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selil
06-15-2008, 05:32 PM
Why in this forum? Because advertising is information warfare.

This is likely a great move for the Army after several lackluster advertising campaigns. Apple has one of the most visible brands on the planet, and their store program unlike other computer companies works in ways people never expected.

LINK TO STORY (http://www.brandweek.com/bw/content_display/news-and-features/technology-finance/e3i5597024fecf11e33a55a40695b480511)

The U.S. Army, experiencing a stagnant recruiting situation, is going experiential.

The Army plans to unveil a pilot concept recruitment center in late August that was inspired by the interactivity of Apple Stores. The center, opening in a city that's yet to be determined, will be built around virtual simulations and other experiential marketing techniques to engage visitors.

Seeing the success of Apple retail centers—as well as attractions like the ESPN Zone—prompted Edward Walters, CMO of the U.S. Army, to make a tactical change. "In the past we've focused on traditional media vehicles. [But] the millennial generation is used to engaging in interactive assets and we need to adapt to them."

If the test proves successful, many centers will be opened around the country.

The effort comes as the number of new recruits for the active Army decreased minimally last year, per the Dept. of Defense.

More at the link (http://www.brandweek.com/bw/content_display/news-and-features/technology-finance/e3i5597024fecf11e33a55a40695b480511)

Entropy
06-15-2008, 07:16 PM
Sounds like an interesting idea - one that I think may work.

Adam L
06-15-2008, 11:32 PM
Sounds like an interesting idea - one that I think may work.

Yes, but is that a good thing? As much as the Army needs recruits, is this the type of recruit that they should be looking for? Let me put it this way, "Are we that desperate?"

Apple does not care who is buying their product, but shouldn't the Army? Apple is selling toys and games, the Army is not a game. Also, this is going to play right into the hands of the people claiming that "Violent Video Games Kill People."

The Apache simulator allows a pilot and co-pilot to experience the aircraft and its weapons systems. The Black Hawk helicopter simulator provides four door gunner positions. And, the armored HMMWV vehicle simulator has positions for a driver and several gunners. The centers also will include an area where visitors can compete in America's Army, a videogame released in 2002.Adam L

Stevely
06-16-2008, 12:42 AM
Yes, but is that a good thing? As much as the Army needs recruits, is this the type of recruit that they should be looking for? Let me put it this way, "Are we that desperate?"

Adam L

I don't think it would be so bad. It would likely reach a better demgraphic than
slum dwellers, druggies, etc.

In principle, I don't see how this is any more deceptive than "Be all you can be," etc.

Adam L
06-16-2008, 03:48 AM
I don't think it would be so bad. It would likely reach a better demgraphic than
slum dwellers, druggies, etc.


Who? Would this demographic be the lazy unemployed gamer? There may be some negative consequences that come along with drawing people in with simulators. The Army may actually get a few good candidates to consider the service, but they are going to draw in a lot of people who do not belong in there. I think there is potential for simulators. I think that it might be a good idea to have prospective aviation candidates have access to the simulators. Perhaps even some of the ground simulators would be a good idea. I just worry about recruiting people who have a VG view of reality.


In principle, I don't see how this is any more deceptive than "Be all you can be," etc.

Wait a minute. "Be all you can be.", is about and innocuous as it gets. So is "Army Strong." I didn't like the "Army of One" shtick, it really sent the wrong message.

Adam L

Stevely
06-16-2008, 05:28 AM
Who? Would this demographic be the lazy unemployed gamer? There may be some negative consequences that come along with drawing people in with simulators. The Army may actually get a few good candidates to consider the service, but they are going to draw in a lot of people who do not belong in there. I think there is potential for simulators. I think that it might be a good idea to have prospective aviation candidates have access to the simulators. Perhaps even some of the ground simulators would be a good idea. I just worry about recruiting people who have a VG view of reality.



Wait a minute. "Be all you can be.", is about and innocuous as it gets. So is "Army Strong." I didn't like the "Army of One" shtick, it really sent the wrong message.

