- Unsolicited phone calls - I got rid of these when I finally told the fifth recruiter that I had suffered a terrible injury, and would never walk again.
- Unsolicited emails - [see above] I get probably three of these every semester, you'd think they'd get the point.
- Uniformed men, handing leaflets in malls - the army has certainly taken a page from tobacco companies here, "Hook 'em while they're young"
- Unending TV and web ads - "Look at me! I joined the army and now I'm a rocket scientist/engineer/astronaut/video game tester! Whoo!" -the following statement can be said about maybe one percent of those who enlist.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
An open letter to the armed services
...also a closed letter, I sent it in just now. Here's an unsolicited email I received from army recruiter yesterday... UNCLASSIFIED//// Dear JAMES HAZELTON, The U.S. Army is a place you will find your strength. Not only will you gain physical strength, emotional strength and strength of purpose, but the Army will strengthen your future as well. We offer many educational benefits and opportunities that will help you accomplish this. The Army has programs that can help you pay for college, pay off existing student loans, earn college credit or finish college without interruption. In fact, facilitating your education is one of the most important benefits you can receive as a Soldier. Army Reserve (Part-Time) * Army ROTC: Students at more than 700 colleges and universities nationwide can take advantage of one of the best leadership courses in America. Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) Cadets gain practical experience in management and problem solving while training to become Army officers. * The Army College Loan Repayment Program: Paying off your student loans becomes easier, with up to $20,000 for Soldiers who enlist part time in the Army Reserve; up to $20,000 for Soldiers who enlist in the Army Reserve for six years. * Education Career Stabilization (ECS) program: Many units in the Army Reserve now allow deferment from mobilization while you are in college, giving you an uninterrupted path to your degree. Active (Full-Time) Now you can qualify for up to $72,900 in college education benefits through The Army College Fund and Montgomery GI Bill. Additionally, whether you hold as few as 30 college hours or you already have a degree, you can earn an education bonus of up to $8,000 , depending on your qualifications. What's more, you can combine these education bonuses with the newly increased enlistment bonuses. With a four-year enlistment, you can now earn up to $40,000 for enlisting in a high-priority job skill. What's more, you might also qualify for up to $65,000 to pay off your federally insured student loans through the Army Loan Repayment Program. Limited bonuses are also available for an enlistment of as little as 15 months plus training. If you would like to discuss in greater detail how the Army can help facilitate your College desires please reply or contact me on my cell phone below. [contact info] To be removed from this mailing list please reply with the word “remove” in the subject line UNCLASSIFIED//// ...and the reply I sent back. I'll have no part in this. It's terrible that you're exploiting the financial situations of college students in a bid to enlist them into service. Also, how many people have you really tricked by the claim that this email is somehow "UNCLASSIFIED"? I mean, really, the people who fall for the "OMG, I'm needed for a secret mission!" ploy are probably not the people I want defending the country. Participation in the armed services of this country is voluntary, so let's keep the tricks and false-flattery out of it, shall we? James Hazelton Once more I'm forced to vent my frustrations at this system. As you all may know, I'm somewhat of a pacifist, (i.e. pinko-commie-longhair) and I've grown increasingly fed-up with the tactics used by the armed forces to recruit young men and women into the service. Being a young man once myself, I know first-hand of these treacherous tactics which include, but are not limited to: