Deceptive recruiting methods damage the military
A Navy recruiter has been accused of making false promises to enlist two Kapolei teenagers.
Misleading young men and women in order to sign them up for military service makes no sense for anyone involved, including the tricky recruiter.
When enlistees discover they have been deceived, they aren't likely to view their stints favorably, the military gains service members who are disgruntled and the recruiters -- though possibly reaching their enlistment quotas -- get bad reputations that can prevent them from doing their jobs effectively. In addition, the military and recruiters in general are tainted by the bad practices of a few.
Parents and young people as well as older people considering enrolling in the armed forces should make sure they know in detail what's ahead before they agree to enlist. While a career in the military can provide an education, a range of opportunities and other benefits, potential recruits need to enter the services with eyes wide open.
Two recent Kapolei High School graduates and their families have found that a recruiter's promises of college benefits weren't exactly as billed. They were told that the Navy would pay for them to go to college for four years before having to serve four years, but it turned out the sequence was reversed; they were to serve on full-time active duty before earning any college benefits.
The mother of one of the graduates told the Star-Bulletin's Susan Essoyan she was skeptical of the promises and went with her son to assure herself everything was in order and to verify the terms of enlistment. But they turned out to be otherwise.
The recruiter, Petty Officer 1st Class Jimmy Pecadeso, apparently had been the source of previous problems. The school's principal said he had banned Pecadeso from recruiting on campus for being "overly aggressive" and "doing things that appear not to be ethical." The recruiter's supervisor was advised of problems several times, the principal said.
Recruiters can meet with students at the school only if parents have given permission and if a counselor is present. However, the resourceful recruiter managed to track down one of the teenagers off campus.
Granted, the teenagers should have known what they were doing, but it appears they were rushed into a decision without the benefit of talking with their families.
A 2006 government study showed that while hard-sell tactics by recruiters were rare, claims of recruiter misconduct were increasing and, because the military did not track all allegations, the problems likely were underestimated. The study also showed that the majority of recruiters, who are involuntarily assigned the duty, are dissatisfied with the task, which has become increasingly difficult because of the war in Iraq.