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We're 3+ years into Iraq; most of the privates, specialists, and lieutenants (and equivalent ranks in other branches) joined post-invasion. Many current E5's and O3's joined post-9/11. And retention - those signing on for additional tours - is high. In fact, there are damn few enlisted troops serving in any branch of the military now that didn't either enlist or re-enlist post 9/11.
Of course, these annoying facts won't stop some folks from insisting morale is low, the Army is broken, etc etc etc...
2 April Update: Some folks read an awful lot into that brief post above:
Officers such as Greyhawk are dangerous. They are dangerous because they are cunning in their deceit and they hold high rank in our military. More reason why we need to CRUSH the American Military. At least at the leadership levels, it is an absolute mess and it is starting to become dangerous to our way of life. I am not sure if I am more afraid of Osama or our officer corps in the Army.Obviously this post has ruffled some feathers. I thought my point was fairly simple - most low ranking military members currently serving joined after the invasion of Iraq, virtually all people serving at this time have either enlisted or re-enlisted in a military at war. One obvious conclusion from this that I didn't put in writing is that this eliminates the "anti-war" crowd's treasured canard that the troops are victims who thought they were signing up for a college financial aid program and were shocked to be handed a weapon and taught how to shoot.
The death of this claim necessitates a new attack - a predictable evolution of the old. To put it in simplest and honest terms it goes like this: the folks that are joining now are lowlifes unfit for military service. For the record, I disagree with that. In fact, I admire those who are joining today when the sound of the guns is hard to ignore. And I find it hard to disparage them for whatever pay, bonuses, or benefits they may accrue. Such perks will never be adequate compensation for their efforts. I actually work with these young people - and in increasing cases actually know their parents. And I know exactly when I'm scheduled to accompany many of them back to Iraq.
From what I gather, my failure to point out that the low-ranking people in the Army today are unworthy dirtbags makes me a dangerous liar in the minds of those who hold that point of view, and this is proof that the leadership above those dirtbags are an "absolute mess" and "dangerous to our way of life". So be it, nothing I write here will convince anyone that far gone that they should reconsider their position. They have their opinions, I have mine.
Beyond opinions, they support their "unfit for service" argument with the claim of "falling standards for recruitment" - I've addressed those issues frequently, most recently here and in comments here. Those posts include links to previous entries on the same subject.
Several of last year's posts on recruitng (along with other topics) are compiled here.
You neglect to add a few pesky facts:
1. The Army has taken "double digits" of Category IV enlistees over the past five months.
2. In order to make mission, the available pool of potential enlistees had to be greatly expanded, e.g. taking enlistees up to 39, felony waivers etc.
3. The junior officer attrition in the Army is at 2000 and 2001 levels - WITH stop loss/stop move! Given the fact that over 40% of RA LTs/CPTs are barred from resigning at any given point because of stop loss, those numbers should be sobering.
4. Only 2 of the USAR Regional Readiness Commands (RRCs), the 77th and 65th, finished FY05 with more gains than losses. Some of the most severe gain to loss stats have happened in former hotbeads of volunteers like the 81st RRC.
5. Are you aware the USAR, authorized 205,000 bodies from O-9 to E-1 is currently short 10,554 LTs and CPTs?
6. Active Duty Army OCS has had a 100% selection rate since November of 2004.
7. The Active Army forecasts being 3,500 officers short in FY07.
8. The USAR and ARNG are both seeing unprecedented retirements of senior NCOs. We are losing our most seasoned vets while attrcating an inferior cohort of new enlistee.
These are but a few facts that you should be aware of. You are a propagandist that repeatedly refuses to see the true state of our personnel readiness for what it is - precarious. The fact is that our military is entirely too small. We are barely able to "make existing mission" with lowered standards and are incapable of expanding the force. The USAR and ARNG have been mostly "blown through" and the remaining nondeployed forces are individuals - not units. They are human spackle to fill gaping force structure holes.