Adam L

Did kids in pre-video game times have a view of reality that really prepared them well for entering service? I had a certain view of the Army playing with plastic guns with my friends growing up and watching TV. Coming off the cattle car at Ft Sill was a pretty rude shock for me when I was 18, and my view of reality had to be drastically updated after that. I just don't think in that regard it's a big worry - kids then as now often have an idealized and romanticized view of being in the military which quickly changes once they enter service (though maybe kids today are much less fit at that age than they were back in the day thanks in part to video games, I have heard there is a problem with low fitness and obesity with prospective recruits?).

Adam L
06-16-2008, 06:29 AM
Did kids in pre-video game times have a view of reality that really prepared them well for entering service? I had a certain view of the Army playing with plastic guns with my friends growing up and watching TV. Coming off the cattle car at Ft Sill was a pretty rude shock for me when I was 18, and my view of reality had to be drastically updated after that. I just don't think in that regard it's a big worry - kids then as now often have an idealized and romanticized view of being in the military which quickly changes once they enter service (though maybe kids today are much less fit at that age than they were back in the day thanks in part to video games, I have heard there is a problem with low fitness and obesity with prospective recruits?).

I get what you are saying, but was the Army handing you the toy guns and calling it a "simulation." Look, video games and toy guns are a lot of fun (If we are not being PC so are the real guns and artillery!:cool:) and that is my problem with this. We are not jut talking about a romanticized view of being in the military, we are talking about a "fun" one. Frankly, its not romanticized one bit, its just "cool" or something. (Sorry, I couldn't think of the proper jargon.) Sorry, I just don't like it when the Army feeds into this stuff.

I guess I'm just very pessimistic when it comes to kids these days. I find its not even that they have a romanticized view of the world, rather that they are just detached. Also, on a side note, is it just me or is romanticism dieing off?

Adam L

Adam L
06-16-2008, 06:39 AM
(though maybe kids today are much less fit at that age than they were back in the day thanks in part to video games, I have heard there is a problem with low fitness and obesity with prospective recruits?).

I agree with you about this. I wish they would replace the rumble pack in the controllers with a taser. Even if they kept playing, the shocks might help with muscle tone. The funny thing I've learned is that real "gamers" keep in half-decent shape. They need it in order to be able to play for 72 straight hours. On the other hand, most of the real gamers I've known would have ended up in cryptographic analysis, or have been recruited by the CIA as part of Operation Pocket Protector. Operation Pocket Protector being the secret plan to utilize super gamers (the pocket protector kind) to hunt down radical Islamofascist avatars and eliminate them with extreme prejudice. LOL!:cool:

Adam L

Ken White
06-16-2008, 06:54 AM
I get what you are saying, but was the Army handing you the toy guns and calling it a "simulation." Look, video games and toy guns are a lot of fun (If we are not being PC so are guns and artillery!:cool:) and that is my problem with this. We are not jut talking about a romanticized view of being in the military, we are talking about a "fun" one. Frankly, its not romanticized one bit, its just "cool" or something. (Sorry, I couldn't think of the proper jargon.) Sorry, I just don't like it when the Army feeds into this stuff.

Adam LWell, I put in 27 years as an infantryman and I thought it was fun. Was I wrong?

Worst job I ever had put me behind a desk for a year or so. That was NOT fun; wandering around in the boonies was fun...

I think the kids today are totally wired into games and simulations. I've got a few nephews who are both good athletes, a couple multi-sport, and into computer games and they're pretty smart kids with good GPA. This is just using an attraction that will work for some. The Army isn't feeding into anything, IMO -- they're simply recognizing that kids today aren't like I was in the 40s or Stevely was in the 90s. ;)

Read an interesting article in this month International Defense Review. It discussed Natives and Immigrants in the wired world. Pointed out that the under 21 crowd today are Natives; they've grown up with computers, games and being totally interconnected. They do not like heirarchies, they do not like lectures and they won't tolerate the old ways of instruction and training. Regrettably, the over 30 crowd, the digital age Immigrants, are the opposite and cannot in many cases accept total interconnection even if they do use a computer -- yet they set the tone for the Natives. The article posited that the Immigrants were going to have to adapt and they'd better pay attention to the Natives. I think that's right.

