U.S. Army Tries New Recruiting Tactics

Discussion in 'Warfare / Military' started by Lil Mike, Sep 17, 2019.

  1. Nightmare515

    Nightmare515 Ragin' Cajun Staff Member Past Donor

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    The deployments nowadays have slowed down a bit for most people, at least the warzone ones have. It's not AS BAD as it was a decade ago with it literally being 15 months on (Army) and 1 year off revolving door to Iraq or Afghanistan. We are still sending units to Afghanistan on a routine basis but now if your unit isn't headed to Afghanistan then your unit is headed to Europe most likely. The amount of deployments hasn't changed too much, but where you deploy to has. Which doesn't solve the problem. Most Soldiers honestly couldn't care less where they get deployed to, gone for 9 months (now) is still gone for 9 months whether that's in Afghanistan or running around Europe. That isn't helping. When the wars slowed down we thought we would finally slow down too, but instead the Army traded Afghanistan and Iraq for Europe. So you are still gone all the time just in different locations. The Europe thing is even worse honestly, because in the eyes of exhausted troops the mentality is if you are doing to send me away from my family for 9 months then it better be to go fight a war for a reason. Sending them to Europe to, in their eyes, **** off for 9 months just makes them even more upset because they fell it pointless.

    Damn near EVERYBODY is on the patch chart for deployment "somewhere" at any given time. The Army isn't in the business of just letting a unit sit in garrison in the US for very long. And when you are actually in garrison in the US the Army doesn't let you just relax in a normal(ish) schedule. It's exercise after exercise. For example last year our unit spent a total of 5 1/2 months away from home in exercises, 2 1/2 months doing exercises with 24/7 operations at home station, and like 20 little mini support type things sprinkled throughout. So in 12 months our unit was literally gone for 5 1/2 of them, and spend 2 2/12 in the field while at home. 8 months out of 12 months folks were unavailable for their families, and we were HOME in the United States. Then they get deployed the next year for 9 months.

    ^^That is the problem, as I said, the Army has taken people's entire lives away and that is a hard sell to an 18 year old kid looking at that from the outside regardless of what benefits you promise him. Patriotism, duty, integrity, selflessness, etc is irrelevant, you can't DO THAT to people and expect them to be ok with it. The guy from the Cartoon American Dad would even have a problem with that after awhile.

    I get that the military isn't a "normal" job and there are pretty huge sacrifices that folks are expected to make and accept when signing on the dotted line. But there is still a line beyond which we can expect folks to REASONABLY be willing to cross, and the military has crossed that and has no inclination of turning around. The phrase I hear literally on a daily basis from virtually everybody is "There is no light at the end of the tunnel, this will NEVER stop". The sheer amount of divorces I've personally seen throughout my time is alarming.

    I am a single guy with no wife and no children, and this is rough for even me. What personally upsets me is when I go to work, as I did a couple weeks ago, and I have a friend sitting there telling me how he's upset because his eldest sons birthday is that Friday and he can't take him out anywhere because he has to work that night. And that weekend. AGAIN. And no we can't give him the time off or swap out with him because we are all working. We are in GARRISON. Or when I hear lower enlisted asking their NCO's if they can have the morning off to bring his wife to the hospital because she'd fallen ill last night with a high fever. Yeah we can let you go get her and bring her to the hospital real quick but then you have to come back, we can't let you stay there with her we need you here. In GARRISON. Or when school started recently and many folks had youngones who were beginning their very first day of school. A father would like to be there for that. Nope sorry, Army has an exercise starting that morning. Can we at least give the guys with kids time to see them off to their first day of school? Maybe let them come in to work later in the day? Nope sorry, Army first. Then have a unit full of fathers walking around pissed off and bitter because they just missed their kids first day of school while they were in GARRISON. Not Iraq, not Afghanistan, home.

    That is the reality of whats going on Mike. I get it, the "mission" always takes priority. But this is garrison, the Army has to stop doing that to people. I get they are Soldiers, I get they go above and beyond and make sacrifices, but this can't happen. The Army WANTS an entire force of people like me. Single veteran highly skilled Soldiers who can do whatever the Army needs at any given point because I have nothing else in my life that matters because I have no family anymore (Army life ran them off years ago). But the reality is that no, Soldiers are people they are not robots, and they are not all ME. They have lives, they have families, they have children and the Army HAS to understand that whether they like it or not.

