Army to order one-day break from recruiting


Move comes amid reports of inappropriate

sign-up methods


From Jamie McIntyre
CNN Washington Bureau

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The U.S. Army plans to stop recruiting activities for one day this month to review procedures that its 7,500 recruiters use, an Army official said.


Maj. Gen. Michael Rochelle, head of the Army Recruiting Command, is expected to make the announcement, which could come as early as Thursday (the stand-down occurred on Friday, May 20, 2005).


The move follows a CBS News report of least two allegations of recruiting abuse.


In one case, the network reported a recruiter suggesting how a potential volunteer might cheat to pass a drug test, and in another, a sergeant threatened a prospect with arrest if he didn't report to a recruiting station.


The Army said it is investigating the allegations.


A senior Army officer said Wednesday that the "stand-down" is being ordered not only because of possible misconduct but also because the service has had a difficult time attracting volunteers. The Army wants to assess the stress facing recruiters.


With the war in Iraq, recruiters face increased pressure to meet their recruiting goals. The Army has missed its recruiting targets for three months, and the National Guard and Army Reserve also have fallen short of their goals.


The purpose of halting recruitment for a day is to refocus recruiters on their mission, reinforce the Army's core values and ensure its procedures are carried out consistently at all 1,700 stations, an Army spokesman said.


The procedure is highly unusual for the Recruiting Command, but "safety stand-downs" are routinely ordered in military aviation following a series of accidents that appear to have a common thread.


In the case of aviation, pilots and air crews are grounded for a day while they review proper procedures. An Army official could not say whether a recruiting stand-down has been ordered before.