When all else fails, try bribery

Nearly all new US Army recruits are receiving a special 20,000-dollar bonus, an official said Monday, amid debate over whether the Pentagon is eroding standards to shore up its stretched ranks.

Out of 6,611 people who enlisted in the Army between the bonus program’s start on July 25 and August 24, a total of 6,264 or 94.8 percent are getting the hefty payout.

In return, the raw recruits must agree to start basic training within 30 days, much quicker than normal Army timelines.

“Practically everyone who’s enlisting now is eligible for this ‘quick-ship bonus’ if they’re willing to ship by the end of September,” said Douglas Smith, spokesman for the US Army Recruiting Command in Fort Knox, Kentucky.

The 20,000-dollar bonus, which amounts to more than a year’s salary for most young Army recruits, is due to expire at the end of the US fiscal year on September 30.

New recruits who agree to ship out rapidly into Army service receive 10,000 dollars on completion of their training, then another 10,000 over the course of their initial enlistment.

Following two straight months of enlistment shortfalls, the program helped the US Army exceed its July recruiting goal of 9,750 by about two percent, according to Pentagon statistics.

The rising US death toll in Iraq, and public disquiet about the war, has been blamed for deterring would-be recruits. The Army has already loosened enlistment standards in a bid to meet its recruitment targets.

The Washington Post, which highlighted the program’s success in a report Monday, noted concern that the latest bonus scheme could be attracting recruits more interested in the money than in service to their country.

“To me it signals something that we’ve been seeing already from the Army, a trade-off in terms of quality and quantity,” Cindy Williams, a security analyst at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, told the newspaper.

“My sense is that right now, they’re willing to take anybody who is willing to walk in the door and ship by September 30.”

Smith dismissed such concerns.

“Cash enlistment and educational incentives have been part of the recruitment process ever since we switched to an all-volunteer force in 1973,” the recruiting spokesman told AFP.

“There’s usually an array of reasons for enlisting in the Army. Financial incentives are just one, as are a sense of duty to the country along with personal and educational reasons.”

14 Responses to "When all else fails, try bribery"

  1. bryan mcclellan  August 29, 2007 at 2:20 am

    OTITW : Especially if they pass through gitmo on the way home.

  2. Klaus Hergeschimmer  August 29, 2007 at 2:56 am

    The Chimp F├╝hrer is now relying on Volkssturm-Lite recruiting standards to patch up his tossed cookie war.

    The state of the occupation reminds me of when I was
    running out of Mary Jane, so in desperation I would scrape the bong stem for resin to smoke…

    The Chimp is scraping the bong stem…

    Now I’m making a strategic retreat
    to my Vodka Root Beer -Shaken, not Stirred.

  3. Sandra Price  August 28, 2007 at 9:45 am

    It would be easier for these guys who want money over service, to hire on with Blackwater. They pay 3 times that much for their private army activities and they get the good protection from the government at our tax payer’s dollars.

    Hal Brown exposed the Blackwater group right here on CHB.

  4. RSW  August 28, 2007 at 5:32 pm

    This may be true, but I doubt that Blackwater wants to train raw recruits.

    I’ve seen their application form. They appear to want experience that is relevant to their “mission”. For war zones, such as Iraq or Afganistan, this suggests some sort of military training going in (please check which weapons qualifications you have, etc.).

    I suppose they won’t admit that this is a mercenary operation, will they?

    Oldernwiser

  5. LurkingFromTheLeft  August 28, 2007 at 9:58 am

    So once again, we have to ask…

    …how much is a life worth in barrels of neocon gold? –

    http://www.nationalpriorities.org/Cost-of-War/Cost-of-War-3.html

    LFTL

  6. www.nazilieskill.us  August 28, 2007 at 11:45 am

    There is no incentive that would get me to enlist again. I would never survive in a military that is so totally corrupt.