As an officer, why do you lie to the American people?Posted by IRR Soldier... at April 1, 2006 11:49 PM
It is amazing the lies that are sent out on this board. I used to think that it truly was an issue of not understanding the facts in total. But, I have commented and IRR has taught Mudville the mistakes of the statistics he is quoting and yet, Mudville continues to quote them. Further, he NEVER addresses the key facts brought up by IRR and brought up by me on previous situations.
Mudville is a liar and a manipulator. Plain and simplePosted by Kevin at April 2, 2006 02:49 AM
"The fact is that our military is entirely too small. We are barely able to "make existing mission" with lowered standards and are incapable of expanding the force."
Why, would you suppose, that is?Posted by pofarmer at April 2, 2006 05:01 AM
In the late 70's, judges regularly sentenced felons to military service as an alternative to jail, and the Army happily accepted them.
By law, reserve units that have been deployed, are not redeployable for another 5 years. Anyone who is within 5 years of retirement, is a "lame duck" anyway.
The "recruiting pool" has been shrinking since 1968. Clinton didn't cut the size of the Army to save money, be cut it because the demographics no longer supported it.
Ask Putin how great his Army is going, he can't fill his ranks with conscripts, never mind volunteer's. He's got a median age of 38, we have a median age of 36.
The reality is that Clinton avoided the demographic crunch by reducing the size of the Army. All this nonsense about having an even larger Army, ignores demographics. The bubble that Clinton created by reducing the size of the Army has now been exhausted.
Lower standards or reduce the size of the Army.
Anyone who is saying something else, hasn't done the math.
IRR Soldier and Kevin, both stridently on the other side of just about any issue with Greyhawk, can no doubt selectively quote any number of individual data points and cry, "the sky is falling!"
They wanted to serve, but with caveats and conditions. Only if, I didn't think that meant, why do they come after me, this was the only way I could pay for college, I didn't volunteer for perpetual indenture...
The facts are, that if the situation was as bleak as either of these carpers maintain, there would be open mutiny, mass desertions, and untis would be unable to operate.
Meanwhile, those of us in the Guard and Reserves continue to see large numbers of our troops reup and reenlist, knowing what the added years of service almost certainyl bring in deployments overseas.
Yes, some of us older NCOs are punching our clocks. After more than 20 years in, and with regular civilian careers, our families, doing another 3 or 6 years with a likely deployment is a lot to ask. So many opt out.
Greyhawk's point of view matches that of commanders throughout the military, and the majority of soldiers.
He does not create that sentiment; he is popular with military because we recognize the truth and reality behind what he says.
Gentlemen, you served, perhaps reluctantly, perhaps defiantly, and maybe you felt it was more than should have been asked of you.
We still appreciate and honor your service. Why can't you honor ours? Perhaps if you find new interests or areas of life tp explore, you won't need to spend so much time looking on from the sidelines, and bitching out those still on the field.Posted by dadmanly at April 2, 2006 12:11 PM
Ahh ... now we hear from the blogosphere's twin Charile Rangel's, Kevin and IRR.
Just as Charlie "supports" the draft in the name of stopping a war he considers unjustified (facts and logic be damned), Kevin and IRR place every recruiting statistic in the worst possible light, in order to discredit the war and (more importantly in their eyes?) the Administration.
Not to support the troops. Ask all those re-enlisting what they think of this garbage. That statistic alone should make people question their assertions. A look at Kevin's website should make them question those assertions even more.
They accuse Greyhawk of lying, because they can twist jots and tittles around recruiting to "support" their cause ... but expect us to ignore their distortions, not to mention the biggest lies -- that this Administration is incompetent and/or evil, and this war was unjustified.
We've been onto you both for a while, guys. People who take your position are (nearly always) the same ones who lied to us for 40 years ... those that said that if we just don't directly confront anyone with force, peace will reign -- and, even if it is obvious that a thug regime will attack others, it is no threat to America ...
... until it proves it is, by piling up American bodies in American streets.
Here's a little more of what I think about Kevin and IRR.
