Army Recruiters Help Recruits Conceal Mental Health Issues
Joseph C. Justice Jr./iStock/Getty Images
Back in the mid-2000s, it was getting downright difficult for the U.S. Army to convince young people to serve, even with two wars to choose from. Recruiters were under shit-tons of pressure to meet their quotas, and sometimes meeting your quotas means fudging some paperwork to accept recruits who may be a little less than, shall we say, "ideal." In fact, they got so desperate for new troops that in 2004 one in five recruiters were under investigation for "recruitment improprieties," ranging from hiding criminal records to slipping recruits the answers to aptitude tests to straight up ignoring candidates' fucking mental health histories. Yeah.
Dario Lo Presti/iStock/Getty Images
"You can't be all you can be by knifing up hobos, son. You gotta aim higher."
Nowhere was that last one more apparent than in a case in Ohio, in which a 21-year-old walked directly out of a psychiatric ward and into a recruitment office and was welcomed with a veritable ticker tape parade. All it would've taken to reveal the young man's troubled (and violent) past was a quick Google search. But it ultimately took his parents' repeated visits to the recruitment office and, eventually, a good pounding on their congressman's door before Uncle Sam finally agreed to un-recruit their son.
"Damn. Guess we have to get rid of most of our drill sergeants too."
Meanwhile, in Denver, David McSwane showed up at a recruitment office with a double whammy: he was both a high school dropout and a heavy marijuana user, two problems that should get you a quick and intimate introduction to the sidewalk by any recruiter worth his salt. Instead, the recruiter helped McSwane print himself a nice (fake) high school diploma, and then personally accompanied him to procure the finest pee cleaners that money can buy (we're guessing you don't procure those on the "nice" side of town). Unfortunately for the recruiter, McSwane was just doing all this for shits and giggles (he was actually an honor student and only smoked pot that one time, Mom, he swears). Also, he happened to have a tape recorder.
Best of all, he never once called it fucking "recruitergate."
The examples of recruiting shenanigans take a turn for the depressing when you look at the 2006 case of Jared Guinther, in which the Army damn nigh overlooked the teen's autism and signed him up as a cavalry scout -- one of their most pants-pissingly dangerous positions -- even after his mother called the recruiters to inform them of his disability. According to her, "Jared would play with buttons for hours on end. He'd play with one toy for days. Loud noises bothered him. He was scared to death of the toilet flushing, the lawn mower." In other words, precisely the kind of kid you want to toss directly into combat.
Ah, they'd probably just have him watch the nukes instead.
Gavin wants to see a movie set when the Muppets were first discovered, starring a bewildered evolutionary biologist. He has a Twitter.
For more things that should terrify you, check out 5 Reasons Internet Access in America is a Disaster and 7 Reasons the TSA Sucks (A Security Expert's Perspective).
Inspire your laziest friends to greatness. Click the Facebook 'share' button below.