerating. And those are just the ones that were recorded on this particular record. But, it is a SuperLead, and as such, someone with a high propensity to enlist. So high in fact that we need to report back daily on where we are in their enlistment process. Disregard the fact this individual has no apparent interest in contacting the Army themself (they also happen to live about two blocks from the station), there is nothing in this record to imply that it has changed one whit since I last attempted to contact them over a year ago. It's the same phone number. Same address. Same everything. There is no indiciation that the company refining these leads has contacted this person at all. But it's being fed to me as a SuperLead and worthy of nothing less than the best and most urgent attention of the recruiters in the office.

This isn't the only such lead either. Another SuperLead is so old that the person didn't just enlist before we got the lead, they reenlisted. The email address for this person is their AKO email address. How the heck did this thing pass any sort of screening?

I really, truly appreciate the efforts of those above and around me to help accomplish my mission, but a SuperLead like that is one I can do without. I could grin and laugh about it were it an exception, but I'm yet to find a SuperLead which was anything but someone wasting time submitting it. How is it that these leads can, apparently, be easily contacted by a person calling from a phone bank in Whoknowswhere, USA and yet are never home, regardless of what time a recruiter calls, or drops by in person. What secret sause do the lead refinement people have which makes them impervious to people not being home?

Anyways, it was a long, hard day in recruiting. With a week to go I remain behind the eight ball. I'm lucky though in that I'm actually on the table. Some of my teammates are so far behind that they haven't even shown up at the metaphoric bar where I'm playing metaphoric pool. If I was actually ahead of the game I'd be passing out what I could to help, but I'm going to get what I need by the skin of my teeth, if I get it at all.

Sunday, July 29, 2007


I didn't notice it until today, but August will mark the start of my third year of blogging. Neato.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Holy Zombie Comment!

So, I was looking through my comments trying to find any spam ones about enlarging my penis, refinancing my home, or placing bets in an off shore, unregulated sports book, when I found a recent comment made in a non-recent post. If you're not interested in following the links you can probably make a good assuption about the content. Since I never promote comments which praise me, announce their worship of me, or are otherwise flattering or complimentary, then obviously someone tossed some insults and I feel like responding.
You military people are pathetic, I'm frankly sick of the manipulation and lies used to lead naive unassuming men to death.
Thank you for your opinion Rhonda. I appreciate the time you took to share with me how you feel. However I would appreciate it if you could direct your vitriol to those who you intend to insult. When you say "military people", and then specifically address the actions of recruiters, you're insulting about 1,990,000 servicemembers who have nothing to do with the recruiting process. On their behalf, leave them out of your rant. Quite honestly, to call the people who are interested in joining the Army "naive" is to assume that these people are so obtuse and ignorant as to have avoided all mention of anything which has transpired since 9-11-2001. The fact is, the young men and women who I speak with every day are, probably, the most informed generation in history. And it's also rather sexist of you to assume that only men are giving their lives in the service of their country in the War on Terror.
What a piece of shit you would brag about total deception.
Remember, the post of mine which started this was me dealing with a hypothetical interview where the applicant wouldn't commit to enlist because of the risks of going to war. I'm curious how I'm "bragging" about anything. I was sharing an interview techinique I've used to moderate success when dealing with a very, very serious issue. At a few points in the hypothetical interview I mention the dangers of war and the Army, and how enlisting is not something that any one person in particular needs to do. I actually think I'm very upfront about the situation and I'm addressing their possible concerns in a head-on manner. Rhonda, please demonstrate to me where I'm being deceptive in any way. I'm curious so I can correct it in the future.
The reality of this situation is that no matter how you twist the story once a person has signed a contract with the US military nothing is guaranteed but ONE thing and that is you will do what the military tells you to do regardless of the contract, you can be pulled at any time and deployed to IRAQ or Afghanistan.
You're right in that, by signing that contract, you're agreeing to serve as a member of the Armed Service. When you enlist you state it quite clearly in the Oath of Enlistment "I will obey the order of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulation and the Uniform Code of Military Justice." I don't see a whole lot of wiggle room there. And that's the third line of the Oath of Enlistment. I'm not seeing a whole lot of deception going on here Rhonda. People who enlist into the Army not only hear that statement, they say it back in a loud, thunderous, motivated voice.
I'm frankly sickened by the military for the sorry underhanded tactics they use to entice people to die.
I too am sickened when I see or hear about recruiters doing underhanded things. I've even written about it. As a matter of fact I'm willing to bet that I'm more sickened by lying recruiters than you are Rhonda. Unlike you, I take their actions seriously because they reflect upon everyone else who has to do the same task, and do it honest and above-the-board.

Anyways, thank you again for your time Rhonda. I appreciate your time and am glad you found something that interested you enough to comment. I hope you have a great weekend.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Projecty goodness!