    You take away a persons ability to be there for their loved ones on a routine basis and they WILL tell you to pound sand eventually because their family IS more important than the uniform and it doesn't matter if they are factory workers at GM or Green Berets. I work here, this IS my life, I don't have to read the Army Times or other news articles and surveys to see what's wrong with recruitment and retention. I KNOW what the problem is I see it every day. All of us KNOW what the problem is which is why we laugh so hard whenever we read watered down articles in the military papers. The solution is clear as day, the problem is that the DoD doesn't want to bend at all and since they refuse to bend it's US who break.

    Due to the nature of my job I have to read some of the surveys about how troops feel in a unit every few months. And a few weeks ago I read the most recent one with one anonymous Soldier summing it all up clearly.

    "You tell somebody that they have to miss their kids birthday or anniversary for the 3rd time in a row while in garrison, Soldier or not, they no longer care WHY and they don't give a flying **** about the Army's "vision for the force by 2028"".
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2019
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  2. drluggit

    drluggit Well-Known Member Donor

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    I read this and it seemed clear to me that what this really is is a plea by those who confront our troops to quell our engagements so they can get back to their murderous plans without contest.

    To put a super fine point on it, the average serviceman today hasn't seen real combat. Even though they are deployed to or around the engagement zones, the actual "war fighting" hasn't happened, except by a very small number of folks who are always the pointy end of the spear. Yup, totally get it that folks are away from home, that it wasn't what the recruiters said it would be, but honestly, if anyone has a TV and ever bothered to watch the news, every potential recruit in the pool understands that this is exactly what they are signing up for and why.

    So, I wonder then why anyone would feel the need to beg for slower optempo or more slack time, other than to aid those who are being quelled by our efforts in those engagement zones.

    You have to remember, this is entirely voluntary. Folks aren't required to go, they aren't forced to go, and frankly, they have opportunities to leave when either their basic commitments are up, or their contracts need to be re-upped. It's the job. Most folks I know who are still in uniform, love the job. Yes, they make sacrifices in their personal lives, but they are engaged, they love actually getting to do their jobs, and frankly it's their choice to do so.

    Every day in garrison, or post, or base, is just another day that doesn't get the job done.
     
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  3. Lil Mike

    Lil Mike Well-Known Member

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    Honestly, I did't realize that the optempo was that intensive with our reduced war footing. My memories of garrison life were mostly pre-9/11 and although there were exercises, there weren't regular unit deployments on the scale you are describing, accept during certain periods. It sounds like things picked up post 9/11 and never slowed down. That's a sign that the military is too small to handle it's commitments.

    Looks like the Army's retention issues are more or less permanent then.
     
  4. FreshAir

    FreshAir Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    the standard American diet is reducing the number that could actually enlist if they wanted too sadly

    I heard even the military is looking into implementing the keto diet to keep soldier fit and strong - time for schools to stop pushing high carbs\low fat on kids as the perfect diet

     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2019
  5. Lil Mike

    Lil Mike Well-Known Member

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    An idea occurred to me that since registering for the draft is a requirement (for men) to be eligible for student loans, why not add the requirement for eligibility that applicants meet healthy height/weight standards? They can weigh in once a year and if they don't make it, their student loan eligibility is suspended until they shed the pounds.
     
  6. Nightmare515

    Nightmare515 Ragin' Cajun Staff Member Past Donor

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    And that is exactly what is happening and the crux of the entire argument. We are not the Red Army, we do not conscript people nor can we MAKE people stay in once their commitments are up. I mean we "can" and have before but it's not exactly something we do and trying to do that now in todays climate would have terrible second and third order effects.

    You said folks know what they are getting into for the most part, I agree as I stated before. And that's WHY we have a recruitment problem. Folks know what the military life is like and they want no part of it so they aren't signing up. And since we are not in the business of drafting people we have to figure out how to make military service more appealing so we can get more volunteers.

    All of this stuff sounds good on paper, the US military "keeps it over there so it doesn't come over here" and every day we are not actively being proactive is another day for the enemy to plan against us. Yeah that sounds good, here is the reality. Troops are people, yes they are troops but they are people, they don't want to keep going overseas all the time they want to go home and have something resembling normal lives. We don't HAVE to give them that, but we are seeing the direct results of what we are asking of our troops right now. They are leaving, and not enough new ones are signing up.

