Lying for recruits.... is this acceptable?

military logos - One for each branch (I think)
@mommyboo (13207)
United States
August 24, 2008 6:52pm CST
The military technically lies to get recruits. Before you slam me for saying this, take a look at their advertisements. In them, such a great picture is painted! Learn a career, serve your country, become a 'man' or 'woman' of honor! Free money for college!What they don't go on to tell you? You are stuck once you join, sometimes for 4 years or longer. You cannot just decide to quit and go home. You could be deployed anywhere, at any time, and have no choice in the matter. Accidents happen, you could be injured or die. You could be involved in a war in which you don't agree with. You could have to kill people, and you could develop ptsd much later even if you feel fine in the middle of the war. You may NOT get the money promised for education. It may not be anything like you expect it to be. So. Is it okay for them to lie? Is it okay to lie by way of omission - not mentioning what you are REALLY signing up for? I don't think it's good to just portray the PROS and stuff the CONS under the rug. It makes me think they do this because if they were honest, they would not get as many recruits as they get. Back when I was in high school, I was encouraged to take the ASVAB, which is a test they use (I figure) to pick out people they want to recruit. If you do very well on it, you tend to get courted by the military recruiters. I was never interested in joining but you can bet they tried hard lol. The thing is, I always thought about all the cons as opposed to the pros, and I don't want to sell my soul to the government anyway.
9 people like this
16 responses
@dianocuz (115)
• United States
25 Aug 08
Actually, the news is so vicious that if the military did lie, everyone from the general on down would be punished. Congress keeps a close eye on everything the military does. The military is not for everybody. Usually thos are seperated in basic / boot camp and a seperation this early does not count against you as long as it was not for fraud on the recruits part. A lot of persons are home bodies and could not tolerate leaving home at 17 or 20 and going to a foreign country. in fact, I know some people who are still at home at 50. On the other end, I found the military to be fun and exciting. Something different every day. I did over 20 years in the Marines and enjoyed the whole time. I visited France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Japan, Korea, Africa, Saudi, Egypt, Cuba, the list goes on. I met and became friends with people in these countries. military training was superb. Initially in infantry and as a weapons expert. I finished running an IT shop. And the benefits are awesome!! Home guarantees - basically I put nothing down and can purchase up to 711,000.00. Medical/Dental. And the GI bill is off the hook. My son did 5 years as a Marine Electronis Tech, spent 9 months in Iraq and is now a manager at an electronics company, going to college on a 60,000.00 Military scholarship. I have a daughter in the Navy who just completed her BA from Hampton University this past June and has started her Masters already. Some people become police officers, some join the fire department, some become emergency medical tech, and some join the Military. All these are working to create a better America. To assume that because they do not make the same choice you do they are wrong, is an atrocity of the worst kind. It is because of them and others that made that choice that we have the America we have today. During my career I met some of the greatest prople in the world. Some were your brothers, sisters... AND I have seen them cry when told they had to get out. You see, sometmies the Military becomes the family we never had. Semper Fi
• United States
25 Aug 08
That was a lovely testament to read. I may not always love being a military spouse, but I certainly think the benefits outweigh MOST of the bad stuff (of course, my husband's a mechanic, so he's rarely in any danger). I'm glad you and your family have such positive experiences to share - the military could use the good PR!
2 people like this
@Ldyjarhead (10161)
• United States
25 Aug 08
I too retired from the Corps, after more than 21 years. I see from your profile that you are 51 and I just crossed that bridge myself, so we are of the same era. I can't help but wonder if we crossed paths at some point. Anyway, I am appalled at the original discussion and some of the comments that follow. I've written my 'rebuttal' and you can find it below here, comment #14. I'd be interested in your take on it.
2 people like this
@tlb0822 (1414)
• United States
25 Aug 08
My father proudly serves in the U.S. AirForce. Great comment. I think that the military isn't cut out for just anyone, and yes there are pro's and con's. I think that all military members and their familys are close knit. Thank you for your statement.
2 people like this
@lanlan011 (701)
• United States
25 Aug 08
i agree with you, but the people i know they actually received their college money. but the worst ones are the army military and navy. the best thing to join is the air force because nine times out of ten you WONT be sent to war but to another country.(i have some relatives in the AirForce but havent been to Iraq. but i have a couple of other relatives in the army and they are in Iraq now.) what some people dont know is that when you agree to recieve money for college you have to sign a form your junior year saying that you will serve the army for a certain number of years.