As I was driving home late last night I had a thought for something which might be a fun project. This is something anyone can do, but because it's my idea I might as well start.

Let me introduce you to AR 601-210. It's the USAREC bible, including a lot of fire and brimstone. Chapter 4 in 601-210 lists all of the charges which disqualify someone for the service. For those who wish to do this yourself, here's a quick primer for what is allowable, and what is not.

Paragraph 4-8 lists minor traffic violations. These are, for practical purposes, no big deal. As long as fines, defensive driving classes, or any other restitution have been paid, traffic will not disqualify anyone, nor require a waiver.

Paragraph 4-9 lists minor non-traffic violations. Stuff like littering, public intoxication, curfew violations, etc. Per 601-210, four or more minor non traffic violations require a waiver.

Paragraph 4-10 is where things start to really matter. These are the misdemeanor charges. With a few exceptions I'll mention later, a person can have one misdemeanor and not require a waiver. Two to four misdemeanors require a waiver to enlist. Five or more and you're disqualified.

Paragraph 4-11 are serious criminal misconduct (felonies). A single one requires a waiver, and two means you're done.

A couple charges which are considered misdemeanors, but require a waiver regardless of how many other charges they may have. These are the "serious offenses": Weapon on school grounds, possession of drugs on school grounds, acts of violence against school officials, Domestic Violence against someone other than a child, parent, or signifigant other, DUI, possession of Marijuana, solicitation of prostitution, terrorist threats not covered under serious criminal misconduct.

This is AR 40-501. Standard of Medical Fitness. Chapter 2 covers the medical standards for enlistment. I'm not going to go into detail on this. To make it easy, if someone is taking any medication, they're disqualified. About the only exception for this would be birth control pills. ADD medication, inhalers, etc are a no go.

So, now that I've covered this, you might for yourself saying "Self, what is this 'project' to which SFC B is referring?"


I've decided to start keeping a running tab of celebrities who are disqualified for the military.

Don't look at me like that. Everyone needs a hobby.

I'm going to go for the low-hanging fruit first.

Lindsay Lohan. Wow. It's like a train wreck. She's barely 21 with two DUIs and a possession of cocaine. Don't forget her stint in rehab. Ineligible for enlistment because of her open charges, and barring some sort of legal miracle, she's going to be permenantly DQ'd under paragraph 4-24p which says that a serious criminal misconduct (possession of cocaine) can have no more than three other charges. She's got two DUIs, and is going to, undoubtedly find herself charges with some additional ones stemming from it (probation violation anyone?). And that's without dealing with the medical DQ of having spent time in rehab.

Stone Cold Steve Austin. He'll need a USAREC level waiver for his domestic violence conviction.

I'd planned on doing more, but The Smoking Gun is schadenfreude in browsable form and I lost track of time.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


When I'd first heard of the latest dust-up in the military blog-world I thought "Who the heck is that?". For those who don't know, Alan W. Brown, a writer for Saturday Night Live back when it wasn't funnier (it's not funny now), posted a YouTube video and a corresponding diary on Daily Kos where he decides to call everyone in uniform a sub-human animal.

There are people who are better writers who have already tackled this issue. I'm not going to cheapen their effort by diluting it with my random keystrokes, and I'm really not in the mood to pile on the ad hominems by pointing out that about as many people know who I am as who knew Alan Brown before this.

I'd just like to point out something in Mr. Brown's rant.
But to answer the question, what I mean when I say I support our troops is that I actually pay for their food, their ammo, their upkeep, transport, everything. I pay for all of it. And I do that not only because I’m a patriotic American, although I am, but also because they take 35% out of my check every week and if I don’t pay it I will end up in jail.
Yes. I pay the same taxes and they go to support a whole lot of things of which I don't approve. Right now I'm sure the IRS is working on a form which will allow tax payers to line item veto their tax expenditures. I hope that it's available soon so that I can stop my involuntary support of people who choose to be mimes.

However, my dear eight readers, remember what Mr. Brown has just said, he pays 35% of his income in taxes.
But I have paid hundreds of dollars in taxes over my lifetime, hundreds of dollars, and I don’t have so much as a single picture of an Iraqi child that I paid to have killed. It would be nice to just have something, you know, to remember them by.... a picture, a lock of hair, perhaps a necklace of ears
Italics mine.

"Hundreds of dollars in taxes over my lifetime." I don't know about you all, but so far, this year, I have paid $3353.15 in federal taxes. I'm a resident of Texas so I don't pay a state income tax. By the standards of the entire Earth I'm a very wealthy man. As a matter of fact I'll bet that many tin pot dictators and petty crime lords the world over would drop their positions of relative wealth and status to live my life of blissful middle classdom. However, by the standards of America I'm no where near wealthy, and yet I pay thousands of dollars in taxes. Heck, I'm probably at tens of thousands in taxes over my lifetime.

