$15,000 bonus to re-enlist... psych!
I thought that a little pic of a fake inflatable recruiter was just perfect for this story of fake recruiting promises full of hot air:
WASHINGTON – The Pentagon has reneged on its offer to pay a $15,000 bonus to members of the National Guard and Army Reserve who agree to extend their enlistments by six years, according to Sen. Patty Murray (D-Seattle).So, for three months, troops were enticed with the offer of a $15,000 bonus. How many Guard and Reserve members in desperate financial straits had no choice but to re-enlist and take the money? It's not clear whether the soldiers will have to pay back the bonuses (they'd better not!), but it's inexcusable that the offer would be made counter to regulation in the first place, and even more unfathomable that it would take three months to discover the problem!
The bonuses were offered in January to Active Guard and Reserve and military technician soldiers who were serving overseas. In April, the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs ordered the bonuses stopped, Murray said.
"This is outrageous," the senator said in a telephone interview. "It makes me angry that this administration has broken another promise to our troops."
Murray, a leading Capitol Hill critic of management of the Pentagon and the Department of Veterans Affairs, said she didn't know why the bonuses were dropped but suspected it was connected to the tight federal budget.
"It feels like every day I wake up to something else gone wrong," she said. "And it all goes back to this administration not planning adequately for the Iraq war."
In a two-paragraph reply to Murray, Donna Warren, the National Guard Bureau's congressional liaison, said the bonus program had been scrubbed by order of the Office of Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs. Warren said it had been discovered that Defense Department regulations prohibited such bonuses, but she offered no elaboration.
Still, $15,000 bonuses don't seem to be attracting our Yellow Elephants. It could be that young college Republicans with "other priorities" just aren't poor enough for fifteen grand to be worth investing a couple years' time, risking life and limb, and suffering post-traumatic stress disorder. We should come up with a bonus that will irresistably lure the Yellow Elephants into enlisting.
Hmmm... how about a lifetime supply of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer? I hear that's hot with the college kids. Maybe a downpayment on a nice home in a affluent, white, gated community? Perhaps a three-way with Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin (do it for the troops, ladies). Wait, aren't the kids into hip-hop and the "bling-bling" culture now? I know, a diamond bejeweled keyboard and a pimped-out PC workstation with 20" chrome rims (no, I don't know how you put car tire rims on a PC... I'm just thinking out loud). No, I've got it: a promise that when the Yellow Elephants go to Iraq, they'll actually get body armor and armored transportation! We can let Sean John design the body armor and we'll put the 20" chrome rims on the armored Humvee!