Eclectic Muddlehood

How's this for a perplexing beginning? I am a great many things, but none of them are me. At least not in my entirety. This is the little corner where I attempt to make the whole greater than the sum of its parts as I muddle through being a wife, a mother and a woman... among other things.

Location: Virginia, United States

Here, in no particular order, is a short list of my parts from the mundane to the pretentious, some or all of which may surface in future attempts to work on the whole: wife, mother, doula, childbirth educator, writer, yoga student, homeschooler, amature organic gardner, kitchen witch, all-around foodie, spiritual truth-seeker, daughter, clutter-bug, complusive list maker, bibliophile, homemaker, friend, homebirth/natural birth advocate, impulse shopper, wine snob, knitter, artist, lover, sensuist, and email junkie (There may be more later, but that's it for now.)

Saturday, November 04, 2006

My Recruiter Lied to Me

I just had to laugh at the shocking expose story on the evening news last night. In truth I nearly choked on my green papaya salad as the reporter woefully relayed the results of an undercover investigation into the dubious practices of Army recruiters as if this was something new. There is a reason that there is a cadence we use to sing on early morning physical training runs that begins jauntily with "My recruiter lied to me..." Recruiters have been bending reality to suck in young, under-educated kids for ages. I heard story after story from my troops as to how they ended up driving trucks in central Texas when they were promised other things like a few years of a cushy desk job and no chance of deployment in exchange for all the college tuition money they could possible imagine. I thought then and still do now that the Army is taking the wrong approach to recruiting. Instead of lying, cheating and begging poor kids in one-horse towns, saying "Oh please wont you join up, look what we'll give you!" they should be taking the approach that has proved so successful for the Marine Corps over the years, saying "You really think you're good enough to join us? Prove it!" The most frustrating part of the news story for me however, was not the manipulations of truths emanating from the recruiters themselves, but their commanding officer hanging them out to dry on national television. Back in my father's day, a commanding officer to responsibility for everything his command did or failed to do. End of story. And here was this officer acting appalled at his own recruiters' behavior assuring the reporter this must be the exception and not the rule among his soldiers. Amazing that the three recruiters the reporter sent his undercover students into just happened to be the three liars in this officer's outfit. Why do these recruiters manipulate the truth so adamantly and effectively? Because they are trained to do so by their superiors and then pressured intensely to make recruiting goals no matter what, no excuses. They will continue to do so as long as their command climate remains the same. I doubt this news story will have much effect of the Army's recruiting practices, but I can hope it will help potential recruits be a little bit smart when wheeling and dealing with their futures.


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