Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Recruiters Shift Focus To Parents

Parent Alert. Mom Alert. They really do want your kids and no matter how they spin it, those kids Will wind up in Iraq.

Ask this Mom who knows; our two young loved ones are under orders for 2nd deployment to Iraq in just a few short months. And they have already been told they are 'Stop Lossed' (means they are required to serve with their unit beyond their contracted time, and until the military says otherwise). And both were to make re-enlistment decision last month to sign on for another 6 years (it used to be 3-4 years, now it's 6 years).

Faced with orders back to Iraq and Stop Lossed in the concluding year of their original enlistment, this is not much of a choice. Options; don't re-enlist and they are back in Iraq anyway + stop lossed less the re-enlist bonus. Re-enlist; give up another 6 years and have the nifty re-enlist bonus and do rotation deployments to Iraq or whatever is the next country that will be invaded to spread democracy. Then it could be said that they willingly re-enlisted knowing the consequences and gee, aren't they valiant soldiers.

It's a double-bind entrapment; conscription and draft. Think the military isn't having problems with retention? Think our country isn't already engaged in a draft? Think aggressive and creative marketing to recruit doesn't point to a real problem with the support for all this carnage and destruction in Iraq in .... what were the reasons we went into Iraq? Oh yeah, terrorism, wmd, Saddam Hussein the brutal dictator, (oil ) and what is the reason now? Stabilizing the Middle East and spreading democracy and Freedom.

Of course, it must be concluded that the general American populace would not have supported an invasion if the real reasons to invade were the original marketing message. Instead the fear-based message was marketed to get us into a war from which this Administration has no intention of withdrawing. Wouldn't you think if the Adminstration thought the American public could stomach the political reasons for taking us into war that message would have been the marketing message? So why are we still there and how long can one dupe themselves into believing the daily deaths and extreme maiming of our young is worthwhile?

They are coming for your young now, be warned and be aware. Fool yourself into believing your own should give up life and limb in this ignoble war. And while you are protecting your own young, please bring mine home.

Article; Recruiters Shift Focus To Parents
April 5, 2005

WASHINGTON - Faced with wilting recruitment and ongoing violence in Iraq, Army and Marine Corps recruiters are turning their attention to those most likely to oppose them: parents.

The two branches are shifting from a strategy that focused first on wooing potential recruits to one aimed at gaining the trust and attention of their parents by using grass-roots initiatives and multimillion-dollar advertising campaigns.

The public relations push comes as the Army and Marines, which absorb the brunt of the casualties in Iraq, encounter one of their worst periods in recruitment.

Among their initiatives:

* Four new "influencer" TV ads by the Army, aimed at moms, dads, coaches and ministers. The ads air this month.

* A decision to pair Army recruiters with Iraq and Afghanistan veterans on visits to the homes of potential recruits. The idea: Tell parents "the Army story," says Army spokeswoman Lt. Col. Pamela Hart. * A nine-minute video, "Parents Speak," in which parents of Marines say the Corps has been good for their children.

* A direct-mail campaign by the Marines to parents of high school juniors and seniors. The Marines highlight the benefits of joining and ask for an opportunity to talk to the students' parents about a military career.

Studies for the Army show parents are the top obstacles to recruiting. "Opposition to . . . military service is increasing significantly among both moms and dads," says a study of 1,200 potential recruits by the firm Millward Brown.

Another look at potential recruits, by GfK Custom Research, found that the biggest influences in candidates' decisions to join were mothers, named by 81% of respondents, followed by fathers, at 70%.

"Reach the parents with the Army's new message, particularly moms," the study urges.

Both branches are trying to convince parents their children will be instilled with integrity and job skills and that service in Iraq is not a death sentence.

Still, recruitment numbers sag. In February, the Army missed its recruiting goal for the first time in nearly five years. The Army missed its March goal by 32%.

Recruiters Shift Focus To Parents

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President George W. Bush's statement in March 2006 after 3 yrs of war "a future President will have to resolve war in Iraq"


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