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Thread: Recruiting - Your experiences

  1. #1
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    Default Recruiting - Your experiences

    Has anyone here ever been involved in recruiting? It's an 'interesting' experience to say the least. I was under the impression that it involved wearing a uniform so smart it had a Ph.D. from Cambridge and chatting up legions of skirt who would throw themselves upon us dashing fellows in uniform, whilst signing up hundreds of tough, like minded patriotic souls ready to join our brotherhood and fight for Queen and country.

    How wrong I was.

    My first experience was in the University of London student union. We were after recruits for the Officer training corps. No smart uniform for me just the good old combat DPM pyjamas, never mind thinks I, lots of skirt in the SU and plenty of idealistic young chaps and lasses. As with most things in life I was wrong yet again. All the decent totty had joined the netball team and were already providing the de facto groupies for the rugby team. The only idealists were of the Che Guevara marxist anti-war, capitalism, establishment etc etc.

    I was sat having my lunch break minding my own business when a dozen of these 'new wave neo-marxist/leninists' decided to join me at my table and tell me how inherently evil I was. Apparently I was personally responsible for bayoneting Iraq babies and stealing oil. Furthermore, it turned out I was a 'mindless stormtrooper of the military industrial complex', needless to say this was news to me. Sadly for them the scales didn't fall from my eyes and I didn't feel compelled to shake off the shackles of the capitalist system. I muttered something about having to get off and bayonet some babies and left them.

    The only person I was able to recruit was by way of telling him that beer was cheap in the regimental bar (the same line that got me to join co-incidently) and we got to go abroad on camps (well Wales and Scotland but he wasn't to know).

    Anyway, does anyone else have any 'interesting' stories about recruiting? I've got some more but i'll save them for later.
    "There is no country on the face of the earth to which the principle of citizen-soldiership is so well adapted as our own, for the freedom possessed by Britons is of so general and real a character as to cause the humblest in the land to feel deeply the neccessity of preserving the safety and independence of the nation of which he is a part"

    The Volunteer's book of facts 1863

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Recruiting - Your experiences

    I've not recruited, but I was recruited.

    A very nice recruiting sergeant listened politely to me describing my military ambitions if his armoured unit condescended to allow me to join its illustrious body. I didn't tell him the truth, which was that I saw myself as a yellow-scarfed Ferret commander flying across the desert with pennanted whip aerials bent behind us as we charged towards the enemy with me belting machine gun fire into them (a sort of latter day mechanised version of the charge at Beersheeba in WWI). I just told him I wanted to command a Ferret. He assured me that this was well within my grasp after spending a mere year or so in the assault troop (Cavalry infantry put ahead of real infantry for the purpose of making sure that if the enemy was going to blow anything up or shoot at our side it would be us and not the real infantry which got blown up or shot. Apparently this is called 'reconnaissance'.).

    So I took the oath and looked forward to the not very distant day when my top half would be sticking heroically out of the turret of a small armoured vehicle powered by one bank of an updated Merlin engine which powered the Spitfire. Could it get any better?

    Soon after taking the oath, I discovered that the unit had very few Ferrets and that the crews of those it did have were welded to the vehicles, with a long line of qualified crew ahead of me waiting for them to die.

    So I went into the assault troop, which the crafty recruiter knew all along was where I was going. There was, however, soon a vacancy for a machine gunner in the assault troop, to which unwanted position I was involuntarily appointed in recognition of my abilities as a smart arse rather than as a gunner. In cavalry, the machine gunner was lucky enough to carry the heaviest weapon and ammunition and to move further than the rest of the assault troop in all tactics. I was appointed to this mighty position as punishment, for what I still regard as my troop officer’s overreaction during a convoy stop to me encouraging some girls into the back of an army truck for innocent conversation with me and my mates, even if I did use some slightly lewd language and gestures in procuring their attendance. If the fat ***** officer’s hamburger had taken about a minute longer he wouldn’t have known what was going on in the truck; me and my mates and the girls would have had pleasant conversations to while away the miles; and I wouldn’t have been a ****ing machine gunner.

