There are a number of vocational choices that seem doomed. Weiland’s N.A. sponsor. Manager of the Tampa Devil Rays. Add to that list working as a recruiter for the U.S. Armed Forces, writes the New York Times’ Damien Cave.
A recruiter in New York said pressure from the Army to meet his recruiting goals during a time of war has given him stomach problems and searing back pain.
Suffering from bouts of depression, he said he had considered suicide.
Another, in Texas, said he had volunteered many times to go to Iraq rather than face ridicule, rejection and the Army’s wrath.
“The recruiter is stuck in the situation where you’re not going to make mission, it just won’t happen,” the New York recruiter said. “And you’re getting chewed out every day for it. It’s horrible.”
Recruiters have “the only military occupation that deals with the civilian world entirely,” said Charles Moskos, a military sociologist at Northwestern University.
Even before the war, recruiters contacted on average of 120 people before landing an active-duty recruit, Army data showed. That number is growing, recruiters said.
One recruiter in the New York area said that when he steps outside his office for a cigarette, he often is barraged with epithets from passers-by angry about the war.
In January, the brother-in-law of a prospective recruit lashed into him. “He swore at me,” the recruiter said, “and said that he would rather have his brother-in-law in jail for selling crack than in the Army.”
The recruiter said, when out of uniform, he often lies about his profession. “I tell them I work in human resources,” he said.
(shown above, the Army’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy is put to the test when one potential jarhead asks about the party scene at Fort Dix)