The Recruiters Strike Back!

Heard back from them, and told the guys “you said you wouldn’t take me due to age purposes.”

“What was it you wanted to do?”

“Languages or Counter-Intel. I can deploy as often as I’m needed, but I cannot relocate.”

“Wait… we have MI bases in Dallas….”

He’s calling me back tomorrow afternoon.  Still pushing the enlisted track harder than the officer, for obvious reasons, while describing the need for officers that got me looking in the first place.

Talk about yo-yo’s… when it rains, it pours.  Here I am, fresh in my new career, and ready to supplement it with service (and this actually was the plan discussed by myself and the Bunnywife back when this whole search began).  So now I’m hearing back from Uncle Sam?


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  1. At this late date with a new career, I’d say screw the recruiters. Although employers are supposed to hold your job open for you, as a practicality that’s not really possible. If you get deployed you’ll be SOL for a job when you’re back.

  2. Alex

     /  January 8, 2007

    Then again you’ll have GI bill for retraining and probably a security clearance which opens many many doors into government contract work which will likely pay far better than what you get now.

    However, 1 change in administration later and the whole contractor market could dry up. Right now its booming.

    Remind this ignorant one; what is your current degree level and what is it in?

  3. MA History, MA Medieval Studies, Languages: bad spanish, tolerable french and hungarian (if lang., would go Farsi, which would be useful personally as well as research-wise)

  4. Alex Morgan

     /  January 8, 2007

    Go and see the world, learn new languages, get to see the original historical sites, get money for a Ph.D. when done, then get a tenured prof. position many years later.

    However – I’m wondering if my advice is full of it. Best ask Mike what things are like in today’s forces and if the recruiters promise one thing if you’ll really get it or not. I take it this would be a position in the reserves?

  5. Yep. Linguistics or Psy-ops; based on previous data, OCS unlikely due to age (and the recruiters definitely steering towards Enlisted).

    Linguistics is a minimum of a year out in Monterrey or the equiv… so I’m not sure if this is an idea that’s past its expiration date. Gotta decide that unequivocally.

  6. Mike

     /  January 9, 2007

    As much as I would like to see you in the machine (as I think you would be an asset and great help), I am beginning to side with Jim. Considering you started this about 2 years ago and it took this long for you to finally get a recruiter with 2 functioning brain cells, I am thinking the timing has passed. I consider it a crying shame as you would have been a great Intel Warrent (or officer, but I think Warrent would have been right up your alley), but sometimes the Army can’t gets its act together and this may be one of those times.

  7. Mike

     /  January 9, 2007

    But hear what they have to say, and then make sure it’s in writing. I am wondering if they didn’t have some changes made at the recruiting command in your area. It does sound like they put someone there with more on their mind than just numbers.

  8. It is definitely leaning that way. And you’re right: Warrant is about the right role at this stage of the game.

  9. Oh, btw, make sure whatever they’re willing to give you in writing is something they’re actually authorized to give you in writing too. Saying “but my recruiter guaranteed you couldn’t relocate me” may not cut the ol’ mustard.

    But honestly, you’ve just taken advantage of a big opportunity to make in into academia via the sideways route — why spoil it for being useful in a very limited way?

  10. happycrow

     /  January 9, 2007

    Well, I talked to him this afternoon.
    Long and the short, what he’s offering is enlistment and a nod to Warrant. No direct officer, no direct warrant. (Or, discouraged, anyway.)

    So I’ll see him for a bit next week, but likely this is a loser unless what’s on offer at the E-level is sufficiently high-speed to justify it.

  11. They’ll probably offer you E-4; screw if that’s what they come back with, screw it.

  12. I have to agree on this one. With your educational background there is no way the shouldn’t at least offer you E-5/E-6 with a guarantee that you’ll go directly to Warrant school. However, be careful. Though this was four years ago and could have changed, my husband was told that once he went Warrant, if he didn’t make rank within the alloted time frame, they would out-process him. This was true for all Warrants at the time, and at the time, he was our age so age was not a factor in the equation. Of course, other branches are different, but I am assuming you are looking Army so that you don’t have to relocate.

  13. Mike

     /  January 10, 2007

    That’s BS, they can sign you up with a reserved slot for OCS and they can do it for Warrent (at least they could). I would say this idea’s time has come and gone. If you can’t get a reserved slot, then it isn’t worth it for just E-4 pay and responsibilities.

