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Sunday, October 01, 2006

No clue

Did the Army Do Right by its 80,000th Recruit?

Now that the FY-2006 Recruiting Year has officially ended, we're trying to ask the following questions of U.S. Army Recruiting Command Public Affairs and other Defense Department Public Affairs organizations. If you get any answers, please let us know. Click here.

As a Rutgers University graduate, was Specialist (E-4) Shirley Salvi qualified for Officer Candidate School (OCS)? Her hometown paper certainly thinks so. So does this blog.

If qualified, was she considered for OCS? If not, why not?

Since many government flacks tend to ignore nonpartisan grass roots citizens initiatives to Support Our President (i.e., blogs) in favor of mainstream, corporate media, we're posting here at the same time.

Stay tuned.

You'll have to read the article to believe this.

Rutgers grad helps Army be all it can be

She becomes the 80,000th recruit, letting branch attain its annual enlistment goal
Saturday, September 23, 2006
Star-Ledger Staff

NEW YORK -- The Army reached its annual enlistment goal of 80,000 soldiers yesterday, hitting the milestone with eight days to spare and reversing a 2005 performance that had been the worst in two decades.

They found their salvation for the recruiting year that ends Sept. 30 at a Coach purse store in a Passaic County mall.

Shirley Salvi, a 22-year-old Rutgers University biology graduate who was working a part-time retail job when she first met her recruiter, took her enlistment oath at the Times Square recruiting station in front of a bank of television cameras yesterday morning. Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey swore her in amid the honking horns of the morning rush.

Salvi, of Ringwood, shipped out for basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., after the ceremony. She's been accepted into the Army's highly competitive linguistics program and will likely learn one or more languages needed in Afghanistan or Iraq.

Before her swearing in, Salvi said she decided to join the Army "for the chance to travel, for an adventure, for a chance to do something none of my friends are doing."

She knows her travels could put her in the middle of a combat zone.

"By the time I get there, I should have all the training I need," she said. "I'm ready."

The push to reach recruiting goals also meant the Army granted waivers to several hundred recruits with minor criminal records who would have been prohibited from joining in the past. They also accepted about 3,000 recruits who scored poorly on the military entrance exam, up from 490 in 2004.

Harvey said the relaxed standards will not hurt a 500,000-member Army he called the best fighting force in the world.

"It's not a concern to me," Harvey said. For much of the late 1970s and 1980s, nearly half the Army's soldiers were in the pool that scored the lowest on the entrance exam, he said. And among the current recruiting class, there have been no problems with soldiers who were granted waivers for minor crimes.

"If you committed a mistake in your life, you deserve a second chance," Harvey said. "We're finding that there is no difference in the attrition rate for soldiers with waivers. It was a concern at one point, but not now."

Salvi falls at the other end of the recruiting spectrum. She's among the roughly 15 percent of new recruits with college degrees and the highest scores on the aptitude exam.

Her recruiter, Staff Sgt. Gigi Theocharides of the Bloomfield station, met Salvi at the Coach store in the Willowbrook Mall in Wayne, where she was working over the Christmas holidays and weighing her options for the future.

"We started talking about purses and the more we talked, I thought she'd be a great fit for the Army," Theocharides said.

After Salvi got top scores on the military entrance exam and a language skills test, Theocharides convinced her a stint in the Army would open many doors.

"She'll have a top secret security clearance and language skills," Theocharides said. "Think about what she can do if she ever leaves the Army. State Department, corporate America. Write her own ticket."

Salvi, whose degree makes her eligible to become an officer, also may qualify for a program that would send her to medical school on the Army.
Bullshit. She'll be lucky to live through a tour in the sandbox.

Adventure? Getting shot at is an adventure, so is long term medical care. Trust me on that.

Ok, let's go through this one by one.

Her recruiter forgot to tell her about getting a commission.

Then, while pumping her head full of medical school, she forgot the eight year burden you get when you get a military professional education.

Then she steared her to a job which will place her life in insane risk. I've known Army linguists and it's a cool job. BUT, this is a black woman expected to be a translator in the sandbox. Iraqis are not stupid. They're gonna know what she's doing and that's gonna be bad. For her and her unit.

Then there's the sexual harassment issues.

And because her parents are Haitian and Indian, they have NO CLUE. If this was just a girl from East Orange or Newark, Uncle Cletus would have had a few words for her. Like "them people can get you killed." Her mama would have shit purple at the idea of her college graduate daughter fighting for Bush.

This family has no idea of what the hell they're getting into.

posted by Steve @ 8:47:00 PM

8:47:00 PM

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