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Military Recruitment Contract case

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  • Legalbear
    Before allowing your sons/daughters to enlist - have them read this The Recruitment Minefield Spring 2005 PDF of Military Recruitment Contract (49k)
    Message 1 of 4 , Dec 2, 2006
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      Before allowing your sons/daughters to enlist - have them read this

       

      The Recruitment Minefield

      Spring 2005

       

      PDF of Military Recruitment Contract (49k)

       

      Illustration: Michael Duffy

       

      Critical literacy activities can protect students against predatory

      military recruiting

       

      By Bill Bigelow

       

      Emiliano Santiago.

       

      Not many of our students know his name. But they should. Santiago

      joined the Oregon Army National Guard on June 28, 1996, shortly after

      his high school graduation in Hermiston , Ore. He served honorably,

      became a sergeant, and was discharged in June 2004, after eight years

      in the Guard.

       

      But last October, more than three months after his discharge, the

      government extended Santiago 's termination date—to December 24, 2031.

      Yes, 2031; it's not a misprint. Santiago 's unit was ordered to report

      on Jan. 2, 2005, to Fort Sill , Okla. , where it would join other

      soldiers being sent to Afghanistan .

       

      In November, Santiago 's attorney, Steven Goldberg of the National

      Lawyers Guild, filed suit in federal court in Portland , arguing that

      the military had no right to order Santiago to active duty months

      after he'd been discharged. During Santiago 's hearing in December,

      Matthew Lepore, the Justice Department attorney, agreed that

      Santiago's activation had come after his discharge. But Lepore said

      that because commanders of Santiago 's unit had been told earlier that

      under the military's stop-loss policy his unit might be mobilized,

      that was notification enough.

       

      True, Lepore acknowledged, Santiago himself was never notified, but

      that made no difference. Lepore argued that the court was obliged to

      view this case through a "deferential lens"—to assume the military

      knew what was best for the military. Judge Owen M. Panner agreed. He

      ruled against Santiago , saying he believed the military would be

      harmed more than Santiago if the court ruled against the government.

      Goldberg has appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. As we go

      to press, the court has not ruled on the appeal and Santiago and D

      Company of the Oregon Guard's 113th Aviation Battalion await their

      final orders in Oklahoma .

       

      High school teachers, counselors, students, and parents everywhere

      should know about Santiago 's case. Think you're signing up for four

      years, or eight years? Think again. Santiago was 19 when he entered

      the military. When his new discharge date rolls around, he'll be 54—

      if the military

      doesn't extend it again.

       

      No Child Left Unrecruited

       

      Thanks to a provision in the No Child Left Behind legislation,

      military recruiters have easy access to high school students these

      days. In Portland , where I teach, the school board in 1995 banned

      organizations that discriminate based on race, sex, or sexual

      orientation—including the U.S. military—from recruiting in the

      schools. NCLB over-turned that ban, requiring that recruiters

      have "the same access to secondary school students as is provided

      generally to post-secondary educational institutions or to

      prospective employers of those students." The law also requires high

      schools to provide the military access to students' names, addresses,

      and telephone numbers—unless a parent or student contacts the school

      to deny permission to release this information.

       

      It was against the backdrop of the Santiago ruling and increased

      recruiter access to students that Franklin High School teacher Julie

      O'Neill began a short unit on military recruitment with her senior

      political science students. As I'm on leave from teaching this year,

      Julie invited me to collaborate on the unit.

       

      We began by asking students to write about their experiences with

      military recruiters. I was astounded by students' stories. One

      hundred percent of O'Neill's students—three untracked classes of

      almost 40 students each—had been recruited in some manner by one or

      another branch of the military. Julie's students were typical of the

      high school as a whole: largely white and working class, with a

      relatively small number of Asian Americans, Latinos, African

      Americans and Native Americans. Recruiters had come into classes

      ranging from Foods ("You have to be in the military to cook for the

      President, ya know"), to Oceanography, to Band, to Weight Training.