If our military is entirely too small why then is there a systematic attempt to prevent recruitment officers on campuses? Why is the Collective Ivory Tower so fearful of educating civilians about the benefits gained by serving in the military? Further why am I hearing, on the one side, that eighteen yr old men are really just children incapable of making the decision to join the miltary while on the other I hear the argument that thirteen yr old girls are emotionally stable enough to have an abortion without their parents knowledge?
Certainly does not make sense that the very establishments (like Hollywood and the Ivory Tower) who enjoy the fruits of the soldier's labor has the audacity to characterize the soldiers as a robotic baby-killers. From my perspective, Oliver Stone and Ward Churchhill are the lying propagandists.
Most pathetic aspect is that young people are encouraged to waste their lives pursuing BS 'careers' as musicians, writers, actors, directors and all the other junk they believe will make them 'stars'.
It is the poet who is the unacknowledged legislator or rather, the unacknowledged manipulator of the masses and acknowedging this influence would help to explain to demographic change experienced these past thirty years.Posted by syn at April 2, 2006 12:24 PM
All these posts do is reiterate what IRR and I have said. NO ONE has yet disputed, with facts, the idea that the Army has had to reduce standards to meet these numbers. Further, if the recruiting / enlistment is so good then lets take off ALL Stop Loss and stop the recall of IRR soldiers and lets see where we stand.
The idea that the soldiers love what they are doing may be true (although you tend to hang out with those that hold your opinion and the chances of a private telling a LTC that he thinks the war sucks are slim) but the empirical evidence does not support the posting of Greyhawk. The Army is now recalling 100's of IRR soldiers in YG 1998 who have less than 4 months left on their MSO. Why would they do that if the recruiting is so good and retention is so good? Don't tell me they are key specialties... most are infantry officers that the Army is calling back to RECLASS into Civil Affairs so for all intents and purposes, they are conscripts.
If the Army recruiting is going so well, why is their stop loss?Posted by Kevin at April 2, 2006 01:05 PM
Hey, Kevin - Standards?
Which ones? The ones used in the 70s when they were needed to fill nearly a million man force structure, or the standards instituted in the late 80s when the Army was told to stand down by steps to 750K and finally sub-500k. The Army ratched up its standards because it could afford to. When you operate with an up or out policy for decades and fully qualified E5 and above are kicked out annually because there's no open slots to be promoted into, you can jack up standards that are unrealistic in anything but a garrison army. Loyalty to the senior enlisted ranks meant dumping a lot of middle grades. Which in turn meant recruiting far more selectly from the population. One way bureaucracies handle that is to institute higher standards. I suspect that if you check 'standards' compared to say 1980, when we were indeed much larger in force structure, your posturing will start to erode. Now let's see you dance.
Having been in the environment of the immediate post-Vietnam era Army, the real indicators of trouble are high AWOL rates, high Art. 15 rates, high desertion rates, high levels of substance abuse, low reup rates, and social dynamic conflicts, like race riots. Been there, seen it. So where are these treads boys. Show me.
Stop loss - because its not the skill specific, its the skill with experience. You don't get a three year veteran from a 90 day recruit.You signed for 8 years of your life, plus as Title 10 U.S. Code says - 671a. Members: service extension during war:
"Unless terminated at an earlier date by the Secretary concerned, the period of active service of any member of an armed force is extended for the duration of any war in which the United States may be engaged and for six months thereafter."
and as Senate Joint Resolution 23 stipulates -
"(b) War Powers Resolution Requirements-
(1) SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORIZATION- Consistent with section 8(a)(1) of the War Powers Resolution, the Congress declares that this section is intended to constitute specific statutory authorization within the meaning of section 5(b) of the War Powers Resolution."
So is that really it? Stop Loss and calling soldiers back from the IRR (within the time limit of their service commitment)?
Our guys finished up our mobilization, and stop loss was released for them, with ETS dates established for March 19th.
Out of a total of about 200 soldiers, we had maybe 10 who had been called out of IRR or inactive national guard. Most of these guys we knew, usually kicked out for unsatisfactory service (not showing up for drills). WE had another 20 or so who were on stop loss previously (all Intel MOSs).