    John Hanks, Laramie, Wyoming

  7. Donnat  August 28, 2007 at 12:32 pm

    What good is that money if you’re stop-lossed in Iraq for five years and return in a bag or with a limb or two missing? It could happen if there is no one in Congress with the backbone to either end this occupation or reinstate the draft.

    I have also heard that you don’t always get what the army promises you, esp. regarding tuition money.
    Donnat

  8. JudyB  August 28, 2007 at 1:20 pm

    Those setting in the Pentagon and White House..know that bribery business works!

    Sandy, you are right about Blackwater, but I would like to add that Blackwater gets their “Army” from the men and women who recieved their special training by serving in the U S military at the cost of taxpayers and do not hire the young and untrained . Several years ago, I watched a PBS program on Blackwater and it told of how they recruit..they say they approach those who have recieved extensive military training with experience and are about due to re-enlist. It was there that I learned that most dignataries and politicians visiting Iraq were guarded by and traveled with Blackwater employees and not the by U S military.

  9. bjiller  August 28, 2007 at 1:55 pm

    It is a sad day when we have to pay people to “defend” our nation. This demonstrates two things: (1) that thousands of young people are desperate enough to put their lives at risk for only $20,000, the price of a new car; and (2) that enough young people see through the propaganda and do not believe that this war has anything to do with the defense of our nation.

    The only reason we do not have a draft is that the warmongers know that a draft would be gasoline on the smoldering disapproval of the strategic disaster that is Iraq. We’ll let our sons and daughters sell themselves for $20,000 rather than face the hard issue of whether this war is in our national interest such that a draft is justified.

  10. Ardie  August 28, 2007 at 3:58 pm

    I thought many of the young fundamentalist Christian men would step up to the plate for Jesus. I mean aren’t we getting close to Armageddon…or is that the rapture?

    Per omnia extrema

  11. LurkingFromTheLeft  August 28, 2007 at 4:31 pm

    Must not be enough…

    …virgins included with the sign on bonus –

    LFTL

  12. SEAL  August 28, 2007 at 10:06 pm

    This is exactly how you wind up with a lousy military. People joining for the wrong reasons. We used to get get a small amout of those who joined only because they had no place else to go and/or wanted to get away from the responsiblity of their life. Some of those turned out ok though and found a home in the service. But this is enticing people who are financially desparate for themselves or their families. People who feel they are out of options. The long term effect is you windup with a military of sell-outs who expect a reward for anything they do.

    Currently there is better than a 20% chance you will be seriously wounded and maimed/disabled if you join and a 2.5% chance you will be killed. I doub’t any of the recruits look at that. 20+% is really bad odds for an occupation. It isn’t much more than that for for a full blown war. 2.5% is the same odds I face if I choose a bone marrow transplant in an attempt for a 50% chance of a permanent cure for my cancer. Or, I could be permanently disabled. I don’t like those odds for me and, since it isn’t necessary yet, I’m not signing up. I have other viable options with no risk and so do those recruits.

  13. bryan mcclellan  August 29, 2007 at 2:12 am

    Seal my friend:We’ve surpassed everything but, Want.That does not mean we have to put up with the human condition, that being scaredaddiity. Have to Hope ,for this is our mightiest weapon. In 68 I’d have had a vette and a deferment with 20 G’s,(a lottery no. 43) and no more idea what to do about it or how it happened but that it was just a gamble. What could be more tempting in youth than prosperity(I think I’ll have the tuna,hold the hot dogs).But not knowing the true value of your skin is a wager for Oil? It nay ,crosses the mind, the price too some is high ,the reality is a total surprise.. I remember but I’d rather not, people as a whole will seem to be indifferent to their brethren yet magnify it with feigned drops of honey.WAR IS OBSOLETE! Visitation is Madness.BE WELL…PMFOT’s

  14. outhereinthewest  August 29, 2007 at 1:02 am

    n, just on the chance that they make it back, stateside by some other mode cept in a flag draped coffin, without no photographs, just what kinda chance thay expect to be collectin this recruitment bonus???

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