This Apple Store bit is an example of some smart Immigrant being able to adapt and the Natives will like it. As I said, the Army isn't "feeding into it" -- they're simply adapting to current reality.

There are some flaky kids out there -- were back in my day, too -- there are also some good ones. Fortunately, they're the majority. They're a little softer in some respects than those of a half century ago but the world's changed and that's to be expected. Still, when decently trained and led and push comes to shove, they do okay.

Adam L
06-16-2008, 07:43 AM
Well, I put in 27 years as an infantryman and I thought it was fun. Was I wrong?


No, I'm just saying that I think that this isn't just a format update (Posters to Video Games and 'Simulations".) With video games, you are drawing a very different crowd which has a lot of people who are not like your nephews.


Worst job I ever had put me behind a desk for a year or so. That was NOT fun; wandering around in the boonies was fun...


I think most people would agree with you. I don't know many people who enjoy piloting a desk.


I think the kids today are totally wired into games and simulations. I've got a few nephews who are both good athletes, a couple multi-sport, and into computer games and they're pretty smart kids with good GPA. This is just using an attraction that will work for some. The Army isn't feeding into anything, IMO -- they're simply recognizing that kids today aren't like I was in the 40s or Stevely was in the 90s. ;)


My worry is that this new net is going to pick up a lot of undesirables, and its going to be hard to eliminate those which are just that.


Read an interesting article in this month International Defense Review. It discussed Natives and Immigrants in the wired world. Pointed out that the under 21 crowd today are Natives; they've grown up with computers, games and being totally interconnected. They do not like heirarchies, they do not like lectures and they won't tolerate the old ways of instruction and training. Regrettably, the over 30 crowd, the digital age Immigrants, are the opposite and cannot in many cases accept total interconnection even if they do use a computer -- yet they set the tone for the Natives. The article posited that the Immigrants were going to have to adapt and they'd better pay attention to the Natives. I think that's right.


I really have to disagree with this perception of the under 21 crowd. Despite all the technology, they are far less initiated than those that came in the ten years before them (not so much in software, but very much where hardware is concerned.) This crowd has very few among them who actually understand what they are doing rather than being able to merely operate the tools before them. The total interconnectivity that supposedly exists today is the result of older people making it so that everything is about as complicated as plugging in a telephone cable. I remember some of the early online games and what I had to go through to utilize them. I don't really understand where hierarchies come into this. As far as lectures, training, etc. go, my response is that is why most of them are almost useless. Today kids are going to college to gain the basic competencies they should have had coming out of high school.

I understand how so many older people it seems as though kids are so proficient and competent with these new and "advanced" devices, but this really is a misperception.

As far as the native vs immigrant thing is concerned, I don't think this is at all unique. The young will always become the establishment eventually, so of course the old always must watch out for them.


This Apple Store bit is an example of some smart Immigrant being able to adapt and the Natives will like it.


I don't think Apple's success has to do with that. I think it more has to do with bright shiny objects and marketing. The I pod is a poor product (no offense intended to anyone who owns one.) They are overpriced and do not have good sound quality. I was in a car audio store the other day, and I was talking with a gentlemen who certainly was old enough to be called an "older person" for the purpose of this debate. He was talking about how I was one of the few people he runs into who cares, let alone knows, what quality (sound) is. (I was mentioning that I hoped to build my own tube amplifier for the vehicle. I've worked on guitar amps, but I've never built one from scratch and I just can't resist the prospect of tube sound in a vehicle.:))


As I said, the Army isn't "feeding into it" -- they're simply adapting to current reality.


I agree, it's like upgrading from radio to television, but that is exactly what's worrying me. There are a lot of radio people thinking they know how to portray themselves on TV. They may not realize that they need to not only worry about how they sound, but how they look.


There are some flaky kids out there -- were back in my day, too -- there are also some good ones. Fortunately, they're the majority. They're a little softer in some respects than those of a half century ago but the world's changed and that's to be expected. Still, when decently trained and led and push comes to shove, they do okay.

Even five years ago, I probably would have agreed with you, but now I just can't. The generation of kids I see coming out right now really has me worried.