    As I said before the Army wishes it had an entire force full of "me's". Not saying I am Rambo or anything but I am a single middle aged highly trained multiple real combat veteran with a very specialized MOS. No wife, no children, and I am available 100% for the needs of the Army at any given moment. I have no wife who may have special circumstances prohibiting us from certain duty stations, I have no children with special needs or children who I can ask for school stabilization or anything. Or any family that requires me to ask work for time off for various family things that work needs to accommodate or else my morale will decrease. I am the Soldier they can call and say we need you in Korea tomorrow morning and I can go. They wish the entire force was me. But it's not. The reality is that I am actually the anomaly not the norm. Most troops have families and lives outside of the uniform that they want to preserve. The military is unable to help them preserve that family time with what it is asking of troops nowadays. In turn troops by the bucket load are saying screw this it isn't worth me losing my family time and they are leaving when their contract is up. And those young folks thinking of military service who have the internet and TV's like you said are fully aware of how life is in the military and they want no part of it. So what does that leave? An undermanned force.

    We can sit here with our arms folded and say "This is the Army!" all we want. Bottom line is simple, the current generation of young folks are what we have to pull from to make new Soldiers. Whether they are the same as we were when we were kids or when our parents were kids or not, they are what we have. We either adapt to the times and figure out how to make ourselves more appealing to them so that they join, or we draft them. As for those in the military already if we want to slow down the retention crisis then SOMETHING has to give. The Army has to BEND, if it doesn't want to bend then it has two choices, either accept an undermanned force or start stop losing people again.

    Sitting back with our arms folded refusing to bend because we are "Army Strong" and we think the kids are a bunch of wussies nowadays solves absolutely nothing.
     
  7. Nightmare515

    Nightmare515 Ragin' Cajun Staff Member Past Donor

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    This is 100% accurate.

    Here is what's going on. The overall worldwide commitments of the US military, not just the US Army, haven't changed. We still need X amount of troops to be in X amount of places all the time. What's been going on for years is that troops are tired of the operations tempo and they walk when their contract is up, and not enough sign up to fill the void. So now we have less people. The commitments don't decrease, so those who are left have to work more. Then THEY get exhausted and say screw this and they walk. And the commitments don't decrease, so the ones left pick up the slack. Then they get tired and walk, and the cycle continues and continues to this day.

    So what we have now is a smaller force with the DoD commitments that require a force many percentage higher than we they actually have. But the DoD won't decrease the commitments, so whoever is left is getting burned into the ground to try to make this work.

    The Obama Administration and the Congress at the time royally screwed the US military with that drawdown sequestration crap. We NEVER recovered from that. And those who are on the outside looking in see what we go through on a daily basis and say absolutely hell no I want no part of that lifestyle.

    I appreciate you as a veteran acknowledging and at least being open enough to understand that things DID increase drastically after 9/11 and did not slow down. One of the most frustrating, and honestly hurtful things I hear so often from more senior veterans is that the current Army is just soft and we are just "bitching". No we are not soft, nor are we just bitching, the Army of post 9/11 IS NOT the same lifestyle that Soldiers experienced pre 9/11, not even close. The US Government is asking A LOT MORE from post 9/11 troops than it ever had to ask of pre 9/11 troops. Not the fault of anybody, things obviously changed, we went to two wars that required our continued commitment. But what frustrates me the most is when I hear people who served in the 80s and 90s recollect on their service and remember it not being "that bad". Yeah it's the Army, the Army sucks it's a love hate relationship, but it wasn't "that bad".

    It's not the same now, not even close. As my father who is a 24 year veteran himself tells me nearly every time we talk on the phone. "You did and seen more **** in 1 year than I did in my entire career".

    And honestly what genuinely means the most to me (and likely to most of us) and when the senior veterans come up to us and shake our hand. I met a man and his wife in a local bar a couple weeks ago and we began talking to each other. Long story short I thanked him for his service and he stopped me right there and said "No, thank you. I was in Vietnam, I did 2 tours, you boys have been at war for 20 *******n years and counting, thank YOU for your service".