    As my dreams of commanding a Ferret evaporated, I rewarded the assault troop lieutenant for appointing me as machine gunner by defiantly cranking up my smart-arseness. There wasn't anything worse he could appoint me to.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Recruiting - Your experiences

    Got kicked out of the University of Sussex for being an evil warmongering babykiller. Then again, Sussex really is a socialist republic...
    I have neither the time nor the inclination to differentiate between the incompetent and the merely unfortunate - Curtis E LeMay

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Recruiting - Your experiences

    As to how I was recruited, I was minding my own business in the SU bar when a guy I recognised from my course but a year ahead said to me 'fancy earning a bit of extra cash, travel around the world, gain new skills, make great friends, blow stuff up and we've got a cheap bar'

    'cheap bar you say? Where do I sign?'
    "There is no country on the face of the earth to which the principle of citizen-soldiership is so well adapted as our own, for the freedom possessed by Britons is of so general and real a character as to cause the humblest in the land to feel deeply the neccessity of preserving the safety and independence of the nation of which he is a part"

    The Volunteer's book of facts 1863

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Recruiting - Your experiences

    Quote Originally Posted by pdf27 View Post
    Got kicked out of the University of Sussex for being an evil warmongering babykiller. Then again, Sussex really is a socialist republic...
    You should have been at university in the early 1970s, when I and several others in my year were recent ex-army when soldiers were reviled because of the Vietnam War and the services stopped wearing uniforms in public to avoid problems.

    Not much different now in general society according to my serving son. Arabs generally and Lebanese and Iraqis in particular are apparently notorious among Australian soldiers, and in Army instruction on how to respond to them, for bailing / belting up uniformed soldiers. Beats me why those Arab ****s want to live in this country when the freedoms they have to beat up our soldiers are preserved by those soldiers. Or maybe that's the attraction. They'd get shot in their own countries for trying it on there.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Recruiting - Your experiences

    I was a US Army recruiter from 1979-83.

    I was not a volunteer, I was a “selectee”. At the time of my “selection” I was serving with a PSYOP unit and found that recruiting principles were very similar to PSYOPs.

    The Army was still suffering from the adverse effects of the Viet Nam war so recruiting duty was (and still is) a tough assignment.

    I loved the Army and hated that I had to work so hard to “sell” it to spoiled, un-motivated and naïve slackers (High School students). Fortunately I was able to choose Florida for my duty assignment. I am a life long Large Mouth Bass fisherman, and fishing in Florida is about as good as it gets.

    There also seemed to always be some women hanging around the stations and/or attracted to the uniform., So recruiting had some side benefits.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Recruiting - Your experiences

    I was a young Idealistic chappie of 15 when I walked into the recruiting office with the sole intention of joining my local Regiment (The RGJ). Passed initial selection and got sent to a week long selection at a Barracks that later became infamous, I turned up late (British Rail thank you) and so while everyone else was trapped in the lecture theatre being shown the wonders of the various Corps and Regiments I was cornered by a RE Officer who diverted me towards the Glorious Corps or Royal Engineers.
    I joined the RE's as Junior Soldier aged 16.

    After suffering the joys of being volunteered to drive a AFV 432 (biccie box, apac, pac, kleine panzer,etc) towing the Barminelayer and with a Ranger AP mine layer on the roof (I loved my personal weapon though 'a nice shiney 1942 dated LMG 'Bren' to the rest). I eventually became an Electrician and did several attachments to recruiting and Army Cadet units.

    Just about the first question I was always asked was 'How many people have you killed', lots of education later about the real role of the army and its various units followed.
    The best one being at a Public school that had several very very rich kids (various leaders children from different countries around the world). We were given pretty much carte blanche with no comeback for the various activities we did over the week, Assaults across rivers on foot, crawling through minefieds clearing them in the rain, NBC training 'only used ethyl acetate though to test the respirators were on correctly'. It was thought that us squaddies 'encouraging them' and showing them what they would expect from others when they themselves were leaders would be good character building.
    IN the days of lace-ruffles, perukes and brocade
    Brown Bess was a partner whom none could despise
    An out-spoken, flinty-lipped, brazen-faced jade,
    With a habit of looking men straight in the eyes
    At Blenheim and Ramillies fops would confess
    They were pierced to the heart by the charms of Brown Bess.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Recruiting - Your experiences

    I worked for a guy several years ago that had a small business. He told me a story about his oldest brother joining the army back in the '80's. Apparently the recruiter had promised him much more than could be delivered , and obviously the brother didn't get what was promised. So, he had some of his cousins meet and beat up the recruiter for him. (These were rural country folk who still took peoples word as bond.) My boss was too young at the time to help out. Funny thing is, his brother stayed in the army ever since, retiring a couple of years ago by now because of heart problems.