3 people like this
@mommyboo (13207)
• United States
25 Aug 08
Well, I believe they should tell you the down-and-dirty about EVERYTHING. I don't want it to be painted or described as this GREAT AND WONDERFUL thing because it isn't. There are a lot of things that are only one way, and if you try getting around it, you get in a lot of trouble. I do know they almost always send you to another country, I lived in Germany when I was very young because my dad was sent there. My husband also was sent to Germany and spent a couple years there. I'm sure he had more fun than I did, I think I was 2 or 3 at the time and he was in his early 20s. I think that is crappy that they entice you to serve by promising money for education and then it turns out you have to serve LONGER (and not just a minimum you sign up for) in order to get the money. That's like telling your employer they HAVE to give you a raise in order for you to complete your job lol. They don't HAVE to give you a raise - if you agreed to do the job for whatever the agreed salary was, then you should do it. If the military promises money for education when you sign up for 2 years, you should receive your money for education after 2 years and you should be allowed to GET OUT so you can go to college.
1 person likes this
@xfahctor (14111)
• Lancaster, New Hampshire
25 Aug 08
"I don't want it to be painted or described as this GREAT AND WONDERFUL thing because it isn't" there are a good many people who joined who would disagree with you. You may not believe it is a wonderful thing but that doesn't mean others don't. I have already seen a good many people in this thread who joined and said as much. I know People who joined and didn't like it, but I know a good many more, including people who were sent in to combat even after that, stayed in the military. One kid I know is actualy now a recruiter himself.
1 person likes this
@mommyboo (13207)
• United States
26 Aug 08
I'm sorry, I should have said 'I don't want it to be painted PURELY (meaning ONLY) as great and wonderful.' As you see here, that is about 50% of the story. I didn't mean to act like I was invalidating what you said.
• Philippines
25 Aug 08
Good day.. Yes they shouldn't lie. Lies don't do well in the end. Being a soldier I think is more on dedication and courage, one can't be a soldier without those. If a soldier serves his country with loyalty I think they deserved honesty from the country they serve. They don't need half lies and half promises, it's not the price of their loyalty and sacrifices.
@mommyboo (13207)
• United States
26 Aug 08
I agree. They expect us to be upstanding citizens and follow through with whatever we promise them (8 years of our lives? To be deployed away from family? To miss births of children or months or years of their childhoods?) but to me it isn't worth that. You don't get that time to go back, it is gone.
• United States
25 Aug 08
There is a lot that they don't tell you, and I'm not talking about the big stuff - just about anyone who is seriously considering joining the military knows about most of the points you brought up. They know you're stuck for the duration of their enlistment, they know they might have to fight, might have to kill people, might die - it's part of the military and almost everyone knows that already. I don't technically have a problem with recruiters who don't mention how rough it is to live in base housing (MUCH different and MUCH more strict than living off base), or anything else that most consider 'the small stuff'. Sometimes it just doesn't occur to people to mention it. I DO have a massive problem with recruiters who flat-out lie. Money for college? Yeah, it's there, and they DO pay for you to go to school...but sometimes it's more like reimbursing your out-of-pocket expense instead of paying outright, and it can be a pain in the neck. But they lie and say how easy it is. That's just an example. I DO like the health insurance - they pay for EVERYTHING. It's amazing. The money is...well, it could be better, but we're much better off than we were. Deployments suck, but the money you get DURING a deployment is nice. There are pros and cons with any job, and there are so many jobs that skate over the truth or lie outright to hire people - it's not just the military. But it is a much higher risk job, so recruiters outright lying irritates me.
@meggan79 (436)
• United States
25 Aug 08
I agree, they do lie when recruiting people. They give you false promises that they can't keep. They promised my dad free medical benefits for his family and now they have to pay every month to get it. I thought about going into the army and the marines but in the end I just didn't believe everything they promised.
3 people like this
@mommyboo (13207)
• United States
25 Aug 08
It's hard for me to sit on my hands and not be bothered by this. I know there's not much I can do on my own about it, PLUS I come from a military background lol. My dad was army, my brother was army, my cousins were Marines. My husband is ex-Air Force. I suppose anything the government has a hand in is going to make false promises just to attract people, I just wish there was a way to sock em back for it. In the end, YOU have a sign a contract with THEM to do what YOU promise, why aren't they held to it?
@xfahctor (14111)
• Lancaster, New Hampshire
25 Aug 08
I can't imagine by now that there isn't ONE PERSON who is intelligent enough to pass the ASVAB who doesn't know that if you join the military that you are probably going to go to war. It is why we have a military. It's not for education, it's not a travle agnecy and it's not a social experiment. We have today in this country, the largest all volunteer military in the world. To say that the majority of people serving today are their because they were tricked in to it is an insult to them, their commitment to this country and to their intelligence.
