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June 24, 2006

Seven M's for Military Recruiting

John Kennedy, in 1962 said, "We choose to go to the moon ... and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard..." He was exhorting the nation for a moon shot. But he could have been talking about military recruiting, as difficult as it has been.

Each of the service branches has recently met recruiting goals. Barely.

Why is this business so hard? Especially during a war? When normal red-blooded American men normally would queue up at recruiting stations. As they did for wars past. But not now.

What can be done?

Here are 7 points to make the military more attractive. Not by making it pretty. But by making it ugly.


The Hemispherical Engine
1) Muscle. Men have 'em. Girls don't. The basic training of female service members is not the same for men. Which creates a problem. Political Correctness demands that physical training be "gender normed" where women have lower standards than men. The military made easy. The males know this and know that the sisters are "differently abled" soldiers. Because there is no challenge, real men will not bother.


The Hummer
Testosterone engorged men are consumed with building bulging muscles, muscle shirts, muscle cars. The man has a Hemi. The boy has a Yugo. Arnold Swarchenegger drives a Hummer. Bill Maher has a hybrid sissy car.

The Band of Brothers has become the Band of Siblings.


The Army of One
2) Marketing. The slogan is wrong. It is not an Army of One. We should not have an Army of individuals as the message attempts to convey. The military must not be made up of solitary independents. The culture and liberal politics has embraced this radical notion of the god of the individual. Here, the military cannot reflect the culture. The Army is a collection of teams, acting as one unit for one mission.

This Clinton-era sloganeering is little more than social engineering. To redefine unit cohesion.

3) Money. Cash has never been a motivator for patriots. It not about the (private) Benjamins. Income is not necessarily the motivator in any employment sector. Americans are not mercenaries.

The Army Times recently wrote about big bonus bucks for motivating soldiers. Where "warrior pay" rewards difficult and dangerous tours of duty. As it should. But this should not be a recruitment strategy. The number one reason people leave a job, is not the lack of money, but the lack of appreciation.

4) Mirror. When I was in the Army, back in the days of the horse cavalry, a full-length three-quarter profile photograph was a part of a soldier's record. Image is everything. This emphasis changed during the Clinton era: now we work to avoid hurting the soldiers' delicate self-esteem. "I oppose black hats --berets -- for the entire Army. You cannot improve the morale of the force by just changing hats."said Steve Buyer, (R) Ind., a former member of member of the House Armed Services Committee.

The Army has every soldier wearing the beret. What used to be coveted headgear of elite units. The beret has become as worthless as the trophies presented to every 6-year-old soccer player.

It's too late to do anything about the head cover. But it's not too late to stop cosmetic fixes to make the military mighty.


No time for war:
The Army goes bird watching;
celebrating Earth Day, 2006
5) Mother Earth. "Each year, the US Army celebrates Earth Day at approximately 200 major commands, installations and organizations in the continental United States and around the world." Earth worshipping messages from Green Peace are chanted by war-time generals. General Schoomaker and Army Secretary Harvey have issued "An Earth Day Message" directing the military to devote scarce time, talent and treasure to politically correct nonsense "...to protect our environment."

This is the ad campaign, "Sustaining the environment for a secure future," where we leave a clean planet for the Islamofascists to rule.


The Army can't recruit. But it can recycle.

Terrorists are sawing off the heads of US soldiers. While the Army separates glass, paper and plastic.

6) Mensch. The military is composed of stand-up guys. Disciplined warriors. War fighting is a violent activity requiring violence from men. Men killing men. Bayonet drills. Rifle butt to the chin. Boot to the groin. Making men makes for unit cohesion.


Bayonet Drill
Not in today's Army. No time. Soldiers now have to sit through gender sensitivity training.

A man wants a Mensch as a mentor. To learn to win. Drill Sergeants that, heaven forbid, cuss.

The military is an exclusive club. It's not for everyone. There should be high barriers to entry. Only a few good men make it in.

And the also-ran, ne'er-do-wells should be sent home. If you want winners, there must be losers. Every American male should watch the beginning of the 1976 movie, Baby Blue Marine.

It's about a Marine washout who failed basic training during WWII. The failures were issued light blue fatigues and a train ticket home. The world knew they didn't make it in the Marines. The light blue fatigues were designed to humiliate. No one wanted to fail. The military personnel selection process was nearly as brutal as the fighting.

The world was at war. We won.

7) Momma. The military is not your mother. There should be no soft, feminine side to life in the barracks, life in the trenches. Military men leave their women behind for the brotherhood of arms. A new recruit expects his Drill Sergeant to treat him differently than his mother. A kinder, gentler DI is not what challenges a young man. It's too easy.

And if your mother, sister, or girlfriend is fighting alongside you, then maybe the military isn't that tough.

The American male senses this. And really doesn't want to join the soldier sorority sisters. Hangin' with the girlfriends and homosexuals.

Maybe combat today is too easy. If girls can do it. Let them. The men will stay at home.

Kennedy's speech also reminded us that "we intend to win." Let us pray our armed forces give us more than good intentions.


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Thank you (foot)notes:

More on Baby Blue Marine at the jump.

Mudville has Open Post.

Tapscotts Behind the Wheel hosts the Car Car.nival. Best reading for real men: Car Guys.

Blue Star Chronicles has the Carnival.

Plot Summary for
Baby Blue Marine (1976)

A would-be Marine fails basic training, and is sent home wearing the "baby blue" fatigues of a washout. En route, he is mugged by a battle-fatigued Marine Raider, who leaves him to hitch-hike home in an undeserved hero's uniform. A small Colorado town takes him in, treating him like the hero he appears to be.