    That means a lot, not because I want the praise (I actually seriously get uncomfortable with that sort of thing and I never tell anybody I'm in unless I know they were). But rather because a Soldier who came before us understands what's going on right now and understands what our country is asking us to do, and has been asking us to do non stop before some of us were even born. To have a Vietnam vet, folks whom I have the most sincere genuine respect for in the world, tell me that they "get it" and respect us as much as we respect them, that means a lot.

    For vets to believe us to be a soft force now who just bitches and complains because this is "hard", that actually hurts.
     
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  8. drluggit

    drluggit Well-Known Member Donor

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    Interesting. I don't actually think that the pool is as unready as you might believe it to be. I think as folks age through their careers that new is always "less capable" than they remember themselves to be when they were new. But even with that said, the issue that you're talking about isn't new. The traditional, "if the (insert service of your choice) wanted you to have a family, they would have issued one to you."

    But, the reality is this. The goal for recruiting seems to be the problem that you're trying to address. The ability to attract quality is always competitive with the health of the current economy. For the services to compete, the congress has to provide them with the financial ability to compete. They also have to produce an experience that is attractive, either in its ability to educate or otherwise certify technical skills for those who join. Because we have to be realistic here. The services are a choice. If the choice isn't attractive, or financially competitive, the numbers suffer.

    Perhaps it is necessary for the services to more actively engage in the educational process to provide visibility and develop trust in the say junior high/senior high school levels, and involvement at the college university level. I understand the collective gasp of horror liberal folks might emit now. At some point though, if these schools are going to take federal monies there can be strings. Allowing students to explore military options shouldn't be excluded from them by the collective who now run the schools.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2019
  9. Lil Mike

    Lil Mike Well-Known Member

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    I've got an entire blog post on "thank you for your service" running around in my head...

    Like any other crusty veteran, I have only my own experiences to go on, and that is my memory, that the pre-9/11 tempo was not intolerable. However I was still in during 9/11 and was deployed for 22 months as a result (from the reserves) and retired in 2009. So I knew the tempo was high then, but like I said, since then we have withdrawn for Iraq and greatly reduced our forces in Afghanistan, so it did seem reasonable to me that things had slowed down. I didn't realize the beating that the services took on sequestration.

    Well I'm sorry. I hate that we're that stretched that we're driving people out in droves and can't replace them. That's a situation that we'll pay for sooner or later.
     
  10. Nightmare515

    Nightmare515 Ragin' Cajun Staff Member Past Donor

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    I understand the whole lack of family time in the military aspect is nothing new. It's always been like that. However, even though that's always been how it is, the amount of time taken away in years past pales in comparison to the current situation. There was no never ending revolving door of deployments pre 9/11. So even though the running gag back then was if the Army wanted you to have a family we'd assign you one, the amount of commitments and time dedicated to the uniform still gave most enough time with their family. Nowadays that seesaw is nowhere near balanced.

    It's not me saying the pool of potential recruits is unready, that's the DoD saying that. Missing target recruitment numbers for the first time in decades. And I also read a few months ago about how most people in that age group are not even physically qualified for service.

    All I'm saying is this. It's not just the Army, other branches are hurting too, but we know what the actual problem is. I have a highly specialized MOS that is in the middle of a retention crisis and the Army itself has a retention and recruitment problem. This is a round table discussion among the guys on a near daily basis at work and due to my rank and position this is actually a formal discussion that is conducted in meetings routinely. Every single person from lower ranking to higher ranking brass all says the same thing every single day, it's not the money it's the quality of life. We have to fix that or this problem will never be solved.

    The Army Times published an article a few weeks ago and somebody brought a copy into work and plopped it on the table and when we read that we all started literally laughing out loud. Not because our crisis is funny, but rather reading what the high brass was saying the issue was. It was actually shocking to us that the Times published that openly and even included an anonymous quote from a Soldier who said wished to remain anonymous for fear of reprisal. The Soldier was a field grade officer who flat out basically said that the continuous fabricated response to this problem by high brass can no longer be classified as anything other than willful ignorance.

    I am a member of multiple online groups for my MOS and I obviously know a bunch of us who do this particular job seeing how it's my real life. The response to that article was the same by all of us in my particular career field throughout the entire force. My buddy actually called and woke me up when that article came out laughing. I read it and shook my head like everybody else in pure awe at the fact that even to this day the force still REFUSES to admit reality. They KNOW what the problem is, I'm sorry but you don't earn Stars on your chest by being an idiot. They just can't say it so they continuously try to find any and every solution possible outside of tackling the 5 ton elephant in the room. But that's the Army, we are always the last ones to ever do anything.