Now I understand why Mr. Brown is so upset. Us "morally retarded" "bunch of idiots" make signifigantly more money than he does. It's jealously, pure and simple. Even as a private I was having more than "hundreds of dollars" taken from me in taxes. Alan Brown is a juggler and a writer who was on SNL back when it was really, really sucky. He's now been reduced to raising lions somewhere in southern Texas, which apparently pays him so little that his tax burden is under $1,000.

I wonder if he's under 42. If so, I know where he can go to get a better job.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The coveted endorsement

I finally found a campaign that's so pure, so honest, so obviously unqualified that I figured it was worth endorsing it.

Right now, in almost a dozen homes across the world there are people going "Oh finally! Now I know who I need to vote for. Thank you SFC B. Thank you!"

Yes. My minions. My lackeys. My hired goons. The people you need to vote for in the coming presidential election are:

David Borge Burge and Jeff Golodstein from Iowahawk and Protien Wisdom.

After I spent seconds analyzing their positions on the issues that matter to me I determined that they were the duo I want in the Oval Office because they have witty bumper stickers.

I figure we now live in a world where the approval ratings of our legislative and executive branches together they don't top 50%. My best friend and best man is a dyed in the wool Republican with a PhD in Poli Sci, and even he is frustrated by the latest actions of the executive branch (I learned that the only place where the Vice President is mentioned in the Constitution is when describing the executive branch, so it's silly to suggest that the position belongs in the legislative branch). I figure it would be nearly impossible to elect someone to office who would be capable of causing more strain and dissatisfaction to the people of this country, so I might as well support people who might reward me with a cushy job for my early support.

So, Vote Burge in '08. It is time for our own unpredictable psychopath!

I'm curious if my endorsement will make me a right-wing lunatic who, in Kevin's view, needs to be silenced. I sure hope not. I prefer to think of myself as a social moderate/small government conservative, I don't like talk radio enough to be lumped in to the right-wing lunatic cluster.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Who's next?

So, I was sitting in the office today, doing some follow-ups while waiting for my kid on the floor to clear phys, when I started to give serious though to who I was going to enlist next. I was going through my lists when I was struck by a bolt out of left field. Or perhaps I should say I was struck by a bolt out of first base. I decided that I want to try and enlist Jeff Bagwell.

Yes. That Jeff Bagwell.

It's been a long time since I set my goals on something super awesome and yet seemingly unachievable. Having Jeff Bagwell join the Army Reserve would be super awesome, and fits the bill for seemingly unachievable.

I, honestly, don't even know if it's possible. I mean he does have a pretty well documented injury history. But medical issues are up for the docs to decide, not me. I just get the paperwork.

I do see a couple of obstacles to this. Disregarding the whole medical issue. I still have the not-insignifigant problem that I have no idea how to go about contacting Mr. Bagwell to see if he's interested in enlisting. And the slightly-less-not-insignifigant problem that he's in Houston and I'm in Phoenix. But if anyone thinks I won't travel to Houston for a contract they're wrong.

Some people might argue that Mr. Bagwell is incredibly wealthy, he did get a 7 million dollar buyout, but I'd have to counter that part of the reason Mr. Bagwell was able to accumulate his vast amount of wealth, in addition to his unnatural ability to hit a baseball an extremely long distance, is that he had the good fortune to be born in the greatest country on Earth with the best, most professional Army in history.

Far, far, far be it for me to imply that anyone has an obligation to serve in the military. And I certainly don't mean to imply that Jeff Bagwell, the best Astro ever, and my favorite baseball player, is someone who owes anything to anyone. He's a private citizen who has capitalized on his abilites and his hard work to reach a level of perfection in his chosen profession which a miniscule few can ever hope to glimpse, let alone thrive in for 15 years. But damn, it sure would be cool to have him on my APL.

So, Mr. Bagwell, how do you like the thought of wearing a uniform again? It'll still have your name on it, but instead it will be on the front rather than the back. If you're interested, shoot me an email at john-dot-bradshaw-at-us-dot-army-dot-mil.

Yes, I am deluding myself into thinking Jeff Bagwell will somehow stumble upon my blog. What's it to ya?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The desolation

I had to travel to Bullhead City again last night. Ugh. Long, long drive. I've now made that drive about 50 times (I know, I know, that should be the number of times I've been the Vegas, I'm slacking), and it just gets more soul-crushingly long each time.

I'd mentioned the town of Wikiup before. Let me restate, clearly, what I know about Wikiup, AZ. Apparently they have a rock shaped like Snoopy. And they make the worst coffee ever.


Seriously bad.

The beans they used to make this... fluid (I'm not going to call it a "drink" out of fear someone might accidently think you're supposed to drink it) were swept up from the floor of some Guatamalan insane asylum which harvests and collects retarded coffee beans. I don't know what possessed me to try the "coffee" again, but I did. I was going to dump it out but I'm pretty sure it would result in a stiff fine from the EPA if I was caught.