2 people like this
@mommyboo (13207)
• United States
25 Aug 08
It is likely less than the majority yet it is still a decent percentage. To ignore this is to pretend it doesn't happen, and it does. I don't see this as a slight against anybody who has had a good experience. I just don't believe that focusing on only the good that the military does is a fair representation.
@xfahctor (14111)
• Lancaster, New Hampshire
25 Aug 08
I'm sure a small percenage were star struck. That being said,there isn't one person who signed up in the last 8 years who couldn't know it meant they would likely see combat, star struck or not. I don't doubt there are inscrupulous recruiters but the one I talked with when I was first considering the airforce said baltently (this was in the mid 80's) "It's a rough world and you never know where you may wind up, this isn't some glamorous game we're playing, you'll get a lot out of it but you won't get out more than you put in to it and we have no room for glamour seekers" Almost a direct quote.
2 people like this
@mommyboo (13207)
• United States
26 Aug 08
Sounds like you had a good recruiter . I am pleased to hear that some people do tell it like it is, maybe they were just better about it back then than they are now. I do know that the first thing I warned my son about when he was considering it was that he'd surely be in combat and he'd surely get sent to Iraq or Afghanistan - or some other country where there was combat, bombs, and other things going on, so consider it wisely.
• United States
25 Aug 08
I guess they assume you have common sense and know what the military is. Its not secret that you might have to go to war and may get hurt. That is the reason we even have a military (to protect the county.) Like any contract, you are stuck with it.
2 people like this
@Ldyjarhead (10161)
• United States
25 Aug 08
Thank you!
1 person likes this
@mommyboo (13207)
• United States
25 Aug 08
The problem is they choose to leave out all of the details and play up only the good things to entice people. This is not fair and it is indeed lying by omission. Disagree if you would like but until they put everything on the table, it is what it is. To be honest, I'm not sure I could put my trust in a group of people who are serving for the wrong reasons, or who wouldn't be there if they weren't forced to be there.
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Aug 08
In my opinion, I don't even see why the military even has to recruit to get people to join. So many people claim to support the war in Iraq. Why haven't haven't those eligibal for combat joined? Is it that they support the war, but want others to fight it? A good example is our Vice President, Richard Cheney. He is a wark hawk but yet he received 5 deferments in order to get out of serving during the Vietnam War. If only 1% of those who support going to war and are eligibal joined the military, there would be no need to recruit at all. Come on people, let's put your money where your mouth is. Uncle Sam Needs You. Lloyd Here's a little bio on Mr. Cheney It was 1959 when Cheney, then a student at Yale University, turned 18 and became eligible for the draft. Eventually, like 16 million other young men of that era, Mr. Cheney sought deferments. By the time he turned 26 in January 1967 and was no longer eligible for the draft, he had asked for and received five deferments, four because he was a student and one for being a new father. Although President Richard M. Nixon stopped the draft in 1973, the issue of service remains a personally sensitive and politically potent touchstone in the biographies of many politicians from that era. For much of Mr. Cheney's political career, his deferments have largely been a nonissue. In an increasingly vituperative political campaign, Mr. Cheney this week again questioned the credentials of Senator John Kerry and his ability to be commander in chief. Mr. Kerry, who was decorated in Vietnam and has made his service there a central element of his campaign, fired back. Putting Mr. Cheney's record in the spotlight, Mr. Kerry said that he "got every deferment in the world and decided he had better things to do." Am I the only one who finds this a little hypocritical? Lloyd
@mommyboo (13207)
• United States
25 Aug 08
I for one am glad that there is no draft, and I will support people having only free choice to join the military. I do find it a little odd that Mr Cheney asked for deferments but had no problems having somebody ELSE go. I will go out on a limb here and say that I support the people who are in Iraq but I wish they could all be sent home, I no longer agree with our continued presence there or any more loss of American lives due to our presence in another country. I don't think that other countries would come to America and stay here and lose their lives in an effort to help us without a solid end date where they would pull out and return to their own soil. I don't say this as if it's truth - I just don't believe it would happen yet here we are doing just that.