    The Air Force has the same problem, actually a worse problem. Difference is the Secretary of the Air Force has zero problem with admitting what the actual problem is. She flat out said it and published it and Air Force Brass continuously openly says it and publishes it in their paper. Paraphrasing but they basically said "We are asking too much of our Airmen and Aviators. The non stop operations tempo and commitments make civilian life more appealing to our service members. We are actively working to reduce the workload of our pilots and have directed commanders to study the feasibility of having pilot only jobs without other commitments. Increasing pay and bonuses is not the long term solution, improving the quality of life of our Airmen is most important". In layman's terms, "We are working them too much, lets figure out how to stop doing that".

    Army? "We have no idea whats wrong, we are going to start doing exit surveys on Soldiers to ask them why they quit". They literally said that in the article...As we have been sitting here with bullhorns screaming in their ear for a decade.

    Bottom line is simple, there is only so much TIME that a person is going to be willing to give up for something. Including more technical certifications in military training is fine and good, but even with that once the reality of what service is going to ask for in return hits home most people are going to say screw that.

    "Become an Army aircraft mechanic and also earn your AnP license as well"
    Kid: "Hell yeah"
    "Here is what daily life is like as an Army aircraft mechanic"
    Kid: "Hell no".

    Sorry but there is seriously no way around it. WE HAVE to slow down. THAT is the only solution. This is my life, I've seen first hand the results throughout the years. Massive bonuses being offered, then increased even more, then even more, then increased to eye popping numbers. And the acceptance rate for those bonuses was alarmingly abysmal. Lump sum bonuses equating to what the average civilian makes in 4 or 5 years being turned down at an alarming rate and Soldiers choosing to walk out of the door anyway instead. It's not WORKING, it's not me just seeing it every day and seeing it not working, the raw numbers are saying it's not working. They want their lives back. Give them their lives back.

    Or we can just continue on as is and with our heads in the sand praying that the problem will just go away.
     
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  11. Nightmare515

    Nightmare515 Ragin' Cajun Staff Member Past Donor

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    It's a situation that we are paying for now....

    I hate the notion of "We can't afford to. Yeah but we can't afford not to", but right now it fits. I understand reality, I'm not some ignorant junior enlisted kid who's entire understanding of the Army stops at his squad leader or something. I've been doing this awhile and my rank and position sits me at the table of "big picture" meetings all the time. I get it, but we have to bend.

    Pulling the reigns back does have 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th order effects for the US military as a whole on a global operational scale. But galloping at full speed does as well and we are feeling those effects right now and seeing the very real blatant reality of what that is doing to the force. You can have a thoroughbred that can run fast, the best one in the stable, and you can ride her hard and if she slows down a bit you can whip her and make her speed back up again. But there is a POINT to where even if you whip her she just can't keep sprinting at that pace, she physically CAN'T give anymore and eventually she will fall down.

    We CAN'T keep sprinting like this anymore. We could do it before sequestration, we had the bodies. We don't have the bodies anymore and Obama and Congress had a vision for the future that FAILED. They did that crap with the expectation that the wars were over and we would slow down, then low and behold I find myself a few years ago sitting in Iraq again retaking the same damn FOB's that we occupied in the mid 2000's. They said we were pulling out of Afghanistan, Trump said that crap too, but we aren't, we're still there.

    Obama and Congress ****ed up, period. This is NOT what they "thought" the world was going to be like in 2019. We are geared and staffed to operate in what they THOUGHT the world would be like right now, not what is actually IS like right now.

    Either figure out how to give us more volunteer bodies or draft people or cut back on this Team America World Police crap. There is NO other choice anymore because this recruitment and retention problem isn't going to be solved any other way. If you are offering people bonus checks that amount to mid business CEO salaries and they are telling you to pound sand in droves then you know something is terribly wrong.
     
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  12. Nightmare515

    Nightmare515 Ragin' Cajun Staff Member Past Donor

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    And on another note the Army just published the standards for it's new PT test, the Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT). It's more difficult than the old APFT and there are no separate categories for females anymore. Once again, something that SOUNDS GOOD on paper. This is a subject worthy of a separate discussion entirely but ties into this recruitment and retention discussion.

