Want to Help? Jack Army Tells Me How and an Iraq Surge Update

March 8th, 2007 by xformed

Back when Jack Army was still in the Army recruiting business, I asked him what was allowed to give to Recruiters. I know back in my dark ages, there was a $4.95 retail value limit on “gifts,” which was revised to be something more intelligent just before I retired in 96. I thought the troops at the local station might enjoy a pizza or something like that, but I wanted to make sure so they weren’t in an uncomfortable position, If I sent a few large pizzas to their door. Not worth losing a career/position over. He gave me permission to provide some info extracted from his two emails.

“Jack” is a busy man and currently in the later part of his deployment to Iraq, but he made time to answer up. I got an answer I think we all might be able to give the overworked recruiters with:

As for your question, what is acceptable for a recruiter to accept? Certainly an occasional pizza will be heartily received and small tokens like that are fine. I don’t believe there is a regulation prohibiting recruiters from receiving gifts from private citizens, most would be too humble to receive much more than pizza and a soda or something similar.

I would tell you that the one thing that you could give a recruiter that would mean more than anything is a solid lead. A name and phone number of some young man or woman that would benefit from what the Army has to offer… you would have Army coffee cups, pens, desk calendars and just about any other lickies and chewies USAREC throws out there coming out of your ears!

I don’t need another coffee cup, but I think the recruiters could appreciate just what he asked for: Solid leads. Put your networking hats on, and get back into service, being an advocate for military service and the recruiters. We know they have problems in some areas getting into schools and universities, so complimenting their work would be a big boost for them. Keep your ears to the tracks and listening for that opportunity in a conversation to guide someone their way….and, just if you have the urge, maybe stop by with some coffee or donuts or pizza for them and tell them they are doing a great job.

Now, news from Iraq from “Jack:”

It has been a fast and furious time since about August 2005. As you probably know, I’m currently in Iraq. Things are going really well in our area of operations. Our Iraqi Army counterparts are progressing well and things in this zone are relatively quiet compared to zones on our borders. There are great things happening every day but there is still so much work to be done.

Somehow I don’t get the same picture from the MSM….so, from real boots on the ground, a senior NCO says it’s better.

While I tend to paint a rosy picture of things here (I am an optimist!), there are challenges. Corruption has been a problem. For example, Iraqi Army Soldiers and Iraqi Police officers used to demand bribes to get through some of the checkpoints in our area. The Iraqi Army commander here had signs put up at the checkpoints with his phone number on them stating that bribes where illegal and call the number to report IA or IP who demanded them. Also, obviously, he ordered the practice to be stopped as well. After he put the first violator in jail for a few days and took away a few days’ pay, that practice pretty much went away. Now, the only folks that will get hassled at a checkpoint is those that are suspicious or violate the law. Things are getting better.

Sounds like someone sees it’s time for a change, and it’s great to hear that the Iraqi officer is taking the lead in solving a problem.

Update 3/9/2007: In this “news” is the subtle message that changes, meaning it will take a while to change attitudes, as the poulation ages/dies off. At MilBlogs, Soldier’s Dad makes this point, but uses the Russian model and the memory of WWII as the example. The human experience, it’s new and it’s old, more times and ways that we like to imagine….

So, the recruiters are in the fight, too. Help them out if you get the chance.

Crossposted at: Third World County
Tracked back at: Woman, Honor Thyself, High Desert Wanderer, Big Dogs Weblog, Right Voices, Samantha Burns, Cao’s Blog

This entry was posted on Thursday, March 8th, 2007 at 11:52 am and is filed under Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, History, Jointness, Leadership, Marines, Military, Military History, Navy, Public Service, Supporting the Troops. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

1 response about “Want to Help? Jack Army Tells Me How and an Iraq Surge Update”

  1. Looking for Digital Mentors - Any Takers? - - It’s not random, it’s CHAOS! said:

    […] While I’m on the subject, don’t forget that Jack Army sez we can help by getting names of sharp young men and women to our local recruiters… […]

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