We would have preferred to do without most of the IRR guys. Two were great, did the honorable thing, worked hard (one an excellent paralegal, the other an intel analyst), weren't happy to be there, but realized post 9/11 that this was likely.
So now everybody came back. All the IRR/ING guys went back out, and all were passed their service commitment. Stop loss guys, about 50% re-enlisted in theater, tax free bonuses were available, 50% got out.
From a leadership perspective, I retained about 5 soldiers I was certain I'd lose, lost 1 I thought was a reup, the rest of the losses I could have predicted. Young. In for college money. Not too keen on military life, fulltime and chance of deployments not for them.
Just one Guard unit, but Intel critical skills. We have about 15-20 new soldiers here or in AIT, so other than a couple of critical areas -- IMINT and senior NCO CI/HUMINT, we're pretty much where we were.
And that's in BIG TIME Blue State, where military service is perceived as something for "those guys that can't get jobs." And for those crazy militia types. You know, gun owners and volunter firemen and wackos like that who think it's some kind of civic responsibility.Posted by dadmanly at April 2, 2006 02:59 PM
As the mother of one of those "lowlifes" and "dirtbags",as the wife of a military officer who took his unit to Iraq, and as the friend of many other mothers of said "lowlifes" and "dirtbags",
decorum only permits me to write that they are dead wrong.
I am sick and tired of folks that see any kind of good or positive news about the military as a lie, a distortion, a manipulation, etc.
Just because you want it to be a lie, doesn't make it so.
Simple as that.
If the higher standards were primarily because the standards were necessary for the job, that would be one thing. But as someone mentioned, the higher standards were about limiting recruitment. Why does the Air Force have much higher ASVAB cut-offs than the Army? Is it because the Air Force takes more brains than the Army? No. It's because the Air Force has an easier time recruiting and can push the ASVAB cut-off up. It's a quick easy way to narrow the field. Why does AFROTC have strict vision requirements? Can people who need corrective lenses not fly as well as others? Heck no. They have more applicants than they need and it offers an easy way to get less of them.
If they need *more* and start allowing applicants with glasses (which is allowed if you're at the Academy) is that a damning lowering of standards or a reasonable plan to get more qualified applicants?Posted by Julie (Synova) at April 2, 2006 05:26 PM
Adding on to what Don said. I saw the Army change from Mr. Carter's Army to the lean force we had under Mr. Clinton. In many ways I thought the changes that happened under the Clinton Administration wasn't the best for the country.
As a company commander in the 80's I saw many Cat IV soldiers. I also saw many of them turn their life around because of the Army. I saw some of the best officers come out of Direct Commissioning, as the Army is pushing once again. I saw older men, men in their mid-30's, going through IOBC in the early 80's.
Then I saw a lot of these good soldiers get out because of lack of advancement opportunities, lack of college degree or failure to be whippet thin marathon runners with perfect physiques. We lost some good warriors and kept politicians and guys more dedicated to the gym than their units or families. Good warriors don’t always make good garrison soldiers and I was concerned immediately after 9-11 that we didn’t have the right men anymore in leadership positions.
Yes, I often despaired that much of our PMCS training had to be done with comic books; but this was the force that kicked Saddam’s ass in GWI. It was far more representational of America’s overall population than today’s military is and it was the best military on the planet.
Indeed, we are losing some of the high scoring young recruits that we used to have when the bullets weren’t flying. IRR and Kevin seem to be saying that we shouldn’t be fighting a war because it causes some people to reconsider their desire to serve. Much better then to have a military comprised of the Best of the Best that never fights because combat might chase away those who only want to serve if they aren’t in danger?Posted by Quilly Mammoth at April 2, 2006 06:07 PM
""Officers such as Greyhawk are dangerous.""