Ken, from what you've said about your nephews and your family, you seem to have a good bunch. Unfortunately this is far from the norm which I have observed. What depresses me is that as bad as things are where I am now, they were just as bad in Canada. When I visit where I grew up, I see that it is just as bad there. Sorry about my bleak outlook.

Adam L

Entropy
06-16-2008, 08:05 PM
I agree with Ken on this one. As a guy who's about to turn 40 and is still an avid gamer, I see no harm in using simulations in recruiting and I think most young people understand that a simulation or video game is not reality. And after all, the Army has been doing this for many years now with the "America's Army" video game. The simulations are really only there to get people in the door so they can hear the Army pitch. In a busy shopping mall, you've got to have something to entice people to come in and see your "product" and for the military, simulations are as good a way as any. It's about time that the military starts putting recruiting centers inside malls, imo, because it is where a lot of kids of all stripes hang out these days.

Plus, there are long-term benefits because you'll be getting young teenagers in there and getting them some exposure to the Army and military service. Such exposure can plant seeds that might sprout once they hit 18.

Steve Blair
06-16-2008, 08:30 PM
I gotta go with Ken on this one, too, but with some qualifiers. I work with the "target audience" on an almost daily basis (although granted ours have already "bit" to some degree), and they aren't as far gone as Adam seems to think. Most of them are pretty computer illiterate, at least when it comes to actually fixing them. They can run them well enough, but as soon as something stops working they tend to be at a loss (not all, but the average hardware and software conflict literacy seems to be lower than it used to be). They may seem without direction, but the majority of the ones I see want to be challenged. They don't on the average know what it is, and many do have a sense that there's something more out there than what they've seen on MTV or wherever.

Generation Wired isn't necessarily that. And in terms of the hierarchies...I think in some cases this is just wishful thinking on the part of people writing the articles. Many of the kids I deal with are looking for structure...something more than a network of MySpace and Facebook buddies and speed-dialing cell phones. They even go to great pains in some cases to recreate those hierarchies in their MMORGS. WoW clans, anyone?:) It may not be a traditional hierarchy, but it's there just the same.

As for undesirables...some of the ones we've sent on their way at this level weren't gamers in any sense of the word. They were dysfunctional, and not all that different from the dysfunctional kids I knew in the early '80s. It's tempting to tar the majority of gamers as dysfunctional, but that's just as short-sighted as saying everyone who listens to metal is going to buy a black trenchcoat and gun down a school or that everyone who listens to country is a manic depressive inbred who lives in a trailer park. Overall it's likely that the percentages won't change that much. And the Army might be able to tap into some new talent in the bargain.

Adam L
06-16-2008, 08:47 PM
As for undesirables...some of the ones we've sent on their way at this level weren't gamers in any sense of the word. They were dysfunctional, and not all that different from the dysfunctional kids I knew in the early '80s. It's tempting to tar the majority of gamers as dysfunctional, but that's just as short-sighted as saying everyone who listens to metal is going to buy a black trenchcoat and gun down a school or that everyone who listens to country is a manic depressive inbred who lives in a trailer park. Overall it's likely that the percentages won't change that much. And the Army might be able to tap into some new talent in the bargain.

I was in no way saying that gamers are the problem. I make a big distinction between people who play video games, and gamers. Real gamers are normally a very smart, clever and resourceful bunch. I was in no way suggesting they are dysfunctional. If the Army could recruit real gamers I think it would be to their benefit. The problem is I don't think this type of stuff is going to attract gamers. (They already have their own at home! LOL!)

Adam L

Adam L
06-16-2008, 09:07 PM
I agree with Ken on this one. As a guy who's about to turn 40 and is still an avid gamer, I see no harm in using simulations in recruiting and I think most young people understand that a simulation or video game is not reality. And after all, the Army has been doing this for many years now with the "America's Army" video game. The simulations are really only there to get people in the door so they can hear the Army pitch. In a busy shopping mall, you've got to have something to entice people to come in and see your "product" and for the military, simulations are as good a way as any. It's about time that the military starts putting recruiting centers inside malls, imo, because it is where a lot of kids of all stripes hang out these days.