Obviously the locals never drink that crap, because long-term exposure would cause extra limbs to sprout, and I've never noticed any three armed freaks while I was out there.

I also wonder what possesses someone to move into a single wide trailer in the middle of no where, 40 miles from any other sign of civilization? Do the police make random sweeps by these trailers to check for technophobes mailing bombs to their enemies? Pits where the bones of stranded motorists are fed to some viscious half-breed dogs? Do the police check under the beds of these isolated souls to make sure they're not keeping a hitchhiker in a cage like from that one episode of Law and Order: SVU? Seriously. I can't think of a reason to live that far from anything which doesn't involve a making it put the lotion on its skin. Honestly, if my car broke down in this part of Arizona, I'd rather take my chances with the elements than to find myself skinned and sewn into some nutjob woman's "man suit" while she dances crazily to Right Said Fred.

I'm also mildly curious how it is that no one has ever franchised a McD's out on this drive? It's a 70 mile stretch of NOTHINGNESS between Wickenburg and I-40. Sure you could stop and grab a bite at the BBQ joint in Wikiup, but the townspeople don't seem to be able to successfully brew a cup of coffee that doesn't rot your stomach from the inside out, I'm supposed to trust them with something more complex than "add water"?

Anyways... met with the person I was supposed to and now I'm doing the work to get them into the Army. So all the tear-inducing boredom was worth it in the end.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Never going back

Well, the move is now mostly done. Luckily only one box fell during transport. Unlickily it was the box with the glasses in it. I'll have a couple pictures posted when I get the chance.

Two minor site updates. Added links to two military folks. One is a fresh-out-of-ARC recruiter and the other is a chaplain. Not much else to say at this moment. Tired, back hurts, and I need to find a coffee mug.

Friday, June 15, 2007


Just doing some more updating and cleaning.

Holly, formerly of Politics of a Patriot, informed me that some other chick has cyber-squatted her (I asked to see pictures and was very disappointed when I learned what it meant) so I took her link down. Also updated Jason's link.

For those who don't know, which would be the six readers who I'm not related to by blood or marriage, Mrs. SFC B and I are in the process of getting our very first house. I've been apartment hopping since I went AGR and, quite frankly, just sick and tired of throwing rent out the window. When we get the house all y'all are invited over. Even you Greg.

Anyways, I'd like to say I've been busy with the house preparations, but that would be a bald-faced lie. Mrs. SFC B handles all that stuff. I'm too busy with Everquest 2 work.

Sadly, the Astros seem to have had the wheels come off their season. Honestly, it's been a long time coming. They've been treading water for the past few seasons and my hopes as a fan were kept afloat by a weak division rather than the quality of the team. Hopefully a season like this one will be the trigger that allows them to start rebuilding for the post-Biggio/Bagwell era. Oswalt and Berkman are the kind of players you can build around, and Pence seems like the real deal (his horrific K/BB has to adjust though since his OBP is entirely average driven). About the best thing that can happen for the Astros would be for some of the expendable parts to catch fire just in time for trade bait and restocking the farm. Unfortunatly this will come a couple seasons too late since many teams now realize the value of those pre-arbitration players and the days of some expendable veteran fetching a future Hall of Famer are even rarer than before.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Someone know something

I was doing my semi-routine website maintenance and I noticed something weird. In a normal day I get between 90-110 visitors. In those rare times when I hit on something original I'll get ungodly high traffic, but I'm pretty consistent in the 100 neighborhood.

When I checked the counter today though I noticed that I'd received 246 hits yesterday.


When I got an uptick in traffic after my take on the recruiters in Tennessee, I found out it was because of a link from the station that aired the original story.

So, anyone able to fill me in on what may be driving this sudden uptick? The Statcounter only tracks the last 100 hits and none of them are coming from anything out of the ordinary.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Someone I had to Introduce

How could I NOT do a post about a recruiter blogger who also plays Everquest? She's brand-spanking new to the Recruiter-blog world, but not new to recruiting. The first post I read had some things that just warm the cockles of my heart.

Ah... good times... good times.


I also, FINALLY, refixed my fixing of SGT Lori's link. How come you people let me keep a busted link for so long? Seriously, I personally know five of the eight people who read this blog, none of you could have told me I still had a busted link?

Some people's kids...

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Blegging for help

Hey folks, no I'm not about to put out a tip jar or AdSense or anything. I'm actually blegging for information. Anyone out there know what the waiting period after a discharge for an erroneous enlistment is? I've looked through 601-210 and 635-200 and no answer was apparent. I suppose I could go tearing through five years of USAREC messages, but I'm not in the mood to fire up the laptop, get a secure tunnel, and go through the heartache of polluting my home network with recruiting stuff.