    It sounds good, tougher standards, more fit force, weeding out the weak or injured, equality for male and females, etc. Problem is we don't have enough people as it is and according to the DoD 71% of young people are unqualified for military service due to obesity, no high school diploma, or a criminal record.

    If the Army cannot maintain it's operational readiness with the numbers we currently have and not enough folks joining up, I am curious to understand the rationale behind a "smaller more fit force" and how that's supposed to be beneficial. There is a reason why all 11B infantry boys are not Army Rangers. Hell yeah Rangers > normal infantry but it's unrealistic to have 10 Ranger Infantry Divisions in the Army even though that would of course be much better. We need massive amounts of "normal" infantry too because that's actually realistically obtainable.

    Sounds good....We'll see how this plays out. All Armies throughout history and in modern times require massive amounts of "bodies" to just do day to day normal stuff to keep the war machine running. The majority of service members sit at desks doing support stuff to keep the machine going in support of the combat forces. We need "normal" people to do that stuff to support those of us who leave the wire.

    Sorry but I don't care if the woman who works in the personnel department at a desk can Deadlift her own body weight....Her being unable to do that but can still do her desk job is better than her not being there at all in a time when we need more people in the first place....

    I don't see this thing working out the way they are planning. It's one of those things that works better on paper than it will in implementation in my opinion. I hope it works, a more fit and tougher Army is certainly a great thing but I live in the real world. This will go into effect throughout the force and the first round will yield some alarming results. So basically what they are going to do if they stick to their guns is kick out the majority of women and pretty much anybody with an injury...There aren't enough raw bodies left over after that unless they start reducing the number of operational divisions they want in the Army...
     
  13. Lil Mike

    Lil Mike Well-Known Member

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    On the new PT Test, when I first read about it, I thought it was a goof, or some clever political troll by senior Army personnel to push women out of the Army. It just did not make sense to me that you would go from a rather simple, if imperfect PT test, but one that could be given anywhere with no special equipment, to a complicated and still imperfect PT test that required lots of special equipment. I can't believe they are still going to roll this out. I was one of the guys who thought "no way is this happening."

    I guess it's happening.
     
  14. Nightmare515

    Nightmare515 Ragin' Cajun Staff Member Past Donor

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    As of today the official standards have been finalized and published. As a "fall back" the Army also announced that it's a "living document" and that it may or may not further adapt as more units are tested on it and more data is collected. As of FY20 it is ordered to become the diagnostic throughout the force and become the new record standard by the start of FY21.

    They've been doing trial runs of it with certain units already to gather data. As of today 86% of female Soldiers tested so far have supposedly failed.

    Due to pressure (and legal) they have since included alternate events for those Soldiers on permanent profiles. At first it was determined that no alternate events would be allowed and that those unable to conduct the 6 event test as published would be chaptered whether due to lack of fitness OR permanent injury prohibiting them from doing one of the events. They've changed that at this point. However, the alternate events published today are comically ridiculous. It has been noted that the alternate events were purposefully made to be virtually unpassable in order to discourage Soldiers from attempting to get on profile to get them out of running. This is the "compromise" as of today.

    The Army didn't want to have to retain injured Soldiers on permanent profiles, legal said they can't make a PT test that doesn't accommodate injured Soldiers , so the response was for the Army to allow profile Soldiers to take the new ACFT with their limited abilities however they made the alternate events virtually impossible to actually pass. So either way, sticking to their guns as of now, they don't want injured Soldiers so they made the PT test for injured Soldiers completely unrealistic so as to chapter them out within the confines of the military legal system.

    Look up the alternate events. It has been analyzed by number crunchers that in order to actually pass the new bike event requires a consistent pace a mere 2-3mph slower than the Tour de France for nearly 10 miles. In order to pass the alternate swim event requires a faster swim time than required at Navy SEAL BUD/S. And those with lower leg injuries prohibiting them from running are still required to do the sprint drag carry somehow.

    It is absolutely ridiculous and impossible for injured Soldiers to successfully pass any of those events. I'm 90% sure JAG will step in again in regards to that.