1 person likes this
@ashar123 (2360)
• India
25 Aug 08
Its just a matter of their achieving targets off recruit for the specific years thats why they just start lieing and showing green gardens to the young students. Same happens here in Pakistan. For annual recruits, many stunts are printed in the local newspapers in only few specific months when the results of A-Level is announced. Many concession packages / scholarships are announced but not given to those who join. They just can be deputed anywhere around the country or even they are send to African countries with the name of UN to protect. There they can be killed and never see their families again. People in the forces all their life keep their shoe laces ties because they can be transferred to other city anytime.
2 people like this
@mommyboo (13207)
• United States
25 Aug 08
So it's just as bad in other countries as the US? It is sickening that they have to lie. I don't care that it would reduce the numbers joining if they told the truth. Lying to get people into a system is underhanded and basically using your citizens without regard for their feelings or even their lives.
@know21 (1252)
• United States
25 Aug 08
Are they lying; or just not telling you the whole truth? Look how many other commercials you see that don't tell the whole story. They do this to get you to buy there product. Do you think if the army told everything; that anyone would join. I know its not right; but that is the way they do it. They tell you what you want to hear, and then tell you the rest later; after they got you hooked.
@mommyboo (13207)
• United States
25 Aug 08
I suppose if they weren't allowed to try to recruit people who were 15, 16, 17 years old, it wouldn't be as bad. Kids don't have the same understanding or know to ask the same questions or make sure to demand what is within their rights. Adults (early/mid 20s) are more likely to read the fine print, ask the right questions, and of course quit while they're ahead, step away, and say thanks but no thanks. I suppose the only way to combat this is to remind people what you said in closing - they tell you what you want to hear, and then tell you the rest later. Always be suspicious if someone tells you only what you want to hear, or it sounds too good to be true. There is always a downside and if you don't hear about it, somebody is trying to hide it.
1 person likes this
@cmathias12 (1025)
• Armed Forces Canada, Europe, Middle East
25 Aug 08
We have experienced this first hand. When my husband signed up our daughter was a month old. The only reason he chose to sign up at the time is because they told him after basic training he would be sent to Korea but we would accompany him. Instead of being able to go with him, we missed him, 3 months basic, 3 months AIT, 1 year in Korea. He was only able to visit home 1 time in all of that period and that was because I had brain surgery. He was only aloud to be with me 2 weeks. It took 9 months for me to fully recover. It isn't right to lie to these guys and girls. He would have wited until they had another spot or our daughter was older, but the point is he should have been the one to decide if this was acceptable.
1 person likes this
@mommyboo (13207)
• United States
26 Aug 08
Well, I am sorry to the poster under your comment but I agree with you. If my husband was told and I was told that I would get to go with him if he got deployed and then they turned around and would not allow me, I would do anything in my power to get him out of the military. I don't want them to promise me something and then not do it and try to justify it. Like I said before, I am very APPRECIATIVE that my husband served in the military before I met him and we had our daughter. I am not cut out to be a military wife and at least I know it and would never attempt it and then be disillusioned. Some people though... I don't think they realize the sacrifices that being part of a military family entails. Yes, he should have been the one to make the choice. That is why I mention that after you sign up for the military, you are basically owned by the government, you do not get a choice after all.
@mommyboo (13207)
• United States
26 Aug 08
There are some trials and tribulations I just have no desire during my life to experience, no matter how many people have found them to be 'great tests of will' or whatever they'd like to call them. One person's sacrifice is another person's joy, know what I mean? Being separated from my husband for months or years at a time while he's in another country where all the inhabitants hate him is not something I'd look forward to or be all warm and fuzzy about. I also believe that when it comes down to it, I'd rather have loyalty to my family and the people that I love than put something else first, like a job. You can't replace a family member you love but you can almost always replace a job. This of course doesn't mean there aren't people who feel totally 180 from me, and that's okay, but that's neither here nor there. It's not like having different opinions changes anything, although they must be made of hardier stuff than I. I don't mind doing some things alone, but I know some people who cannot be alone, ever, or they go nuts. They just have a different level of what they can stand.