  14. I thought as much, Mike. Hence one of the many reasons I am glad he transferred branches, though all branches have their faults.

    If what Mike says is indeed still the case, and they can reserve a slot for you, then maybe it is worth continuing to flirt with the idea, however, be sure that this is what you want and that you are willing to take something slightly different and fight for this position. Mainly because there is no such thing as a guarantee, even if the offer is in writing.

  15. happycrow

     /  January 10, 2007

    True. And I am definitely most valuable as a specialist. I’ve got something to contribute on both the military and civilian sides of the fence, if I’m allowed to do so…

  16. All the miltary idiom is over my head but I would simply add the caution about going into something that could then turn out to be very different from what was promised.
    No harm in looking into it though.

  17. moniteur

     /  January 11, 2007

    Indeed – I’d also suggest finding someone who can get any offer looked over by someone with experience in military law/contracts – then *IF* you get an offer that is satisfactory, find out whose John Hancock it takes to make it absolutely binding on them to carry through the offer – and make them agree to an escape clause for you, if they go back on the deal. If they cannot or will not agree to that, they don’t need you.

  18. Mike

     /  January 12, 2007

    Oh no, we need him. Its that certain recruiters need a head count more. As to enlisted versus officer or warrent. You see, when I was a high schooler looking to do the army thing, the recruiters were pushing the enlist and then do OCS over ROTC pretty heavily (and I was tempted, they offered some cool stuff). When in college I found out why. Recruiters don’t get credit for officer enlistments, so it doesn’t go on the headcount. And the headcount is the ONLY thing they get rated on. I don’t know if the rules have changed, but when you are looking at a bad NCOER versus “hey what the Army really needs is…”, well what are you going to do?

  19. BuckSarge

     /  March 1, 2007

    I am a recruiter and I want to clear a few things up. First, we have no say over who gets in. It is determined by regulations by guys at a much higher pay grade (check it out online, Army Reg 601-210). Another thing, headcount isn’t the only thing we get rated on, but it is a large part. Also if you are a good recruiter, you can get away with anything. The last thing saying that recruiters don’t get credit for officer enlistments isn’t true. We do get credit for OCS contracts. But of course you must have a degree first. They are sometimes considered better, HOWEVER they are a lot more work and the standards are higher. A lot of college grads can’t even score high enough on the ASVAB (you need a GT of 110 or higher), which says a lot about the state of higher education.

    Another point, on the enlisted side you CANNOT some in higher than E-4 without prior service. Whoever tells you that is lying thier ass off. With college you can get an OCS slot or go for a Warrant flight school slot. All other Warrant slots are for people already in the military with years of experience. With active duty OCS your branch cannot be guaranteed, it is determined by several factors during OCS. On the reserve side you are slotted to a particular vacancy in a unit, so your branch is set. I also saw something about PsyOp. I was in a PsyOp for over 5 years and I will soon be back in one. PSyOp is not a direct accession branch. That means you cannot come directly into it, you usually have to be a captain. It is supposed to change sometime soon though.

    Your recruiter can only tell you what you qualify (physically, mentally, morally) for. They also do the processing. The Guidance Counselors at MEPS actually take care of the contract. Your recruiter can only tell you what you qualify for and what they have seen from exp with similar candidates. Not all recruiters are bad guys although I admit that I know some crooks. A lot of people have selective hearing and only hear what they like and disregard the rest. I have always been straight with people. Its not all peaches and cream, but I love the Army. If you don’t like then too bad, someone else will join eventually and I would rather spend my precious time with them. No one joins the Army to be a recruiter, you are usually chosen. Most recruiters hate thier jobs, we would rather be doing our “real” jobs than sit behind a desk and talk to kids and thier fucking parents all day. If you have any more questions let me know.

    I was a little too honest though is recruiting. I was pretty disgruntled and when they asked me if I wanted to do it any more I said no. I guess it was supposed to be a rhetorical question. It got pretty bad after that. They were having a lot of issues is the unit and they needed to make an example out of somebody. I was a pretty easy going and well liked guy in the company so I was chosen. I got my final NCOER today and it was ugly. But on the bright side I will soon be out of here and back the real Army. Odds are that means another trip to Iraq, but anything is better than recruiting.


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