Yep, its dangerous to have two points of view. Only the Move-on.org point of view is allowed. Rooting everyday for our defeat?Posted by gm at April 2, 2006 07:00 PM
If you want to talk NYARNG recruiting and retention ... BRING IT ON. I get the weekly manning reports from the 27th Brigade and have more than a couple of friends commanding companies. Your upbeat assessment of the 642nd MI is not representative of the NYARNG a whole. As an E-8 you should know this. Why don't we start discussing the manning of units like the 1-108 and 2-108 IN. Things don't look so great there, do they?Posted by IRR Soldier... at April 2, 2006 07:08 PM
I'm still waiting for anyone to disprove any of the "dashboard indicators" I posted at the top of this thread. I'll add another two:
9. Automatic promotion to E-5 at 48 mos. TIS.
10. 97% selection rate to MAJ in the last Army Competitive Category Board.
Since you can't disprove documented facts, you continue with ad hominem attacks. You're the liars here, not me.Posted by IRR Soldier... at April 2, 2006 07:14 PM
Theres no such animal as automatic promotion to SGT at 48 mos TIS. The automatic ADVANCEMENTS still only go to SPC. Are younger troops making buck SGT sooner? Yes. Thats what happens when troops spend their first 48 months in the Army serving in a combat zone.
And I wonder if your discussing unit strength levels on a public board is wise or legal even for an IRR...Posted by SGT Ted at April 2, 2006 07:58 PM
You really should stay on top of what's going on in the Army. It may be worthwhile to check out the latest MILPER messages at the HRC site. You will clearly see that the Army has had an automatic E-5 promotion policy at 48 mos. TIS for almost a year now.
48 mos. TIS promotions to SGT have nothing to do with how long folks are deployed and everything to do with how desperate the Army is for junior NCOs. If reups, recruiting and retention were going as swimmingly across-the-board as Greyhawk, Dadmanly and yourself suggest, there would be no need for accelerated prommotions.
As for your OPSEC scare - please. Nothing sensitive is being discussed. I'm just calling Dadmanly out that I know the same info he is privy to and he is purposely misrepresenting the truth. You are doing the same damn thing by calling "off base" data from the USARC and 77th RRC G-1. Please tell me what agenda COLs have in reporting the personnel situation to Major Subordinate Commanders?Posted by IRR Soldier... at April 2, 2006 08:10 PM
A great post from nearly a year ago on the "huuman spackle" effect on USAR/Guard units. Kris Alexander, the Company Commander who wrote this, is an acquaintance and hardly a "loony" guy.
The situation has only grown more dire in the interventing 10 months.
Your comments only look like they support your point when made without reference. But to those of us who know they are but pathetic mewling. What is the significance of a 97% to 0-4? How many officers don’t submit promotion packets? What is the average rating?
_Active_ OCS selection rate was 100% for most of 80’s.
Junior officer slots have _always_ been understaffed in the Reserve and we know that ROTC selection was restrained in the late 90’s. State OCS courses have been pushing for students since the late 90's, but often selection criteria has made that hard.
Did you know that in the early 80’s you could get commissioned with only 64 hours of college credit? I knew several guys that were with the Rangers on Grenada that finished the minimum amount of college credits while waiting for OCS at Benning…….
I could go on, but you are simply stating as new that which has always been a problem.Posted by Quilly Mammoth at April 2, 2006 08:20 PM
Rapid promotion and advancement - good sign the Army is broken. Who the hell would ever want to join a company that offers rapid promotion and advancement? I'm staying put here at the Wal Mart.Posted by Chuck D at April 2, 2006 08:21 PM
By the way, nice site you're advertising with your url link there IRR Soldier. Thank you for sharing your deep concern with Army recruiting.Posted by Chuck D at April 2, 2006 08:24 PM
Also units like the 77th have historically had poor numbers in the junior enlisted ranks. Those units are also not likely to be activated for combat so I don't see how your point is being made there. They wouldn;t be affected by anything you and Kevin seem to be saying.
I'm saying the 77th was one of only two that EXCEEDED gains to losses in FY05! Uh ... virtually all of their units have been mobilized for overseas service ... the 800th MP Brigade and 344th CSH come to mind immediately. Please reassure those units that have alreday serevd that "they will not likely be activated for combat." The trend being discussed was a COMMAND-wide record number of retirements. The fall of is particularly in the 81st RRC - the one-time hotbead of USAR recruiting and retention
There is no precedent for the level of USAR/ARNG officer shortages ... not the 80's, not ever. 10,554 missing Company grades in a force of 205,000 is alarming and rapidly worsening.