@Ldyjarhead (10161)
• United States
25 Aug 08
Good grief. What exactly do you think the military is, a free ride? What is the purpose of the military? The purpose of our military is to protect our country, and for agreeing to do that by signing a contract, they will give you certain benefits. The military is not a job where you give two weeks notice and just walk away - what possibly could you be thinking! Accidents happen - um, of course they do, and they do OUTSIDE of the military too. I don't have a clue why you would even include such a statement here. You could be involved in a war - ummm, hello? I repeat, what exactly do you think is the mission of the military, of ANY country? You could be deployed anywhere, at any time, and have no choice - umm, hello once again! Why would one NOT know that? If you are against war, don't join the military, it's as simple as that! If you were a vegan or vegetarian and were totally against the killing of animals for consumption, would you accept a job at a slaughterhouse? I won't say that recruiters don't sometimes stretch things here and there to fill a recruiting quota, but I honestly can't believe that you're saying the things you are here. Why would a military recruiter have to tell someone in this day and age that you might have to deploy to places you don't want to, or you might come under harm's way? There is no one that is of legal age in 2008 that could not possibly know that! I served for more than 21 years and retired from the Marine Corps, and my son also served three tours in Iraq. It is really scary for me to hear what you are saying and some of the rest of the comments here - it doesn't give me a lot of hope for the youth of this country that you are that naive.
1 person likes this
@dianocuz (115)
• United States
25 Aug 08
OOOHHHH RAHHHHH!!! Ldyjarhead! You said a mouth full!! Life is a game, and in any game there are players and spectators. My Lady, you are a Player. All the spectators do is watch, applaud, and complain. They can never truly feel the agony or taste the Victory, but the way they compliain let's you know they wish they were there... Sorta like watching the Bucs, huh? OOPS! Semper Fi
1 person likes this
@mommyboo (13207)
• United States
26 Aug 08
I don't wish to be part of it. I am very glad that I never was. Not everything is for everyone, although I am glad there are people to whom the military has provided a great life and experience. Thank you again for your input, I received what I expected to get as far as opinions across the board in this thread. I think we simply see two different sides of the coin, and there are indeed two sides.
1 person likes this
@MissGia (955)
• United States
25 Aug 08
I don't think they should lie to potential recruits, but some people who are smart enough should know some of the cons already to joining the military. Like possibly being injured, killed, being deployed to any country at any time. Anyone should know that when you are in the military you become property of the U.S. Government. I personally, think by law, that recruiters should have to display both pros and cons to possible recruits. These people who may be interested in joining are making a big decision in doing this. Recruiters shouldn't mess with their heads and pretend like they're going to be going to be a walk in the park.
1 person likes this
@mommyboo (13207)
• United States
26 Aug 08
Yep. 1. When you are in the military, you become property of the US Government. Number 1 is certainly true. I can't see how anybody can argue this fact. 2. I agree that by law, recruiters should have to display both pros and cons to possible recruits. It would be an excellent idea if there were a law that mandated just that. I just think it's sad for some of the young people who are drawn in by the pros because they don't know what they're getting into, even if they say they do. These are people's sons and daughters, their KIDS! I was seriously terrified when my son at age 12 talked about joining the military. All I could think about was that I was going to outlive HIM. I also have to consider the fact that we have two daughters and one son. I don't think they would FORCE him to join since he is the last one with our name, but if he chooses, I just want him to know EVERYTHING before he makes up his mind. I would think people could understand me being wary and concerned, there's still WAR going on without any real end in sight.
• United States
25 Aug 08
I most certainly agree that they tell lies. I grew up in a military family as did my husband. He lost his father to a horrible plane crash. The military lied to him and his mother about the circumstances surrounding the crash and neither of them ever got closure. While my husband and I were walking around a local air show at a military base, we...me especially, got into a heated argument with a pilot about the military's messed up version family. I mean family protects each other but to lie to them is not family. It is deceitful and hurtful. He wanted to argue that it was for their own good. I told him he was full of it and it was not acceptable to continue all the deceit. My husband barely knew his father and he has a right to know who he is even if the military does not allow it. Don't get me wrong. I support our troops but that doesn't mean I have to turn a blind eye to the deceit. Liv
• United States
26 Aug 08
Tell me about it. Once upon a time, I actually considered joining the military. It was more so to heal my relationship with my father. But then I started to see all the hypocrisy that was going on. I mean it wasn't one or two things that irked me. It was a constant thing. I mean lies are affecting us even to this day. Any job that makes you lie is not worth it. Liv
@Bluepatch (2481)
• Trinidad And Tobago
25 Aug 08
Well, just look at the result. A bright new recruit lying in the mud with his body ripped apart with war wounds. How else do you recruit army personnel but by painting a bright picture ? Then again, there's the obvious results of a war. Aren't there ?
25 Aug 08
where are you comming from you can get out of the services before the 4yrs so i dont know what info you read up on
1 person likes this
@mommyboo (13207)
• United States
26 Aug 08
I don't know. I had thought it was 4 years but somebody else here stated it was 8. Either way, when you lose your ability to make choices about what you do, where you live, and whether you even get to be with your family or not, even 2 years seems like a long time.