I don't have a problem with the concept of using simulations, I just have not liked those which I have seen. Look, what it really comes down to is that I think that this will be a PR nightmare and will end up in a lot of highly publicized accusations by certain groups. I don't think we are suddenly going to be getting nut cases, but I think that perceptions are everything. Personally, I think that this is going to play right into the hands of all these people we have espousing this anti-recruitment BS. I think there are a lot of ways that the Army can utilize technology to get people in the door, but I just haven't liked what I've seen over last few years so I am skeptical of this idea.

I agree with you about putting recruiting centers in malls. It would be a good idea.


Plus, there are long-term benefits because you'll be getting young teenagers in there and getting them some exposure to the Army and military service. Such exposure can plant seeds that might sprout once they hit 18.

I agree, but that is going to cause a lot of controversy long term. I would bet money that people will come after the Army the way they went after cigarettes. We might even get somebody claiming that they had no choice but to enlist because of the psychological programming which they were subjected to by Army recruitment methods as a minor. LOL!

Adam L

Adam L
06-16-2008, 09:12 PM
Plus, there are long-term benefits because you'll be getting young teenagers in there and getting them some exposure to the Army and military service. Such exposure can plant seeds that might sprout once they hit 18.

If the Army wants to plant seeds they need to do it passively/indirectly. With all the bad press (true or false) they got thanks to No Child Left Behind I don't believe they can afford much more bad press.

Adam L

bismark17
06-17-2008, 08:04 AM
I also agree with Ken. There was a recent Frontline special on kids and the internet or something along those lines that was very interesting. It's a very different world for our High School age kids. They seem to be more willing to engage in text messaging or communication over the internet instead of face to face commo.

I just got back into working out and have been very surprised at how little interaction there is at the gym. Most of the guys are lifting with IPODS in their ears and don't converse like in my generation. Its pretty wild actually. Its getting to the point that gyms don't need to provide music since most everyone is providing their own.

And I'm still running with a CD walkman....

Shek
06-17-2008, 02:09 PM
If the Army wants to plant seeds they need to do it passively/indirectly. With all the bad press (true or false) they got thanks to No Child Left Behind I don't believe they can afford much more bad press.

Adam L

Adam,

Between "America's Army" and the "Virtual Army Experience", there really isn't anything new that is being introduced to the public here from what I see. The only main difference that I see is that instead of having to wait for a big event (NASCAR, air show, fair) to come to your location, a scaled down "VAE" is now being pushed down into Recruiting Command. If there was going to be a public reaction to the concept, I think that it would have already have occured given that AA and VAE have been on the street for years.

Unethical recruiting practices whenever they occur and are discovered and Cat 4/moral waivers will still be the issue that dominates headlines, not a scaled down VAE that is accessible only if a potential recruit voluntarily enters the recruiting office.

http://vae.americasarmy.com/

Entropy
06-17-2008, 03:39 PM
They seem to be more willing to engage in text messaging or communication over the internet instead of face to face commo.


Ain't that the truth. This 16yo son of some friends of ours sends an average of 300 text messages a day! His parents had to get a special plan to keep from going bankrupt. He doesn't see what the big deal is.

Adam L
06-17-2008, 04:53 PM
Ain't that the truth. This 16yo son of some friends of ours sends an average of 300 text messages a day! His parents had to get a special plan to keep from going bankrupt. He doesn't see what the big deal is.

Why don't they take the damn phone away?

Adam L

Adam L
06-17-2008, 04:57 PM
Unethical recruiting practices whenever they occur and are discovered and Cat 4/moral waivers will still be the issue that dominates headlines, not a scaled down VAE that is accessible only if a potential recruit voluntarily enters the recruiting office.


I am not suggesting there will be anything unethical in the recruiting practices. I am suggesting that people (not recruits) will be alleging such (not in specific cases, just generally.) I am concerned with PR.

Adam L

Adam L
06-17-2008, 05:01 PM
Adam,

Between "America's Army" and the "Virtual Army Experience", there really isn't anything new that is being introduced to the public here from what I see. The only main difference that I see is that instead of having to wait for a big event (NASCAR, air show, fair) to come to your location, a scaled down "VAE" is now being pushed down into Recruiting Command. If there was going to be a public reaction to the concept, I think that it would have already have occured given that AA and VAE have been on the street for years.

