Monday, April 17, 2006

Military Recruiting: The Yellow Elephant in the Room

Attention Pro-War Americans:

Here are some sincere suggestions to help you convince other real Americans to agree with you; most apply to pro-war rallies or counter-protests at anti-war events:

1. Be prepared when speaking to a reporter. If you are a veteran or reservist, make sure the reporter knows that (and writes it down with your name). The same goes if you are in ROTC/OCS/etc., or if you are a parent of any of these.

2. If you were not accepted for military service, or know you are ineligible so why waste the recruiters' time, first tell the reporter it's off the record (that is, not to be published), and then make sure the reporter knows that you at least stepped forward or considered military service yourself. [You don't have to share medical details with the whole country, which is why you specify it's off the record before speaking to the reporter.] Not all recruiters do paperwork when a potential prospect turns out to be ineligible; if you have proof, show it to the reporter, but if you don't, please say so up front. You need to ensure that the reporter knows that you are serious about the policy you are supporting.

3. Assuming none of the above apply to you, be prepared for The Question: You appear eligible for military service and you are here (at this event) to support the war. Have you considered enlisting? It's both legitimate and relevant to the story, so you might as well think about it. When you do, please also seriously consider volunteering for military service yourself. Military recruiters are standing by.

4. If you're not eligible to serve, be prepared for The Other Question: Have you encouraged your eligible relatives and friends, your circles of influence, to consider military service?

6. If, after considering The Question and The Other Question, you have decided that you definitely support the war only if "other people" actually fight it, then please be proud enough to say so, publicly. Some people say that this blog doesn't want people like you to express their opinions. That's not true: We want you to express them to the entire country!

Thank you for participating in our great democracy.


At 17 April, 2006 18:00, Blogger Diana Rowe Pauls said...

WOW and THANK YOU. You SAID it!!

At 20 April, 2006 20:51, Blogger Bubblehead said...

Interesting post; I'm a retiree -- I served on active duty in the Navy (submarines) for 21 years and couldn't stay in longer because of a medical disability, and my son is planning on going to the Naval Academy. I volunteered to go to Iraq, but they didn't need any submariners, so I got sent TAD to CENTCOM HQ instead, where I worked with the Coalition Coordination Center for Iraq (mostly with the Poles). I support the Global War on Terror, and the concept of extending it to Iraq, but don't like how it's been executed. How's that? Does my opinion count as much to you as an anti-war veteran?

At 21 April, 2006 06:11, Blogger QuestRepublic said...

Interesting comment from the submariner. I am an ex-Navy pilot from the Vietnam era, USNA grad and a life-long republican.

After initially supporting the Iraq War, I now learn that the evidence was cherry-picked. I admit to being seduced by the articles in NYTimes and influenced by Secretary Powell's presentations.

Now we have this sudden parade of retired senior officers griping about Rumsfeld. While a few senior officers like Shinsecki and Zinni objected early on to the invasion or plans for post-war management, where were those general officers then, when their support could have helped?

Sounds like Vietnam all over again, when the enlisted and junior officers lives were ignored by their seniors because of their careers.

At 21 April, 2006 22:25, Blogger Mr. Ed said...

bubblehead - please share your experiences and opinions. I'm interested in hearing both.

At 23 April, 2006 03:51, Blogger Bubblehead said...

Mr. Ed: Fair enough -- Got a couple hours? Here's a link to a bunch of posts I've written about the war. While I don't think the Bush Administration (and CENTCOM) have handled the aftermath of the war very well at all, I still think that the idea of opening the Iraqi front in the GWOT was the right thing to do. If we keep screwing it up like we've done so far, though, it'll turn out to be a bad idea. My concern is that we may have reached the "point of diminishing returns" already.

At 23 April, 2006 14:18, Blogger Karl said...


I've read a couple of your posted stories, but I can't find any where you address our topic in any way, even tangentially.

If you have, please respond in the comments on "Dialogue with Bubblehead" and provide individual links if you can. [To get back now, I go right back to OYE and have to start over.]

Since this blog hasn't taken a position on the war itself, some of your other thoughts might be off-topic, but a brief intro and a link from the comments is OK.

Thank you again for your interest in Operation Yellow Elephant.

At 23 April, 2006 20:56, Blogger Bubblehead said...

My own post? Sweet. You shouldn't have... I put a comment up there. I'll check up on it later, after I look around your web site to see if you're calling for everyone who's concerned about Israeli oppression of Palestinians to do a "Rachel Corrie" and volunteer to go to Gaza to serve as a human shield.

At 25 April, 2006 16:02, Blogger Karl said...


Thanks, but this is a single-issue blog and Gaza is off-topic.

If you want to call for "everyone who's concerned about Israeli oppression of Palestinians to do a 'Rachel Corrie' and volunteer to go to Gaza to serve as a human shield," please feel free to do so.


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