Full Cast and Crew for
Baby Blue Marine (1976)

Directed by
John D. Hancock

Writing credits (in alphabetical order)
Stanford Whitmore

Cast (in credits order)complete, awaiting verification
Jan-Michael Vincent .... Marion
Glynnis O'Connor .... Rose
Katherine Helmond .... Mrs. Hudkins
Dana Elcar .... Sheriff Wenzel
Bert Remsen .... Mr. Hudkins
Bruno Kirby .... Pop Mosley (as B. Kirby Jr.)
Richard Gere .... Raider
Art Lund .... Mr. Elmore
Michael Conrad .... Drill Instructor
Allan Miller .... Capt. Bittman
Michael LeClair .... Barney Hudkins
Will Seltzer .... Pvt. Phelps
Kenneth Tobey .... Buick Driver
Lelia Goldoni .... Mrs. Townsley
Marshall Efron .... Cook
Barton Heyman .... Barber
Adam Arkin .... Rupe
Damon Douglas .... Dobbs
Barry Greenberg .... Idiot #1
John Blyth Barrymore .... Idiot #2
John Calvin .... Paratrooper
Richard Narita .... Masamura
Evan C. Kim .... Harakawa
Keone Young .... Katsu
Phyllis Glick .... Girl Behind Bus Counter
William Martel .... Bartender
Warren Burton .... Second Serviceman
Abraham Alvarez .... First Serviceman
Bill Sorrells .... Coach
Carole Ita White .... Girl on Bus
Duncan Gamble .... Sailor
Tita Bell .... Girl #1
Lani O'Grady .... Girl #2
Barbara Dodd .... Mother
Tom Lee McFadden .... First S.P
James Lough .... Second S.P
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
John Drew Barrymore .... (uncredited)

Produced by
Leonard Goldberg .... producer
Robert LaVigne .... associate producer
Aaron Spelling .... producer

Original Music by
Fred Karlin

Cinematography by
László Kovács

Film Editing by
Marion Rothman

Casting by
Linda Otto

Production Design by
Walter Scott Herndon

Set Decoration by
Marvin March

Costume Design by
Madeline Sylos (as Madelyn Sylos)

Makeup Department
Dorothy Byrne .... hair stylist
Gary Morris .... makeup artist (as Garrett Morris)

Production Management
Norman Henry .... executive production manager
Ric Rondell .... unit manager
Russel Wiles .... post-production supervisor

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Michael Daves .... first assistant director
Jerry Grandey .... second assistant director

Art Department
Bill Bates .... property master
Richard Reseigne .... construction coordinator

Sound Department
Glenn E. Anderson .... sound mixer
George Brand .... music editor
Raul A. Bruce .... boom operator
Tex Rudloff .... dubbing mixer
Keith Stafford .... sound editor

David R. Ellis .... stunts (uncredited)
R.A. Rondell .... stunts (uncredited)

Other crew
Richmond L. Aguilar .... gaffer
Bobby Byrne .... camera operator (as Robert Byrne)
William C. Carruth .... associate film editor
Wayne Fitzgerald .... title designer
Richard La Motte .... wardrobe supervisor
Leonard Lookabaugh .... key grip
Nolan Miller .... wardrober
Rocky Moriana .... music supervisor
Karen Rasch .... script supervisor
Marcia Warwick .... production coordinator

Posted by Jack at June 24, 2006 08:18 PM

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Dear Jack,

With over 2,500 dead and 20,000 wounded in Iraq...most from America's Army...do you think the U.S. Army Soldier is "worthy" of the black beret or do you still buy into the BS zero sum thinking that someone has to lose (look like feces wearing the class "a" uniform c*nt cap) so a few can feel like "winners" and wear a beret?

If you still prescribe to BS us/them snobbery, what kind of so-called "officer" were you who has no clue about teamwork and is such a narrow-minded snob?

Furthermore, did you ever study military topics when you were in? Are you so d*mn clueless to not know we've had amphibious swimming tanks for decades?



Posted by: Jack Yoest at June 30, 2006 02:44 PM

Mike, re: beret, it is the less looking down, as looking up. Like looking up to the Airborne Badge.

re: snob, yes, my people would do all the work, and I would get all the credit. It was more than this sinner deserved.

re: clueless, yes. I couldn't get any of my three Sheridans to float. See: http://www.yoest.org/archives/2005/10/contest_winners_ever_see_a_tan.php

There's a question in that post for you...


Posted by: Mike at June 30, 2006 03:32 PM

Some of these points are well taken, but I think you miss the big picture. Give Americans a war worth fighting -- one with clear, achievable goals that self-evidently defend American democracy -- and they'll come out of the woodwork to fight it. Including the best of them.

But give Americans another Viet Nam -- a war fought on false premises, whose terms of victory seem to be in constant flux and whose role in homeland security is at best debatable -- and the best will hang back.

The war against Islamofascism is the most serious thing in the world; the war in Iraq is at best a distraction from it, and at worst a training ground for our enemy. Of course its hard to get people to fight a war like that!

Posted by: Michael Church at July 11, 2006 05:22 PM

I included this post in the Carnival of Blue Stars #15. I can't get the trackback to work so I wanted to let you know it's in the Carnival. I'd appreciate a link back to the Carnival to help give exposure to all the post highlighted.



Posted by: beth at July 16, 2006 03:31 AM

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