Saturday, June 02, 2007


Prior to last week the most depressing human situation I ever saw up-close-and-personal involved someone deep into meth addiction, and is probably dead by now. Sadly, I've had it topped.

I had gotten a lead from ADHQ who lived in the area. This young woman was married, with a child, and no GED.

Quality... I know...


The address was one of the less nice areas in my territory, but just how less nice I didn't realize until I pulled up. Two guys were sitting in the back up a pick-up truck looking... lost... with a burned out glass tube and a belt between them. Yeah... this was awesome.

I find the apartment and knock. Next to the door when I'm let in is a metal baseball bat which I'd heard put down after I identified myself. The apartment itself, while a bit run down, was well-maintained. Unfortunatly the family living in it could not say the same. The woman I was meeting with had recently turned 17, but you'd have a hard time telling so from the caked on make-up and the not-recently-brushed teeth. Her nearly two year old daughter appeared to be in decent condition and was shy, but friendly. Her husband was a different story. He appeared to be close to my age, if not slightly older.

Because she had been nice enough to invite me into her home, and demonstrated a sincere interest in the Army, I did my job. Gave my presentation, administered the EST (she failed, but not by much), and figured I'd seek a commitment. Regardless of her response I knew it was going to be a long shot since she'd still have to pass the GED (far from a given with her EST and education background). She said she was interested.... but...

Always the but.

But, she'd found out she was pregnant.

I thanked her for her time, congratulated her, and left, grateful my car was there intact.

I found myself sitting at a light not far from the apartment complex just stunned.

I'm an UNGODLY lucky person. I know this. I thank whatever grace there is in the world for the fortunes with which I've been blessed. I might get onto my little blog and wail and moan about how hard my life is because I'm a suck-ass recruiter. But in reality, at the end of the day, I'm an incredibly lucky man.

Thinking back on the day in that apartment I can't help but wonder what happened. Where did life go off the rails for that young woman. I'm sure she loves her daughter with all her heart, but there is a very hard road ahead for the both of them. 17 with two children might have been the norm back when a plethora of children was needed to survive the terrifyingly high mortality rate of the pre-modern world. But in the United States, in the year 2007, this is not a good thing.

The greatest bit of good fortune I've ever had was being born into a good family. Everything else I've ever enjoyed is directly or indirectly due to the fortune of the circumstances of my birth. Parents who cared about my well-being and success. Parents who cared that I went to school and wanted me to do things like homework (over my vocal and frequent protests). I grew up in that situation and my peers were others like me. I, honestly, thought it was the norm for everyone up until I reached Basic Training. But now that I'm going into the homes of people who don't care, or even worse, have given up, it's more apparent than ever that I'm a simply blessed and lucky man.

Monday, May 14, 2007


Among my handful of readers there are a couple members of the battalion staff as well as my chain of command to the battalion level. That makes it a bit difficult to always be as open as I'd like. Taking out my frustrations on the ones and zeros isn't always feasible because, well, few things can make a bad mood worse than a phone call from someone in your rating chain asking why you're in a bad mood.

It doesn't take a genius though to figure out what brings out a foul mood in a recruiter. It's the (quasi) end of the month and, well, I'm on a nut. Again. I'm at a net zero for the past three months. Not a fun place to be. I'm working on my third year out here. I should be cruising, but I'm not. Peaks and valleys... peaks and valleys... and I'm in the Grand Canyon.

Today was not a fun day. Not at all.

As I was riding home from work a white Tahoe with huge tires flew out of a side street. It barely stopped before it became a wall into which my motorcycle would thrown me. As I passed it I thought for a second "Man, I wish that the hood had just jutted out enough that I could have nailed it." I've gone over the hood of a car before. It hurts but as long as there is nothing in front of you when you land, you'll be able to walk away with a few broken bones. Nothing terrible. Had that horrible thing happened, I'd have probably been jacked up enough to get a day or two in the hospital, maybe some surgery to fix a bone or something. In short, I'd have gotten some time away from recruiting. No, I'm not thinking of killing myself (no, you can't have my stereo), and I pushed that thought out of my mind as soon as I realized I'd thought it, but it was there for the fleetingest of moments.

Some people like hearing about what happens during a recruiter's day (you sickos). In this recruiter's day I thought about how nice a period of convalescent leave would be. I assure you I'm not the only recruiter to come away from a potentially harmful situation thinking "Man, I wish that did happen, it would have gotten me a week off". Of course, with my luck, I'd have to do P1 from my hospital bed and I'd better come up with an AMEDD referral while I'm there.

Don't worry folks. I'm simply blathering. I owe too much on my motorcycle to think about putting it on the ground or around a tree.

Of course today was made all the worse by SGT Guardsman letting me know he's done with recruiting and going back to the non-recruiting world. This is my Two Minute Hate for Guardsman.



