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Army Recruiters Accused of Misleading Students to Get Them to Enlist
Colonel Says Incidents Are the Exception, Not the Rule
Nov. 3, 2006 — - An ABC News undercover investigation showed Army recruiters telling students that the war in Iraq was over, in an effort to get them to enlist.

ABC News and New York affiliate WABC equipped students with hidden video cameras before they visited 10 Army recruitment offices in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

"Nobody is going over to Iraq anymore?" one student asks a recruiter.

"No, we're bringing people back," he replies.

"We're not at war. War ended a long time ago," another recruiter says.

Last year, the Army suspended recruiting nationwide to retrain recruiters following hundreds of allegations of improprieties.

One Colorado student taped a recruiting session posing as a drug-addicted dropout.

"You mean I'm not going to get in trouble?" the student asked.

The recruiters told him no, and helped him cheat to sign up.

During the ABC News sessions, some recruiters told our students if they enlisted, there would be little chance they'd to go Iraq.

But Col. Robert Manning, who is in charge of U.S. Army recruiting for the entire Northeast, said that new recruits were likely to go to Iraq.

"I would not disagree with that," Manning said. "We are a nation and Army at war still."

Manning looked at the ABC News video of his recruiters.

"It's hard to believe some of things they are telling prospective applicants," Manning said. "I still believe that this is the exception more than the norm. … I've visited many stations myself, and I know that we have many wonderful Americans serving in uniform as recruiters."

Yet ABC News found one recruiter who even claimed if you didn't like the Army, you could just quit.

"It's called a 'Failure to Adapt' discharge," the recruiter said. "It's an entry-level discharge so it won't affect anything on your record. It'll just be like it never happened."

Manning, however, disagrees with the ease the recruiter describes.

"I would believe it's not as easy as he would lead you to believe it is," he said.

Sue Niederer, whose son, Seth, joined the Army in 2002, said she was all too familiar with recruiters' lies.

"They need to do anything they possibly can to get recruits," Niederer said.

Seth was sent to Iraq and was killed by a roadside bomb.

Niederer said she was not surprised by what ABC News had found. She believes it's still a widespread problem. She said that recruiters told Seth he wouldn't be put into combat.

"Ninety percent [are] going to be putting their lives on the line for our country," she said. "Tell them the truth. That's all. Just tell them the truth."

Copyright © 2006 ABC News Internet Ventures


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 6th, 2006 07:45 pm (UTC)
One thing that got be about the report. (I watched the video)

They never specify if they are talking fulltime service or army reserve. If they were talking reserve then a lot of the things they are saying could be accurate.

Also, we aren't at war; we're in a military engagement. There was never a formal declaration for Iraq. It's semantics I know, but in all honesty a lot of this strikes me as a case where they're trying to sway opinion without providing all the information.
Nov. 6th, 2006 08:10 pm (UTC)
You're right, we aren't at war. But telling someone they won't go to Iraq isn't the same thing as saying we aren't at war. Although, I also agree they're trying to sway opinion with this article, I grew up in the military and the recruiters will say absolutely anything to get people to sign up. This isn't new. It's been going on since I was a child and probably before that. There's a great deal of pressure on these people to make recruitment quotas and if they aren't meeting them they begin to get desperate. I once had one curse me out and tell me I was a coward and a disgrace to my country because I wouldn't sign up and I hadn't even gone into the recruiting office, I was just walking by. Keep in mind this was almost ten years ago so there wasn't any "War in Iraq" to worry about.
Nov. 6th, 2006 08:28 pm (UTC)
We are nto at war? Some one should perhaps tell the president, his administration, and congress this as all of them have referred to it as a war. Not to mention the folks getting shot are certainly in the impression they are in a war as are the ones doing the shooting.
Nov. 6th, 2006 09:27 pm (UTC)
Semantic distinction is all well and good, but the majority of the country considers it a war, even if that's not the technically accurate name for the military action.
Nov. 6th, 2006 07:47 pm (UTC)
The exception???
As if.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )



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