Mamas, don’t let your babies talk to recruiters

You may have heard that military recruitment dropped last month. Hard to believe, huh?

Until a high school journalist feigned interest in enlisting as part of a solo undercover investigation in April, nobody was looking into the dishonest, strongarm tactics used by military recruiters to boost numbers. Recruiters told the student journalist, who claimed to be a dropout and a regular pot user, how to create a fake diploma and which products he could use to pass a drug test.

But those guys look like Santa in comparison to the Marine recruiters in Washington:

Next thing Axel knew, the same sergeant and another recruiter showed up at the LaConner Brewing Co., the restaurant where Axel works. And before Axel, an older cousin and other co-workers knew or understood what was happening, Axel was whisked away in a car.

“They said we were going somewhere but I didn’t know we were going all the way to Seattle,” Axel said.

Just a few tests. And so many free opportunities, the recruiters told him.

He could pursue his love of chemistry. He could serve anywhere he chose and leave any time he wanted on an “apathy discharge” if he didn’t like it. And he wouldn’t have to go to Iraq if he didn’t want to.

At about 3:30 in the morning, Alex was awakened in the motel and fed a little something. Twelve hours later, without further sleep or food, he had taken a battery of tests and signed a lot of papers he hadn’t gotten a chance to read. “Just formalities,” he was told. “Sign here. And here. Nothing to worry about.”


You might want to subscribe to my free Substack newsletter, Ancestor Trouble, if the name makes intuitive sense to you.