Anyways. Dropped off my applicant this morning. Went to a school visit. Got a call at noon saying my applicant was done. Apparently, when filing out the 2807-2 the question "Have you ever had a..." is asked differently on the 2807-1. So, of course, when the applicant filled out this particular question with me on the Dash 2, it's answered "No". But when they went downtown something about how it was asked made them rethink the issue and pop to having to need a biopsy done.

Needless to say the results of the biopsy were clear, no cancer, but now I need to have three clear biopsies for the applicant. That should take about... oh... three months to get done.


It is a situation like this which makes me feel bad about my condemnation of those from Tennessee.

If my applicant had revealed this issue to me before hand, I'd have found myself in something of a dilama. The applicant does not have cancer. The biopsy report I read said they're clear, and the report from the doctor implies that there is little threat of it actually becoming cancerous because of a lack of family history or whatever. Basically, it was "one of those things". Had this applicant revealed this to me, and now that I know what will be required to enlist this person, the temptation to tell them to just shut-up about it would have been great. I like to think I'm NCO enough to have done the right thing, but sitting on a nut, with no time left in the month, I'm not so sure.

This is an applicant who went from a slam-bam GA to a minimum three month delay, all on the basis of over thinking a question. And people wonder why recruiters will sometimes tell a kid to shut-up. It doesn't excuse it, but I can empathize.

When I got home from the office tonight I went out for a run, and as I ran I had all sorts of weird thoughts about stuff to write about. Nothing which was really solid enough to survive me getting a drink of water when I was done. Unfortunatly for you dear reader, I remember enough of them to do a free-flowing, what-the-hell type post where I cover a bunch of thoughts in the hope that quantity will have a quality.

I've been thinking about what the possible future of the Army and its recruiting could be. Because Lord knows the person who should be thinking about the future of Army Recruiting is the detailed recruiter who will be getting a counseling statement saying that he's going to receive an other than honorable discharge because he's an unmotivated recruiter who has failed in the most basic of recruiting tasks and is a disgrace to everything carbon-based (I exaggerate [a little]).

Currently there are two direct financial incentives available for people to recruit. The referral bonus and the Recruiter Incentive Pay. There is also the Special Duty Assignment Pay which is paid to recruiting personnel to, supposedly, compensate for the additional stresses and expenses a recruiter will incur during the month (however if you talk to career recruiter types they seem to think that the SDAP is a bonus you get for recruiting people as well).

As a taxpayer I find myself very unhappy with seeing my tax dollars go towards the Referral Bonus and RIP. I hate to be the dick who complains about this, but I'm honestly curious what the benefit is here. $2,000 referral bonuses and the potential for RIP payments of several thousand dollars to individual recruiters makes me curious about the return on investment for these programs. I have no idea how many people have been enlisted as a result of the Referral Bonus program. But I find myself curious how many of those people joined as a direct result of the referral. I understand the motivation behind the referral bonus, by giving Soldiers a cash incentive to talk with their friends (they don't get paid for family) that's another influencer urging this person to enlist. I suppose that they have a greater incentive to ship and complete training. But let's be open here, how many of those people referred would have joined anyways?

I've said it before, people don't decide to join the Army because of the actions of a recruiter. If that was the case no one would ever join roll a nut. A person has to want to join the Army. I don't have mind control powers. I'm not willing to lie and tell someone they can get any job they want, or they will never be deployed, or any of the others things people may or may not say to overcome objections. I stand by my opinion that if I have to browbeat someone into wanting to enlist, then they're someone who doesn't want it enough. It's like dragging a horse to water, or some other analogy.

So, how many of the people who the Army paid $2,000 to recruit, did we not actually have to spend that money on? How many were going to enlist anyway, and someone just happened to find them before the recruiter did? I don't know if there is a way to answer that question, or if it's even been asked.

I bring up that point to bring up another.

When I received my previous counseling it was suggested to me that, should USAREC fail to meet mission, then the Army was going to be broken and all sorts of bad things would happen. I didn't necessarily disagree with that statement, but I pointed out that the government has a way to remedy any critical shortfall in recruiting numbers. Have I gone all Charlie Rangel and suggested that we should grab em off the street? No. However to suggest that a signifigant shortfall in recruiting isn't something that couldn't be fixed some other way was inaccurate. The response to my response was less than warm though. But it is something to which I've given some thought.

Obviously we prefer a volunteer force, and I don't like the thought of undoing the success that the Army has built on the eagerness of motivated citizens. However I'm always interested in ways to save me money.

I'd be curious about the feasibility of reducing, or even eliminating, USAREC all together and simply putting the burden on recruiting onto the Army as a whole. Would it really be impossible to shift from requiring every recruiter to put in two per month to requiring every Soldier to put in one a year?

Slog through this with me, I thought of this while running so my brain was starved for blood.

