This is part of an email sent to me. It is a conversation between
two lieutenant colonels and picks up in the middle...
It's interesting that this should pop up now. I spend my
retirement days now in a high school classroom teaching ROTC
– not that it has anything to do with this except...
Last week I had a DoD week. That's where all the services
plus the Coast Guard come in to my classroom - one each day.
The idea is for them to teach high school kids about their branch
of the service and what it might have to offer.
I don't mean to start a debate about which service has the
best training or "deals," but here are my observations. I thought
you might find them interesting.
The Coast Guard - two Petty Officers showed up late for
the first class both wearing class B uniforms. Their pitch consisted
of about 10 minutes of showing pictures of boats and helicopters
and a few minutes of a canned recruiting video - students slept.
After that came this is how much money we can give you - bonuses
- college, etc. They struggled to keep the attention of the
The Army - One SSG recruiter in class B accompanied by two
soldiers from the 101st Avn in Class A. I thought this would
be better. The recruiter showed his canned "Be all you can be"
video - students slept - and then got into this is how much
money I can give you spiel.
The two 101st soldiers then had their opportunity to sell
the Army. The first thing out of the PFC's mouth was how great
it was that the Army was paying off his loans, how much more
education he was getting, and how he would retire from the Army
almost a millionaire because he had been taught about investing
his money early - all good things of course.
The SGT had much the same speech. The recruiter did add
that basic training was tough 18 years ago when he went through,
but it's easy now.
The Navy - one Petty Officer class B. Ditto. Watch the video
- student's slept - here's the money deal.
The Air Force - stood us up.
The Marine Corps - One Sgt in Marine Corps Dress Blue. His
pitch - I know all the other recruiters have told you about
the money they can offer. Every service can give you the same
college money deal, and we all get paid from the same bank.
An E-5 makes the same money in every branch of the service.
That's all I have to say about that. We want you in the Marine
Corps because you want to be one of us not because you're looking
for college money.
He talked about Marine Corps Values and how proud he was
to be a Marine. He then showed a "no holds barred" video of
Marine Corps Boot Camp. It showed Marine Corps Drill Instructors
chasing people off the bus (you could see the sweat on the faces
of the recruits while they stood on those little yellow feet),
in their face - yelling, running the crap out of them, dogging
them out on confidence courses and in PT. It showed them the
"Crucible" - recruits literally ran into the ground for 50 some
hours straight. He then showed the ceremony at the end of the
crucible where each Marine that completed received his or her
anchor and globe. These kids were proud and the looks on their
faces couldn't be faked - the students stayed awake.
The students kept this recruiter busy talking about what
it meant to be a Marine - not about the college fund. The last
time I checked the Marine Corps was the only service that met
its accession goals - maybe we need to think about what it is
we're trying to sell…