Recruiter misconduct

If you are like me you get a lot of questions about recruiter misconduct, malpractice, and fraud.  Here is an interesting article:

Note, THE LEGAL IMPLICATIONS OF UNAUTHORIZED PROMISES AND OTHER MILITARY RECRUITER MISCONDUCT, 17 J. Pub. Interest L. 141 (Feb. 2008).

I agree with this statement on About.com:

The vast majority of U.S. Military recruiters are honest, hard-working professionals, completely dedicated to the core values of their service. In fact, few military personnel put in more hours of work per week than recruiters.

I’ve learned this through representation of a lot of military recruiters over the years.  Again, from About.com:

So, why do some recruiters do this?

It’s because of the way the recruiting system is set up. It’s a numbers game, pure and simple. Recruiters are judged by their superiors primarily upon the number of recruits they get to sign up. Sign up large numbers, and you’re judged to be a good recruiter. Fail to sign up the minimum number assigned to you (known as "making mission"), and you can find your career at a dead-end. This policy pressures some recruiters to adopt unethical practices in order to "make mission."

So, you ask, "why don’t the services put a stop to this?" Easier said, than done. Each of the services have recruiting regulations which make it a crime for recruiters to lie, cheat, or knowingly process applicants that they know are ineligible for enlistment. Recruiters are punished when they are caught violating the standards. However, the key phrase is "when they are caught." Not that easy to do, as there are usually no witnesses. It becomes a "he said/he said" type of deal.

I should also mention here that, in many cases, "lies" told by a recruiter are actually cases of selected listening by recruits. A recruiter may say, "Many of our bases now have single rooms for most people," and the applicant may hear, "You are definitely not going to have a roommate."  (emphasis added).