There are about 500,000 Soldiers in the active Army. Assume half of that are not in the US, we've got 250,000. Even with a success rate of less than half, you could get the 100,000 the Army would need this year through recruiting. The specific mechanics of how this would work would need some serious thought, which I haven't done, but I think there's potential there. And as a taxpayer removing the need for a referral bonus (it's now a requirement), RIP (no recruiters to give the incentive to), and SDAP (again, no recruiters) would allow that money to possibly be better spent. Plus, with every Soldier being a recruiter, there's no need for the expensive office space (those prime location mall offices aren't cheap) and a fleet of several thousand late model cars (don't get me started on the $60,000 H3s).

Maybe this idea sounds nutsor far out, but I think it, or something like it, is coming.

Every conference I've attended has featured some USAREC/USAAC guy giving a speech about the future of recruiting. How the applicant will do more and more of the porcess for themselves. That, eventually, they'll complete their packet online, reserve their own job, schedule their own processing, and it will all be done without recruiters. The career recruiters in these briefings tend to scoff, or at least comment how recruiters will never not be needed, but I'm sure that a lot of what said had been said before back when Cavalry officers were first briefed about the coming automobile and saw their first tanks.

Of course I'm probably wrong.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Case in Point

This morning I checked my Gmail account and saw that someone had sent me a link to a story out of Tennessee where some recruiters were caught on tape saying stupid things.

The usual caveats apply. These were appointments conducted and there was a lot more said during the coversations that just the snippets we see excerpted for shock value. However the simple fact is that, as a recruiter, you shouldn't be saying the things these recruiters were saying. As soon as I saw the title of the story on the TV station's web page I knew that Rules #2 and #6 had been broken.

In my original "Advice" column I suggested that the recruiter with the "Wango Tango" email should have just shut-up at "You're unqualified." This should apply equally to someone DQ'd for med. The kid tells you "You know, I'm currently on Zoloft," the chances of something going horribly wrong for you have increased greatly. If an otherwise fully qualified applicant walks in to the station and coughs up a medical issue, and it's an issue that is going to keep them disqualified, suck it up and not process the kid. He's not going to be qualified. If he's taking the meds it's for a reason. That seemingly well adjusted kid you're talking to is "well-adjusted" because of the medication. When you remove that, who knows what's going to happen.

Here are the possible scenarios for you when Mr. Zoloft walks in:

1. You tell him he's DQ'd until he's got a doctor's note saying he's been off the drugs for a year, and it's still going to be a med waiver. Most likely outcome of this: You never see the kid again. How this affects you, the recruiter: It's an appointment made and conducted and that has value.

2. You tell him to shut-up about it. Most likely outcome of this: He coughs to the meds on the floor. How this affects you, the recruiter: You're now under scrutinity. If this is a first offense it will likely just be a "bad boy, pre-qual better" thing. If you've done this before, it's possibly going to get you investigated. This is not fun. Or, as you can see in this example, the "kid" (he was a 30 year old) did shut-up about it, enlisted, and blew his head off. Those sorts of things tend to cause ESD too look into your activities. This is not fun. Even assuming you manage to get the kid through MEPS, and into Basic, and he graduates, do you really want to have been responsible for putting a new Soldier in who can only maintain an even keel through the secret use of medication?

Believe me I know the temptation of a quick contract. While I'm still a pup in the recruiting world, I'm not a new jack. I've put a couple people in. I've had good months. I've had bad months. I've had "Yes First Sergeant. You're right First Sergeant. I'm a terrible recruiter and a failure as a human being" months. I know how tempting it is to just tell the kid to "shut-up".

Unfortunatly we don't recruit in the world in which many of our instructors at ARC recruited. Too many agencies release law violations to the FBI, and the checks come back in under three days. The docs are too good at getting people to reveal their medical past because the docs know that no one in this modern world goes through life with straight "no" on their 2807. Too many parents are willing to have their kids medicated. The use of inhalers to help with childhood congestion is greater than before. And to top it all off between minicameras, cell phones, and a 24 hours news cycle that devours controversy, we in the recruiting world are lined up behind the 8, 9, and 10 balls. Oh, and don't forget that ARISS retains a record of every change you make to a record when you replicate.

Recruiting is a hard enough slog as it is. We're recruiting in a strong economy, during a period of extended combat, in an enviroment where, depending on how the polling question is asked, a majority of the country doesn't support the war being fought. And we're supposed to recruit kids who watch Green Day on MTV singing about American Idiots, see a daily update on the number of people killed in Iraq or Afghanistan, and then go to bed with Jon Stewart sardonically questioning that whole "terrorists want to kill us" thing.

If we're lucky we only have to recruit for three years and then return to the Army with our rank equal to or greater than we started, our blood pressure slightly elevated, a new appreciation for CTT, and our integrity not in tatters (it is going to be a little frayed. As was explained to me in Recruiting School "you can live in the gray, just never go into the black"). Self-inflicted gun shot wounds like "No, you don't have to list that," is just adding to your misery. Which dovetails nicely into my next piece of advice.