It really doesn't matter whether something has been around for years. Half the "news stories" that come up these days are about things that the news agencies, and pretty much everybody else, have known about for years. That doesn't stop the news from causing uproar.

Adam L

Adam L
06-17-2008, 05:21 PM
I also agree with Ken. There was a recent Frontline special on kids and the internet or something along those lines that was very interesting. It's a very different world for our High School age kids. They seem to be more willing to engage in text messaging or communication over the internet instead of face to face commo.


Text messaging has its uses, but it is ridiculous the way kids are using it. Unless there is some reason you can't talk, why not just call the person. It's cheaper than texting. As far as IM goes, I have to say that it really made sense before telephone plans got so affordable. I've seen the Frontline thing, and I must say it is a little exagerated. It is true that many valueable social skills have been lost, but it is not solely because they are in a "digital" world. I saw an article a while ago about what they were trying to cover on frontline. I think it was in The American Journal of Psychiatry or the AMA Journal. I'll see if I can dig it up.


I just got back into working out and have been very surprised at how little interaction there is at the gym. Most of the guys are lifting with IPODS in their ears and don't converse like in my generation. Its pretty wild actually. Its getting to the point that gyms don't need to provide music since most everyone is providing their own.

And I'm still running with a CD walkman....


I've experienced that myself, but I think this is because everybody is utilizing the technology not because anything is really different. Also, stay with the Walkman (Sony made a great product and still does. Pricey but a good choice!) The sound quality is much better. If you want a set of great earphones get yourself a pair of these. (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000QW70AK/ref=pd_cp_e_1?pf_rd_p=250314601&pf_rd_s=center-41&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B000I1KGKK&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=0GX9B4AFPY70NY1RBMBZ) (They have unbelievable clarity and power. They also will stay on your ears without bumping around no matter what you are doing or the shape of your ears.) If you are planning to get yourself an mp3 player make sure that it can take high quality formats. If you don't your going to hate the quality. Most people who download stuff to their Ipods are losing up to 90% of the sound. As I keep saying, "People just do not appreciate quality anymore." Personally I think the Archos 605 WiFi (http://www.archos.com/products/gen_5/archos_605wifi/index.html?country=global&lang=en) is the perfect gym machine. It carries all the music you could want in any formate (it has 160 GB drive) and it will record TV shows (like Tivo) and DVDs to its hard drive so you can bring them with you.

Adam L

Entropy
06-17-2008, 05:48 PM
Why don't they take the damn phone away?

Adam L

I was wondering that myself. Knowing what I was like, I'm not looking forward to my kids becoming teenagers. Maybe I should start saving for boarding school!:D

Entropy
06-17-2008, 05:54 PM
Adam,

The detractors against recruiting will be there and be critical no matter what the services do. I don't think the military and particularly the Army can afford to let these critics dictate where and how they recruit. Most of them are far out of the mainstream anyway and IMO a big anti-recruiting protest at a Mall would probably help the Army's image more than hurt it. That Berkely protest hasn't exactly gone well (http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/index.jhtml?videoId=163653&title=marines-in-berkeley&byDate=true) for example.

selil
06-17-2008, 10:21 PM
Text messaging is way more than one-to-one communication. It can be used to update status on a variety of social networking platforms. Take notes. Contact multiple people at the same time. Social networking. Social enhancement. Information retrieval. Information management. All through the SMS and more. Heck you can get the word of the day sent from the SAT/GMAT/GRE people.

To be honest I'm quite horrified to see the level of pedantic generational bile being spewed out of outright ignorance and stupidity.

Adam L
06-18-2008, 03:33 AM
Text messaging is way more than one-to-one communication. It can be used to update status on a variety of social networking platforms. Take notes. Contact multiple people at the same time. Social networking. Social enhancement. Information retrieval. Information management. All through the SMS and more. Heck you can get the word of the day sent from the SAT/GMAT/GRE people.