      Recruiters had visited the Latino Club, played a key role in the

      annual Field Day activities, worked with the student program that

      links seniors and freshmen, and approached students in the halls.

       

      They'd badgered students in malls, called them repeatedly, emailed

      them, visited them at home, bought them school supplies, drove them

      around town, mailed them videos and DVDs, and invited them to mini-

      boot camp weekends. Even students whose parents had asked the school

      in writing not to share information with recruiters reported being

      contacted multiple times. The recruiters' techniques were consistent:

      find out students' after-graduation aspirations and attempt to

      convince them that the military was the way to realize these.

      Channa's story was typical:

       

      My 10th-grade year when I was weight lifting, they asked me, "You

      ever planned on joining the Marines?" I told them no. He was,

      like, "You ever thought about having the Marines put you through

      college?" The Marines called my house at least twice a week. They

      asked me this year if I ever thought about wrestling for the Marines.

      I told him no, but he said, "The Marines can help put you through

      college and pay you to wrestle." One day I was waiting in line to get

      a bus pass. This Navy guy asked me what I had planned after high

      school. I told him I might kickbox. He said I could kickbox for the

      Navy. He handed me his card and walked away.

       

      The Marines have extraordinary access to students in Weight Training,

      offering a "Marine Challenge" curriculum where students do 13 pull-

      ups and bench press half their weight 13 times. Recruiters yell at

      students and give them orders. One student described being in the

      weight room, "doing a normal workout and all of a sudden three

      recruiters were at my side counting my reps. I was like, 'WHOAAH!!'"

       

      Cynthia's story showed how recruiters take advantage of the scarcity

      of college financial aid in their sales pitches:

       

      A few weeks ago a recruiter called me, and I wasn't so much annoyed

      that they were soliciting me. I was disturbed by what the recruiter

      revealed to me. They asked if I was going to college, and I

      said, "Yes, I am going to the University of Notre Dame." The

      recruiter paused, then fired another question. "Wow. That's an

      expensive school. Do you have money to pay for it?" I replied, "Yes,

      they are giving me $30,000 every year for four years." Dumbfounded,

      the officer said, "Well, the Army can offer you lots of experiences

      that college can't." I told him I wasn't interested, and the

      conversation ended. Yet I was left with the impression that they prey

      on kids with either no plans after high school and/or no money to pay

      for college.

       

      A number of students used this predator and prey metaphor to describe

      recruitment experiences. Zussette wrote, "When I see them talking to

      high schoolers, they remind me of a pack of lions going in for the

      kill. They try to get them into a corner or up against a wall. They

      start to ask questions like, 'Have you ever thought about joining the

      army?' 'How old are you?' 'You know, the army can help pay for

      college.'"

       

      The stories also generated grumbling from one or two students. Ben

      said: "These are so negative. Doesn't anyone have a good story about

      military recruiters?" But in his own story, Ben wrote about how

      annoyed he was by recruiters' pressure: "Recruiters are extremely

      pushy and opinionated. I was promised everything from tuition to

      guaranteed jobs to free housing."

       

      I read all 100-plus recruitment stories. The more I read, the more

      overwhelmed I became by the sense that today's students live in a

      kind of parallel universe where they maneuver daily through a

      psychological minefield of quota-driven recruiters.

       

      And there was another pattern: Recruiters lie. Claire went with a

      friend to the recruitment office to take a math test. "When she was

      done with her test, he told us about how the government pays for you

      to go to college and after you served you still get money. I think

      that was the main reason she wanted to join—that and they told her

      that she wouldn't have to go to Iraq . How do they know?"