Let me paint a word picture for you.

You're a recruiter.

Stop screaming in terror you wuss.

You're a recruiter. You're in the office calling off a list and Johnny Bigsmile walks in. You get your hooks into him before anyone else in the officer realizes a walk-in just happened. He's sitting at your desk and you go through the motions. He takes the EST and comes up with a 78. He's got no law, no med, and you start in on the features and benefits. His eyes light up when you mention the awe-inspiring power of the Abrams. He wants to join and become a 19K. At this point the conversation gets serious. You break out your planning guide and look at the calendar. The kid can't get off until Friday and Saturday, this is perfect. It gives you time to prepare the packet, get him projected, and it's a Saturday processing. You can have a GA in three days. The Station Commander will get off your back. You might get RIP. Sweet!

You're asking him questions are you input his data into ARISS. While you're working he's got a 2807 (the medial pre-screen). You notice him hesitating.

Uh oh.

"So, Johnny, what's up?" you ask him.

"Well, this question here. It asks if I've ever seen a psychologist."

Double uh oh.

At this point you probe. Turns out Johnny is currently on meds for some condition. He says it's "nothing serious", but you're not so sure.

"Johnny, that form says you need to put everything there, and if you put anything down on that form it's possible it will keep you from enlisting," you tell him.

**Although I'm sure some will read that and be like "OMG! SFC B IS TELLING HIM TO LIE!", I'm not. Listen, we get people who think that every cough is an indicator of pnenomia and every sneeze indicates that they're allergic to air. Before some applicant gets himself DQ'd because he once got a bad headache 10 years ago and has never had anything like that again, I want to make sure they understand what they're putting down on that form. I care too much about my wife and my rank to put either at risk for something I can get waived.**

"So, you're telling me to lie about this medication?" is what Johnny asks you.

At this point in time you need to, clearly, very clearly, state that he is disqualified from the service/will require documentation from his doctor/ need a med waiver.

Think about this for a second. This walk-in, who you've never met before in your life, has just presented you with a career-altering choice. I don't care how hot to join this kid is. I don't care how deep on a nut I am. I don't care about any of that. In this day and age, with multiple "exclusives" across the country featuring grainy video of recruiters saying stupid things, if it's too good to be true, it is.

I am yet to see one of these "hidden camera" things which didn't feature a statement like "So you're telling me to..." followed by something incriminating. That's their "line". It's a HUGE warning to you, and you ignore it at your peril. Think about it this way: whatever you say in response to that question is what will be the teaser trailer on the evening news. This isn't a gray area. Assume that person is recording you. Whether it's press, some punk kid, or an investigator from the recruiting command. It's a trap and if you say anything other than "Sorry, you're DQ'd," then you're going to be hearing about it. And even if it's NOT a trap, you're still not going to set yourself up for later ruin when the punk opens his mouth to doc and happily writes a statement for the XO.

I'm here for you.

How much not fun would it be to get a phone call like this "The Battalion Commander was just interviewed by CBS. They have you on video saying something stupid."? Can you imagine how much it must suck to be the recruiter on tape saying "We had someone sneak their drugs into Basic."? That's not a receipe for a happy evening. I can't even think of a way to spin that so it doesn't sound horrible. At that point your best option is to probably hope for an Article 15.

I'd love to be able to pick apart the story from WTVF. But whatever hyperbole they have in highlighting the "SEVERE PENALITIES" from the 2807 is far outdone by the fact that there is practically no way that "Me and you are the only ones who know it... almost like, don't ask, don't tell. You don't tell," isn't exactly what it sounds like.

Rereading this I can't help but feel like I'm being too harsh. Who am I to judge? I'm a lowly field recruiter half a country away. I don't have authority over my own desk, so who am I to say that what is in front of my eyes is wrong? I haven't seen anything more than you have. I've seen the same videos, read the same reporting, and my hip-pocket judgement is that those guys were in the wrong. Barring a Borat-like "NOT" being edited out of the video, there really isn't a different take though.

While those highlighted by a local news team's investigative team face a likely unhappy future, the rest of us can learn from their mistake. Take note of the phrase "So you're telling me I don't need to...". Your walk-in or call-in says that, stop. Stop right there. I'm super serial guys. Stop. Much like the poor Wango-Tango dance recruiter, you're about to do or say something stupid and/or incriminating. Choose your next words very carefully. If a grainy video is going to be shown to your Battalion Commander, wouldn't you prefer it to be the B-Roll stuff of you saying "Sorry man, I'm not telling you that. I'm telling you you're disqualified. Thank you for your interest. I hope you have a great Army day. And do you know anyone else who might be interested?"

It's your choice.