Yes, text messaging has many wonderful applications, but too often it is used inefficiently and inappropriately.
Adam,

The detractors against recruiting will be there and be critical no matter what the services do. I don't think the military and particularly the Army can afford to let these critics dictate where and how they recruit. Most of them are far out of the mainstream anyway and IMO a big anti-recruiting protest at a Mall would probably help the Army's image more than hurt it. That Berkely protest hasn't exactly gone well (http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/index.jhtml?videoId=163653&title=marines-in-berkeley&byDate=true) for example.

I agree, it is unfortunate that the Army is in such a bad spot. I'm just concerned that the PR guys haven't inoculated the public enough about this stuff in order to prevent a backlash if some newsgroup decides to make a big deal out of this at some point. Plus, I'm concerned that this type of thing might be a little too attractive in some respects. I know that I am probably overly concerned, but unlike you I have no experiences with this on the inside. I am not able to gauge how much faith I should place in the systems ability to weed out problems and retrain those who lack the proper frame of mind.
I was wondering that myself. Knowing what I was like, I'm not looking forward to my kids becoming teenagers. Maybe I should start saving for boarding school!:D

I think the trick is to completely skip the teen years. LOL!

Adam L

Ron Humphrey
06-18-2008, 05:05 PM
Yes, text messaging has many wonderful applications, but too often it is used inefficiently and inappropriately.


I agree, it is unfortunate that the Army is in such a bad spot. I'm just concerned that the PR guys haven't inoculated the public enough about this stuff in order to prevent a backlash if some newsgroup decides to make a big deal out of this at some point. Plus, I'm concerned that this type of thing might be a little too attractive in some respects. I know that I am probably overly concerned, but unlike you I have no experiences with this on the inside. I am not able to gauge how much faith I should place in the systems ability to weed out problems and retrain those who lack the proper frame of mind.


I think the trick is to completely skip the teen years. LOL!

Adam L

The one thing I think you can probably rest easy on the weeding process.
Even in peacetime bad recruits do a pretty good job of weeding themselves out before they get too far. If you add in the fact that many of those training now have been there done that and are dead serious about their trainees capabilities, I somehow doubt too many total hopeless cases make it into the overall ranks.

Just my 1 1/2 though:D

Adam L
06-18-2008, 05:15 PM
The one thing I think you can probably rest easy on the weeding process.
Even in peacetime bad recruits do a pretty good job of weeding themselves out before they get too far. If you add in the fact that many of those training now have been there done that and are dead serious about their trainees capabilities, I somehow doubt too many total hopeless cases make it into the overall ranks.

Just my 1 1/2 though:D

My worry was more those with certain....psychological issues. The guys who couldn't become cops because they failed the psych exam big time. :eek:

Adam L

Ron Humphrey
06-18-2008, 05:38 PM
My worry was more those with certain....psychological issues. The guys who couldn't become cops because they failed the psych exam big time. :eek:

Adam L

I think history has shown us that occasionally it's not a bad thing to have those who "take that hill" first without having such things as concern for one's personal well being causing hesitation which might cost them or others more than they might otherwise pay.

On another note having worked around and with law enforcement for quite a bit I could point out that many of those who run into the issue you mentioned wouldn't have been my first selections for not being hired or kept around. Quite often reality and PC don't necessarily coexist comfortably and therein lies the real issue:(

Adam L
06-19-2008, 02:17 AM
On another note having worked around and with law enforcement for quite a bit I could point out that many of those who run into the issue you mentioned wouldn't have been my first selections for not being hired or kept around. Quite often reality and PC don't necessarily coexist comfortably and therein lies the real issue:(

Well said. I agree. The guys I was referring are the guys who NOBODY wants around. I agree that this PC nonsense causes problems, but there are still a lot of nut cases and I'm sure you've met quite a few in your time and know exactly whom I'm talking about. It always seems that whenever I feel that psych screening uses and practices can't possibly get any worse, they do! :(

Adam L

Jedburgh
06-19-2008, 04:37 AM
The one thing I think you can probably rest easy on the weeding process.
Even in peacetime bad recruits do a pretty good job of weeding themselves out before they get too far. If you add in the fact that many of those training now have been there done that and are dead serious about their trainees capabilities, I somehow doubt too many total hopeless cases make it into the overall ranks.