       

      They don't; it was a lie. In a valuable article, "AWOL in America ,"

      in the March 2005 issue of Harper's, Kathy Dobie reports that the

      G.I. Rights Hotline has "heard hundreds of stories involving

      recruiters' lies." As Dobie reports, "One of the most common lies

      told by recruiters is that it's easy to get out of the military if

      you change your mind. But once they arrive at training, the recruits

      are told there's no exit, period—and if you try to leave, you'll be

      court-martialed and serve ten years in the brig, you'll never be able

      to get a good job or a bank loan, and this will follow you around

      like a felony conviction." It's not true, but as Dobie speculates,

      the threats are likely effective in keeping some unhappy soldiers

      from trying to get out. In fact, the expectation that recruiters make

      promises they can't back up is acknowledged in the enlistment

      contract that prospective soldiers must sign. More on that

      extraordinary document later.

       

      Lessons from Fahrenheit 9/11

       

      One of the striking segments in Michael Moore's documentary

      Fahrenheit 9/11 is the few minutes the film spends with Marine

      recruiters Staff Sgt. Dale Kortman and Sgt. Raymond Plouhar as they

      troll for prospects in the Courtland Mall in Flint , Mich. Julie and I

      showed this segment in class so students could reflect on a number of

      the techniques that military recruiters employ to snare recruits.

      Recruiters' choice of the Courtland Mall in Flint instead of the

      suburban Genesee Valley Mall is emblematic of recruiters' choices

      around the country when they concentrate on high schools in working-

      class neighborhoods—like Portland 's Frank-lin High School —but appear

      less

    • mdonds2@aol.com
      There is one thing that might do a job on the recruiters. Teach the students to inform the recruters to put all of their promises in a notorized Affidavit
      Message 2 of 4 , Dec 3, 2006
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        There is one thing that might do a job on the recruiters. Teach the students to inform the recruters to put all of their promises in a notorized Affidavit complete with their branch, name, rank and service number as an authorized representive of that branch of the military. Then have the recruitor file it in the County Recorders office. Then if the student does enlist, include it as part of the enlistment contract. At that point the promises have to be honored. Watch how fast they back off. They will not want to talk to educated students.
      • Ed Siceloff
        While that might get the kids to accustom themselves to affidavits, and such, that is not the one thing to do with recruiters (in my opinion). The kids I talk
        Message 3 of 4 , Dec 3, 2006
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          While that might get the kids to accustom themselves to affidavits, and such, that is not the one thing to do with recruiters (in my opinion).  The kids I talk to I tell them to "just say no."  The one thing that they can promise you, and carry it out, if you join their ranks is that you will probably go fight a war that normally you wouldn't have anything to do with.  One of the things I think we need to do is to quit fighting their wars for them.
           
          Ed
          ----- Original Message -----
          Sent: Sunday, December 03, 2006 1:17 PM
          Subject: Re: [tips_and_tricks] Military Recruitment Contract case


          There is one thing that might do a job on the recruiters. Teach the students to inform the recruters to put all of their promises in a notorized Affidavit complete with their branch, name, rank and service number as an authorized representive of that branch of the military. Then have the recruitor file it in the County Recorders office. Then if the student does enlist, include it as part of the enlistment contract. At that point the promises have to be honored. Watch how fast they back off. They will not want to talk to educated students.

        • mdonds2@aol.com
          Just say NO, that will really make the recruitors go away and quit bugging the kids. Teach the kid to tell a recruitor that he/she is going to file harrasment
          Message 4 of 4 , Dec 3, 2006
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            Just say NO, that will really make the recruitors go away and quit bugging the kids. Teach the kid to tell a recruitor that he/she is going to file harrasment charges against him and watch how fast he/she treats your kids like they have the plage and leave the school grounds. I personally would not pussyfoot around with people like that. Take the bull by the horns and get them to leave the school grounds.
            On the other hand, you do not have to teach your kids things like that and no one else will either. They are to young to be taught that they have rights and do not have to put up with being bugged by recruitors or enybody else for that matter. Just say no, don't rock the boat, do not make waves and always be politically correct. And do not forget to just go along to get along.




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