Diary

Military Recruiters' Suicides Investigated

For anyone who has not had the experience that is military recruitment, let me just say it’s an experience unto itself. The job a recruiter does is an important and highly stressful position designed to get the best and brightest
into the system and into a job specialty that meets the needs of the military. Sure, everyone dreams of being a Green Beret or a Navy SEAL, but those positions are extremely competitive and few ever achieve those positions. But what about the backbone jobs that need to be completed just to maintain operational?

How many people gaze with wonderment of being a 92G (Army Military Occupational Specialty)? Or that ever amazing and
88M. These are positions that offer substantial enlistment bonus
which I am sure we all will run out to enlist knowing that we too can be a cook or truck driver. Important, you bet. Easily filled? Not even with the enlistment bonuses, lowered enlistment standards, an increased age limit, and the ever popular The Biggest Loser enlistment program.

All these stresses take their toll upon recruiters. It is a job I would never want.

U.S. Sen John Cornyn has formally requested congressional hearings to examine a recent rash of suicides among Houston-based Army recruiters, saying he believes the deaths demonstrate the enormous strain recruiters endure
to sustain the country’s all-volunteer force.

“I strongly believe that this alarming trend, which is further evidence of the strain on our current force, necessitates the attention of Congress,”

What is sad is that the report found “poor leadership, job-related stress, personal matters and medical problems were all factors in the recruiters’ deaths.” Entirely preventable situations had the leadership acted in a more positive manner.

Moreover:

In a conference call Thursday from Washington D.C., Cornyn said he was particularly troubled by the investigation’s
conclusion that the Houston battalion’s leadership created an intimidating and threatening environment for recruiters,
verbally abusing the soldiers and humiliating them if they failed to meet monthly quotas.

This is a huge problem to address as the fact that suicide among the troops is rising to an alarming level.

So when you see a recruiter out thank him or her for their efforts. What they do is just as important as every Navy SEAL or Army Ranger at the tip of the spear in addressing the GWOT.