The 100% OCS selection rate is also important because despite opening the floodgates, the Army is unable to put through a sufficient number of candidates. This is but one factor contributing to the projected shortfall of 3,500 RA officers in FY2007.
If you don't understand the negative implicatiosn of a 97% selection rate to MAJ in the RA - I don't know what to say. It means that there is essentially no screening for advancements. The same officers being promoted to MAJ at 97% were promoted to CPT at 99%. There is no opportunity to cull pottom 10 and 205ers. yes, these are the kind of folks that can get people killed. Essentially, any newly commisioned 2LT has an automatic 20 year career if he lives and doesn't get court-martialed.
RA promotion boards don't rely on packet submissions so I don't know what you are talking about.Posted by IRR Soldier... at April 2, 2006 08:48 PM
The problem isn't just New York - it's the entire northeast. That region of the country is actually responsible for the entire recruiting shortfall from last year. The midwest and west actualy provide the anticipated number of recruits, and the south exceeds expectations.Posted by Greyhawk at April 2, 2006 08:58 PM
Despite what you assert, the recruiting shortfall is not just a northeasern phenomenon. Here's an article that might enlighten you.... I'll link more when i have time. If you read the Eraly Bird, there have been numerous articles mentioning double-digit shortfalls in the Columbia and Kansas city recruiting battalions (among others).IRR Soldier... at April 2, 2006 09:32 PM
"TIS promotions to SGT have nothing to do with how long folks are deployed and everything to do with how desperate the Army is for junior NCOs."
A comment from an objective observer?
Well no duh.
We are fighting a war. Junior NCOs are one of the most important components of any armed force.
How hard is that to figure out?Posted by N. O'Brain at April 2, 2006 09:42 PM
Something about your style scares me, man. You're dangerous. But you can be my wingman anytime. IRR and Kevin couldn't argue their way out of a wet paper bag. One wonders why they spend so much time over here, flogging their point of view like so much rancid veal, when they could be providing their much needed expertise over at DKos.
A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing.
IRR and Kevin avoid the real issue with talk of stop loss and recruiting. Let's talk about what this is really about. You guys don't like the Commander in Chief. Period.
Any one in the position to be stop lossed or recalled from the IRR is in that position because of their voluntary service. We haven't had a draft in a while. Any troop with half a brain entered service KNOWING they could be recalled or prevented from ETSing.
You talk of troop shortages and officer shortages, but you chose not to follow your orders when you received them. The best way to get over your sour grapes is to drop your far-left ideology.Posted by LJD at April 3, 2006 01:05 PM
Never followed orders? First off, I've never been recalled. Secondly, here's alink to the ongoing discussion in which over 20 IRR CPTs regularly engage. To a man - USMA or ROTC - they discuss the way the IRR was explained over a decade ago when they signed commisioning contracts.
As for recruiting issues, these have been a concern for some time. The recnet issue of Harpers discusses some of my concerns.IRR Soldier... at April 3, 2006 02:32 PM
I have been involved with the BCT environment for the past 15 years as both a DS and a 1SG. By far the troops in the last year have been better than the 90s. Hands down no comparison. The trainees are motivated, enthusiastic, and want to learn. I admire them so much. When I joined there was only a chance of war, but now it is a certainty. These troops will go on to write history like no other generation before them. The WWII generation was forced to excell, with the great depression and the draft. Now the cream is rising and the paleo-comms can see themselves becoming obsolete and irrelevant and in their fear the strike out at everyone!
There is no precedent for the level of USAR/ARNG officer shortages ... not the 80's, not ever. 10,554 missing Company grades in a force of 205,000 is alarming and rapidly worsening.