    I get what the Army is trying to do, but it is completely unrealistic and I was absolutely shocked when I read that today. There is a world that the Army wants and there is the real world that we actually live in. Everybody who knows me on this forum or in real life knows I am everything but politically correct, but what the Army is trying to do is basically kick out women and those with permanent injury. Although this will be met with praise from many on the outside looking in, and many within, the reality is that in this modern world we live in there is no way that will stand in society. Especially the women thing. I get the whole "haha you wanted equality and you wanted to be in the Army so now you got it" thing, and I myself am sort of in the camp, but I am a realist and I know good and damn well the sheer amount of outside pressure that's going to come down on Congress after the first news article is published saying that the US Army is kicking out thousands of women for being unable to pass it's new PT test.

    Army is tough and stubborn but it's not stupid. If they can't get a significant amount of current female Soldiers to pass this PT test then they'll change it, they aren't foolish enough to put themselves in a situation to deal with the royal hell of a backlash that would come down if they tried to stand there with their arms folded in defiance.

    I don't think......
     
  15. raytri

    raytri Well-Known Member

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    When I was a Reserve 2LT fresh out of AOB at Knox, I moved to upstate New York for a job. I was branched armor, but the nearest Reserve armor unit was in NYC, 3 hours away. The only other nearby unit looking For an LT was a drill-sergeant school.

    I could think of no worse assignment for a brand new 2LT.
     
  16. Lil Mike

    Lil Mike Well-Known Member

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    "As of today 86% of female Soldiers tested so far have supposedly failed."

    That's exactly why I thought this PT test would never fly. I figured it was politically impossible. I get that, in a perfect world, I would like to set one physical standard and sink or swim, but I agree this seems totally unrealistic. I really don't get how they are going to take tens of thousands of female careerists, officers and NCO's in the middle of their career, that they are going to be kicked out for PT failure. This won't be just an Army uproar, it would be a national issue. You can bet this would dominate news coverage. That's why I didn't think it was going to happen.
     
  17. Nightmare515

    Nightmare515 Ragin' Cajun Staff Member Past Donor

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    Sorry I was mistaken, 84% failed not 86%. 16% have passed so far in units tested.

    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/army-hates-women-dont-intend-i-think-bo-schnell

    Plus the other side of this is how PT tests count for promotion points. Even the women who pass are just flat out not going to get the same scores as men on this new test for the most part. That's going to effect promotion rates for women going forward as well.

    I'm honestly shocked that the Army has balls enough to push forward with this in todays turbulent society. Kudos to them for sticking to their core beliefs, but yeah....I really don't think they can keep this as the new standard without some significant modifications to better accommodate female Soldiers. Like it or not, agree or not, women are in the Army. And I just really don't think the Army is going to be allowed to kick 4/5ths of them out and justify it via increased operational readiness and lethality.

    That may have been able to fly in the years past, but that ain't flying in 2019.
     
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  18. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Well-Known Member

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    Go out and start a good war?

    I would never encourage a kid to join the military. If they are driven to join by their nature or events, fine. But don't con children into possibly ruining their lives. It is unethical and immoral.

    I spent a lot of time working at VA hospitals. Every time I heard "Be all that you can be", it made me wince.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2019
  19. Moonglow

    Moonglow Well-Known Member

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    More pay and free hookers...
     
  20. Lil Mike

    Lil Mike Well-Known Member

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    Well...not sure that you have anything to contribute to this thread if your goal is to discourage military enlistment. That makes new recruiting tactics rather beside the point doesn't it?
     
  21. Up On the Governor

    Up On the Governor Well-Known Member

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    I can’t speak on the Army but we’re having a huge pilot retention issue as well as people fleeing other job fields like cyber and Intel. Why? Because there is a lot more money to be made in the private sector after you gain the skillset in the military. There is also a problem with the AF operating more like a broken bureaucracy that honestly makes flying not worth it anymore, especially with the airline hiring boom. I’m staying in because I’ve lucked out and have a unique position, but a lot of other experienced pilots are gone and we can’t fill the gaps. If the system isn’t fixed, these wide-eyes young pilots are going to get salty and bitter before they flee too.

    As far as Ops tempo, I feel it’s about to get worse. We have been fairly regular on deployments and have a number of operational squadrons to share the load, but these are getting more interesting and more are gone at a time now. We’re also training for much faster turn times. I’m interested to see if and when this will be used, and how.

