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POLICE STATE / MILITARY -
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Army Recruiters Play Hard Ball

Posted in the database on Friday, May 13th, 2005 @ 01:28:42 MST (1493 views)
from CBC Evening News  

Untitled Document CBS News has learned that the Army will halt recruiting for one day later this month to re-instruct its recruiters on what they may and may not legally do to persuade young people to enlist.

With casualties mounting in Iraq, recruiters have been unable to meet their goals for three months now. The so called "stand down" follows a rash of complaints that recruiters are resorting to unscrupulous tactics to enlist new soldiers, reports CBS News Correspondent Bob McNamara.

Going Army" and making history appealed to 20-year-old Chris Monarch, so he called a Houston recruiting office.

"I recognized the name," he said. "His name was Kelt."

Sgt. Thomas Kelt was the recruiter.

But a new baby changed Monarch's plan to enlist and he cancelled his meeting with the recruiter.

"I said I'm a volunteer firefighter and eventually gonna try to go career with it and I'm just not interested anymore and I hung up the phone," Monarch said.

But the recruiter wouldn't take no for an answer -- with a phone message threatening Monarch with arrest if he didn't show.

"By federal law you got an appointment with me at two o'clock this afternoon at Greenspoint Mall." said Kelt. "OK, you fail to appear and we'll have a warrant, OK? So give me a call back."

In fear, Monarch called the recruiter back.

"He said, 'Oh Chris, don't worry about that. That's just a marketing technique I use,"' Monarch recounted.

Reporter Mark Greenblatt of CBS affiliate KHOU-TV questioned recruiter Sgt Thomas Kelt.

Greenblatt: "I'd just like to know why you have called up young men threatening to arrest them if they don't come and talk to you?"

Kelt: "No comment."

Greenblatt: "You told the young man that this is a standard marketing technique that you use. Is that true?"

Kelt: "No comment. No comment."

The case is under an Army investigation.

General Michael Rochelle heads U.S. Army recruiting.

"It's really an insult to other Army recruiters who are handling themselves and conducting themselves in the proper way," he said.

In Colorado, 19-year-old Michael Flaherty's recruiter gave him a laxative to lose weight to pass a physical.

"They even told me not to tell my parents about it," Flaherty said.

A form certified Flaherty physically fit -- complete with scores.

"I never completed any of those tests and my recruiter faked the documents," he said.

From fake diploma's from phony schools, detox kits to beat drug tests, Denver's CBS station KCNC uncovered a number of recruiter fraud cases.

"It's very stressful," said former recruiter Jeffery Bacon.

Bacon says he's been busted from Sergeant to Specialist for not meeting his quota of 24 soldiers a year.

"I'm losing my house because I'm losing my job, you know. I'm in financial debt," Bacon said.

This year the Army needs over 101,000 new soldiers world-wide. But as the war continues and volunteers are harder to find military recruiters face the toughest sell -- ever.



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