Just my 1 1/2 though:D
You say even in peacetime as if peacetime standards are far softer. My experience was the opposite. My last year in before I retired I was pushing trainees (2005) and standards that had been strictly observed in peacetime to weed out the unfit were relaxed or completely waived in order to pass more bodies into the system. Those who moved on who would otherwise have been discharged ranged from good, hardworking young'uns who just could not get rid of the fat and couldn't pass an APFT, to habitual troublemakers who were passed on with multiple Art 15s and borderline whackjobs who the base shrink kept saying just needed strong leadership.

In that particular situation, almost all the cadre NCOs had multiple operational deployments and were dead serious about trainee performance - but hands were tied by the CO - who had also received specific guidance about certain "waivers" from TRADOC. It was extremely frustrating to have to graduate and send on a trainee who was not, and never would be, a soldier. And I am sure their receiving units cursed the schoolhouse cadre who passed such garbage on to them. It was not a pleasant year.

Ron Humphrey
06-19-2008, 06:00 PM
You say even in peacetime as if peacetime standards are far softer. My experience was the opposite. My last year in before I retired I was pushing trainees (2005) and standards that had been strictly observed in peacetime to weed out the unfit were relaxed or completely waived in order to pass more bodies into the system. Those who moved on who would otherwise have been discharged ranged from good, hardworking young'uns who just could not get rid of the fat and couldn't pass an APFT, to habitual troublemakers who were passed on with multiple Art 15s and borderline whackjobs who the base shrink kept saying just needed strong leadership.

In that particular situation, almost all the cadre NCOs had multiple operational deployments and were dead serious about trainee performance - but hands were tied by the CO - who had also received specific guidance about certain "waivers" from TRADOC. It was extremely frustrating to have to graduate and send on a trainee who was not, and never would be, a soldier. And I am sure their receiving units cursed the schoolhouse cadre who passed such garbage on to them. It was not a pleasant year.

Having been one of those more likely to have sev of the 15's:wry: I can only imagine how tough it would be as instructors who know that those they are passing on are probably not going to have the luxury of several years to "learn" better before being required to really step up. Another one of the many problems exacerbated by being at war.

That said i would hope that most commands would have the wisdom to be able to tell the difference between those who are truly untrainable and those simply stupid in need of help growing up(another condition we can probably thank our education system and current plethora of familial issues for adding to). I still think that for the most part the military will get out of a soldier, what they put into them. For me the term hopeless just doesn't quite seem acceptable in America;)

AmericanPride
06-24-2008, 05:47 AM
As a recent graduate from the 21-and-under school, I'll wade in with my opinion on the conditions of my peers. Returning home from school with a degree (and commission :D), it's an eye-opener to see the life choices others have made so far. One of the things I see is that my generation is concerned more with living in the moment to the extent that any serious concern about the future is abandoned, and so they trap themselves in the pursuit of day-to-day excitement. I think there's an under-appreciation of consequences in my generation fueled by a desire to avoid judgment by any perceived authority. It's certainly more pluralistic; I think that's good and well in some regards (innovation, etc), but I think my generation is less inclined to balls up and meet threats and challenges head on (paradoxically stifling innovation). They rather retreat and hit the reset button (when there is one). There's an over-abundance of information, networks, etc without any effective means/authority to discriminate what's useful from what's useless. I think this runs deep in the American fabric, however, even entering into our religious and political beliefs (which is another debate :cool:).

As a result of that over-abundance, many in my generation get lost pursuing life choices that, while exciting from day to day, really has no substance, and in the end, leave them without ever approaching their potential. They're more concerned with the journey than the destination. I hear it almost on a daily basis (i.e. "college isn't for everyone", "I want to find myself first", "don't judge people", etc). I'd like to see a study that tracks how many non-traditional students there are today; students that enter school late, complete school beyond the normal 4-years, and students that quit school. How many students can't settle on a major until late in their second or even in their third year of school? Without any scientific basis, I'd guess that those numbers are increasing.

Gaming isn't a cause. It's a symptom of an underlying cultural development. The Army is required by necessity to tap into that demographic to appeal to a generation that's more into the excitement than the opportunities.