I don't know where you are getting your information. Have you heard of the Simultaneous Membership Program? It was begun during the Carter Administration. In that program soldiers were members of Reserve or Guard units as an E-5 and were also enrolled in ROTC. They were nominally supposed to be cadets only who could lead platoons. In practice they were Platoon Leaders. There were units that only one commissioned officer in them. Units of the 77th ARCOM and the 28th ID often had 80% of their junior leadership slots filled by SMP Cadets. Even units like the First Troop City Calvary had SMP Cadets serving in officer slots.
This was a problem that continued for years and was exacerbated as the military grew. I heard the same gripes that getting commissioned meant an automatic 20.
I'm also not buying your arguement about the percentages of 03 to 04 without information such as what was the percentage of those promoted against the original total commissioned. I left the Army almost ten years ago and while things may have changed I can't imagine that RA officers no longer are required to send current photo etc to the promotion board. I may be wrong, but afaik failure to do so meant you didn't even get in front of the board.
Naturally I would like to see the military filled with the cream. But I don't see it as the end of the military as an effective fighting force when it isn't. Nor do I see it as a realistic expectation. There are also social reasons why having the military comprised of a narrow demographic is less than desirable.
And from all that I hear the recruits we are getting, despite a lower average ASVAB, are the most motivated ever seen. Right now every soldier _and_ junior officer that joins is nearly certain to see combat (with the exception of some training units etc that can't deploy). No longer is joining the military a three year delay for college or a leadership entry in a resume. It most certainly means fighting for your country; that we are getting the number and quality we have been getting is awesome.
Posted by Quilly Mammoth at April 3, 2006 11:53 PM
I'm dealing in facts and you're dealing in anecdotes. If you want to talk anecdotes ... I'll play that game.
SMP. I was an SMP and a Platoon Leader. Today in the PA/NJ area, there are almost no SMPs because Army ROTC has been decimated. Gone at Penn, Gone at Rider, Gone at LaSalle. At no point has the USAR been this critically short on officers - never. I mean, we are talking 10,554 non-AMEDD Captains missing. Throw in the missing Nurses, MDs and DDS' and you're looking at over 13,000 vacancies in an authorized force of 205,000.
RA scholarship ROTC cadets cannot serve as SMPs.
RA promotion boards. An officer does not need to update his/her packet to be considered for promotion. Whether or not a new photo gets taken - it goes to the board. 97% to Major is abad omen. Especially when TDA slots to "hide" incompetents are being civilianized and more and more O-4s are assuming key leadership roles in the revamped BCTs.
In YG '96 and YG '97, ROTC was sucking so bad on its mission that virtually every ROTC grad was placed on Active Duty unless they had a guaranteed reserve scholarship. There was no quality control at the entry, there was no culling at O-3 and there is no "weed out" at O-4. See the dangerous trend?
As for your assertion about what the Army "is", what it "is" and what it is selling are two different things. last week, the NYARNG ran an add in the SUNY-Buffalo newspaper with the words, "most Guardsmen serve only 2 weeks a year/2 days a month." This was in March of 2006!!! I'm a regular at www.armyocs.com. Just today I was PM'd by a young man about to enlist for USAR OCS. He asked me what branches would ensure he could finish law school and not get called up. Answer: None!
These are but two very recent (past week) examples. Many folks are not being told about the reality of our Army. The fact that a young man could get within days of signing an OCS contract and be deluded into thinking he would avoid a mob for 3 years is unconscionable.Posted by IRR Soldier... at April 4, 2006 12:32 AM
Care to see the irony in your comment about losing ROTC programs while you hang out with the likes of Indymedia? If you have concerns for shortages, you might want to examine their 'vision'.Posted by LJD at April 6, 2006 12:49 PM
What irony? read my posts at that site: I say nothing aginst college/officer recruiting. In fact, I advocate it.
My solidarity with Indymedia focuses around predatory enlisted recruiting tactics targeted at selected high schools. If the nation is at war, or if this war is a "good" idea, we should be selling it to everyone.Posted by IRR Soldier... at April 6, 2006 04:16 PM Hide Comments | Show/Add Comments in Popup Window(36) | (Note: You must refresh main page to view newly posted comments here)