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  • A reason for military misconduct?

    An interesting article from Asia Times.com which talks about recruiting tactics currently in the US. One which troubles me is below.

    10. Armed and considered dangerous
    In 2004, the Pentagon instituted a "Moral Waiver Study" whose seemingly benign goal was "to better define relationships between pre-service behaviors and subsequent service success". That turned out to mean opening the recruitment doors to potential enlistees with criminal records.

    In February, the Baltimore Sun wrote that there was "a significant increase in the number of recruits with what the army terms 'serious criminal misconduct' in their background" - a category that included "aggravated assault, robbery, vehicular manslaughter, receiving stolen property and making terrorist threats". From 2004 to 2005, the number of those recruits had spiked by more than 54%, while alcohol and illegal-drug waivers, reversing a four-year downward trend, increased by more than 13%.

    In June, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that under pressure to fill the ranks, the US Army had been allowing in increasing numbers of "recruits convicted of misdemeanor crimes, according to experts and military records". In fact, as the military's own data indicated, "The percentage of recruits entering the army with waivers for misdemeanors and medical problems has more than doubled since 2001."

    One beneficiary of the army's new moral-waiver policies gained a certain prominence this summer. After Steven D Green, who served in the army's 101st Airborne Division, was charged in a rape and quadruple murder in Mahmudiyah, Iraq, it was disclosed that he had been "a high-school dropout from a broken home who enlisted to get some direction in his life, yet was sent home early because of an 'antisocial personality disorder'".

    Recently, Eli Flyer, a former Pentagon senior military analyst and specialist on "the relationship between military recruiting and military misconduct", told Harper's magazine that Green had actually "enlisted with a moral waiver for at least two drug- or alcohol-related offenses. He committed a third alcohol-related offense just before enlistment, which led to jail time, though this offense may not have been known to the army when he enlisted."

    With Green in jail awaiting trial, the Houston Chronicle reported last month that army recruiters were trolling around the outskirts of a Dallas-area job fair for ex-convicts. "We're looking for high-school graduates with no more than one felony on their record," one recruiter said.

    The army has even looked behind prison bars for fill-in recruits - in one reported case, a "youth prison" in Ogden, Utah. Although Steven Price had asked to see a recruiter while still incarcerated and was "barely 17 when he enlisted last January", his divorced parents say "recruiters used false promises and forged documents to enlist him". While confusion exists about whether the boy's mother actually signed a parental consent form allowing her son to enlist, his "father apparently wasn't even at the signing, but his name is on the form too".
    Is there a link between recruiting people with a 'troubled' past and current military misconduct? It used to be that as a professional army we mostly had people who wanted to serve, now with all the incentives to get in, we are getting those who are looking for money. Is this new tactic causing problems? I don't have a lot of issues with former criminals getting into the military, because it is a good way for them to straighten their lives out, but I do think that ones with violent crimes in their past should not be handed a gun and put into positions where their violent tendancies can cause problems for the military.

    If you read the rest of the article it talks of other lowered standars for recruitment. Do we really want the lower portion of our population (and I'm not talking about the poor here) to be sent overseas and effectively represent us?

    Just some concerns I have.

    By the by... the Asia Times (www.atimes.com) is a really good online newspaper. It actually writes articles above a grade 4 level, unlike most US newspapers. Well worth a read.

    Qikdraw

  • #2
    An interesting article from Asia Times.com which talks about recruiting tactics currently in the US. One which troubles me is below.

    quote:
    10. Armed and considered dangerous
    In 2004, the Pentagon instituted a "Moral Waiver Study" whose seemingly benign goal was "to better define relationships between pre-service behaviors and subsequent service success". That turned out to mean opening the recruitment doors to potential enlistees with criminal records.

    In February, the Baltimore Sun wrote that there was "a significant increase in the number of recruits with what the army terms 'serious criminal misconduct' in their background" - a category that included "aggravated assault, robbery, vehicular manslaughter, receiving stolen property and making terrorist threats". From 2004 to 2005, the number of those recruits had spiked by more than 54%, while alcohol and illegal-drug waivers, reversing a four-year downward trend, increased by more than 13%.

    In June, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that under pressure to fill the ranks, the US Army had been allowing in increasing numbers of "recruits convicted of misdemeanor crimes, according to experts and military records". In fact, as the military's own data indicated, "The percentage of recruits entering the army with waivers for misdemeanors and medical problems has more than doubled since 2001."

    One beneficiary of the army's new moral-waiver policies gained a certain prominence this summer. After Steven D Green, who served in the army's 101st Airborne Division, was charged in a rape and quadruple murder in Mahmudiyah, Iraq, it was disclosed that he had been "a high-school dropout from a broken home who enlisted to get some direction in his life, yet was sent home early because of an 'antisocial personality disorder'".

    Recently, Eli Flyer, a former Pentagon senior military analyst and specialist on "the relationship between military recruiting and military misconduct", told Harper's magazine that Green had actually "enlisted with a moral waiver for at least two drug- or alcohol-related offenses. He committed a third alcohol-related offense just before enlistment, which led to jail time, though this offense may not have been known to the army when he enlisted."

    With Green in jail awaiting trial, the Houston Chronicle reported last month that army recruiters were trolling around the outskirts of a Dallas-area job fair for ex-convicts. "We're looking for high-school graduates with no more than one felony on their record," one recruiter said.

    The army has even looked behind prison bars for fill-in recruits - in one reported case, a "youth prison" in Ogden, Utah. Although Steven Price had asked to see a recruiter while still incarcerated and was "barely 17 when he enlisted last January", his divorced parents say "recruiters used false promises and forged documents to enlist him". While confusion exists about whether the boy's mother actually signed a parental consent form allowing her son to enlist, his "father apparently wasn't even at the signing, but his name is on the form too".
    Is there a link between recruiting people with a 'troubled' past and current military misconduct? It used to be that as a professional army we mostly had people who wanted to serve, now with all the incentives to get in, we are getting those who are looking for money. Is this new tactic causing problems? I don't have a lot of issues with former criminals getting into the military, because it is a good way for them to straighten their lives out, but I do think that ones with violent crimes in their past should not be handed a gun and put into positions where their violent tendancies can cause problems for the military.

    If you read the rest of the article it talks of other lowered standars for recruitment. Do we really want the lower portion of our population (and I'm not talking about the poor here) to be sent overseas and effectively represent us?

    Just some concerns I have.

    By the by... the Asia Times (www.atimes.com) is a really good online newspaper. It actually writes articles above a grade 4 level, unlike most US newspapers. Well worth a read.

    Qikdraw

    Comment


    • #3
      You mean to say US newspapers actually write articles as advanced as fourth grade level?????

      As to the current misconduct ... what do expect, when criminals are in charge ... you get crime!

      Comment


      • #4
        When I was working on my bachelor's in journalism we were taught to write with a fog index of the eighth grade.

        That is the still pretty much the standard for dailies, magazines and most novels. More intellecctual tomes will aim a bit higher, but, the norm for "popular" writings is a fog index at the eighth grade level.

        Here's a fairly good article on the subject:

        http://www.sharedlearning.org.uk/fog_index.htm

        Comment

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