    Edit: That reminds me..... My nephew joined the navy in the early 2000's. Gung ho, wanted to be in the Navy Seals. Recruiters promised him bologna like that. Anyway, he didn't qualify and wasn't happy at his placement (at first). Our construction crew was eating at a restaurant and I saw the recruiters a couple of tables away. At the checkout counter I told them we wanted to have words with them out in the parking lot regarding my nephew. They got worried looks on their faces since there were more of us than them. But when we got to the parking lot, I told them how much my nephew was enjoying the navy. He was in the navy's version of merchant marine, did re-supply for the fleets. Enjoyed it and stayed in for four years. Anyway, just my thoughts.
    Last edited by navyson; 06-19-2011 at 09:48 AM. Reason: Additional Information
    "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same." - Ronald Reagan

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Recruiting - Your experiences

    Well i'm off recruiting tomorrow. The estate we're going to is so pikey we daren't take any weapons as part of our display because the theiving toerags will most likely have them away within minutes. I'll report back if anything interesting occurs.
    "There is no country on the face of the earth to which the principle of citizen-soldiership is so well adapted as our own, for the freedom possessed by Britons is of so general and real a character as to cause the humblest in the land to feel deeply the neccessity of preserving the safety and independence of the nation of which he is a part"

    The Volunteer's book of facts 1863

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Recruiting - Your experiences

    Well recruiting today was a massive waste of time, no-one apart from a dozen annoying and very impolite kids turned up. Best line of the day was when one of the kids said 'I don't have dad, no-one 'round here does.' classic.
    "There is no country on the face of the earth to which the principle of citizen-soldiership is so well adapted as our own, for the freedom possessed by Britons is of so general and real a character as to cause the humblest in the land to feel deeply the neccessity of preserving the safety and independence of the nation of which he is a part"

    The Volunteer's book of facts 1863

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Recruiting - Your experiences

    Quote Originally Posted by navyson View Post
    I worked for a guy several years ago that had a small business. He told me a story about his oldest brother joining the army back in the '80's. Apparently the recruiter had promised him much more than could be delivered , and obviously the brother didn't get what was promised. So, he had some of his cousins meet and beat up the recruiter for him. (These were rural country folk who still took peoples word as bond.) My boss was too young at the time to help out. Funny thing is, his brother stayed in the army ever since, retiring a couple of years ago by now because of heart problems.

    Edit: That reminds me..... My nephew joined the navy in the early 2000's. Gung ho, wanted to be in the Navy Seals. Recruiters promised him bologna like that. Anyway, he didn't qualify and wasn't happy at his placement (at first). Our construction crew was eating at a restaurant and I saw the recruiters a couple of tables away. At the checkout counter I told them we wanted to have words with them out in the parking lot regarding my nephew. They got worried looks on their faces since there were more of us than them. But when we got to the parking lot, I told them how much my nephew was enjoying the navy. He was in the navy's version of merchant marine, did re-supply for the fleets. Enjoyed it and stayed in for four years. Anyway, just my thoughts.
    Part of my time in recruiting was in Orlando, Fl, and we used the Navy Training Center there often. This is where I found out about the Navy’s Nuclear Power Technicians Program (I think it was called). The Navy recruited very bright kids with the promise of being schooled in operating Nuclear Power plants, it required a 6 year enlistment due to the length of the school. Very, very few of them could meet the math and physics of the course and would be dropped. The catch was the Navy still had this otherwise extremely qualified seaman for the remainder of his/her 6 year enlistment and could use them in any field they wanted.

    We (the Army) did the same thing, although I don’t know if they still do. We would enlist kids to be Special Forces or Rangers or the “High school to flight school” program. We would enlist the highest quality kid and send them to the SF Q course, or Ranger School or Helicopter Flight School (after basic and/or AIT and Jump school), knowing that few, if any, had the maturity to finish and qualify. Of course after being dropped from their training we (the Army) could send them to any MOS we needed at the time.

    After going back to the Regular Army (after my recruiting tour) I did meet one of the kids I put in. We were both in Korea and he said he loved his job (I think he was in communications) and the Army. I would not lie to kids, I saw too many examples of this coming back to haunt the recruiter.

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