    The PT test is a joke. My job requires me to be in shape and I should be held to higher standards, but 95% if military personnel don’t need to be held to the same standard. Instead of gender and age differences, it should be based on AFSC (or MOS or whatever you guys call it).
     
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  22. Nightmare515

    Nightmare515 Ragin' Cajun Staff Member Past Donor

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    .
    Yeah you AF boys are in the same boat as we are regarding pilots for the exact same reasons. You could replace every mention of "AF" with "Army" in your post and it would be the exact same issues we are having. Difference is at least your branch is open and honest enough to admit it unlike us. To this day the Army is still too stubborn to admit that the rotary wing to airline program has crushed Army Aviation and the reason why everybody is quitting en masse is because they've had enough of this lackluster quality of life. We have General Officers as of last month openly stating "We have no conclusive data on whether or not the airline program is effecting our critically low pilot retention rate". While you can't walk more than 30 seconds into any Army hanger in the world and not hear somebody talking about GoJet or Jet Blue. They even published that in the Army Times and Army pilots cried laughing. We've been screaming with bullhorns for years that the quality of life in the Army for aviators is why everybody is quitting, but the Army doesn't want to hear that.

    As you said, flying is just not worth it anymore for most people. Don't get me wrong, flying in the military is pretty cool, but after awhile no matter how "cool" something is eventually it becomes "work". And in todays military with the outrageous optempo it's becoming increasingly difficult to make this worth it long term, ESPECIALLY with the airlines now accepting us whirlybird guys. I mean lets be honest, outside of "Patriotism" what real incentive does someone have to remain flying in the military when they have a near 100% chance of being accepted into the airline program that will pay them 6 figures in a matter of years? I am by no means bashing the military, but rather looking at this from realistic unbiased eyes. Why would somebody choose to make less money and work harder in a career that routinely moves you all over the place to places you don't particularly want to go and deploys you all the time? I get it, we're the military that's how we operate it's our job that we signed up for, but why would somebody choose that over something that pays more and doesn't ask all of those other things from you? That's the core issue that the military needs to figure out how to tackle.

    You have a mid career highly skilled and trained aviator that you spent millions of dollars training. His obligation to you is nearly up and he has a job offer to fly civilian. Convince him that staying in the military is a better choice. That's what they need to figure out. And to put it in layman's terms the way to do that is to admit that his life sort of sucks and he works too much and he doesn't want to do that anymore.

    Same exact boat, even in regards to the massive experience gap between aviators with the experience being gone and the mid career guys walking out of the door in droves for civilian airlines. The funny thing is that when we first heard about the Air Force pilot shortage we were pretty shocked honestly. Then we read about why you guys were having problems and we were pretty dumbfounded. We always looked at you guys with envious eyes believing the Air Force treats it's pilots with respect and you guys are probably happy unlike how we get treated with this whole "you're not a pilot you're a Soldier who flies helicopters" Army bullshit. We were sitting back thinking hell we know the Army sucks, it's the Army it's designed to suck, but the Air Force is paradise compared to us but their pilots are upset about the same exact things we are always complaining about. It's the Air Force...what the hell are they doing to you lol?
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2019
  23. ArmySoldier

    ArmySoldier Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    That's because you don't value pride of any kind. I'll encourage my children to join, but if they don't want to I will let them do their own thing.
     
  24. osbornterry

    osbornterry Well-Known Member

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    I have a brother who is a dentist in a VA hospital. He says his patients were proud they served--many in Vietnam. He said they refer to the old stories of drugs in the front lines as BS.

    You worked at a VA? With that attitude, when did they fire you?
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2019
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  25. Up On the Governor

    Up On the Governor Well-Known Member

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    It’s the fact that we’re more like a business than a military branch that has worn on me. Our priorities are screwed up and there is a focus on making everyone feel like a warfighter, even though they’re not part of the fight. When I went to Squadron Officer School (some BS you do as an O-3), we weren’t allowed to wear flight suits because the vast majority of people don’t get to. It was sad and it’s only gotten worse.

    If I didn’t have a unique assignment I would have gotten out by now. I wouldn’t fly for the airlines but I certainly wouldn’t be subjecting myself to helping the guy in finance feel like he’s the tip of the spear when all he has to do is unf**k my pay.
     

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