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Old 03-08-2009, 11:55 AM
Location: Back in the gym...Yo Adrian!
9,371 posts, read 17,485,715 times
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If so, what was it like? I've known a few in my career and some say they worked long hours into the night, while others were able to live a relatively normal lifestyle. What was it like when you didn't meet your quotas? Did you get a lot of kids flake on you at the last minute? What did you like most and least about the job?
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Old 03-08-2009, 07:29 PM
Location: Fly-over country.
1,765 posts, read 6,240,790 times
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I did. Three year tour (normal time for Army). It was in Houston (Google News search Houston Recruiting for some sad stories. I knew one of the guys who offed himself.)

- I was too senior when I went out, so my experience was probably different.
- It's 6 days a week minimum. Time is normally 8-8, not including PT and trips to the MEPS.
- Very few like it. The ones who do normally hate their regular job, so recruiting is a step up.
- OTOH, like any very difficult experience, once it is over, you might look back on it fondly.
- Biggest problem: Most people are not qualified. If you can get a qualified person to come in for an appointment, chances are high they'll join-- after all, they know they're going to "get recruited". Problem is you are expected to do that twice a month, no break.
- Second biggest problem: Applicants will lie to get in, and waste your time. They always get found out, but it's an epic waste of your time, and you're often under suspicion when the kid gets caught. Examples: use of prescription drugs (ritalin, etc), law violations that don't come back when you run a local check, bad debt, open warrant that hit the system AFTER they join but before they ship, hiding parental status, getting pregnant after they join or getting some gal pregnant after they join (before they ship.)

I did well, but wasn't a big numbers hero. I stayed out of the gray areas, that's for sure. If you roll a zero, you get smoked (retrained, counseled, put on notice, go in on saturday afternoon late to get your govt car and planning guide inspected, stuff like that)

If you go out:

- challenge every prospect -- do not baby them or tell them it is easy or "free college." if they want easy or free college they can get it elsewhere or go get loans. When prospects asked me about "war" I would ask them to read the sign on the door out loud. ARMY -- of course there's "war" (or deployments or whatever.) no lies. never cover up the ugly stuff. you'll write more contracts (just look at how Marines recruit -- they take a chin up bar to the school, not fliers about college funds.

Worst case: you get a station commander or mentor who's willing to go in the gray area or bend the rules -- until he gets caught you'll have a hard time keeping legit. when he gets caught, you get guilt by association. this is very rare, but it happens, and they ALL get caught and punished (now more than ever)

I suspect recruiting will remain very difficullt, even if the economy tanks.
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Old 03-09-2009, 10:07 AM
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My dh did recruiting duty for 3 years in Albuquerque. Our thoughts were that he would be home every night and he had family in Abq, so we'd see them more often.

It was very difficult for us. Like the above poster stated, hours are long, 6 days a week. Longer days if you have a recruit going down to MEPS and heaven help you if he flakes at MEPS. Family life was very difficult. The command would tell him he could have a day off or be off by 6pm so we could make plans with the family, but then pull that at the last minute because someone else at the office had a recruit that flaked and the office wasn't going to make it's numbers for the month.

The post above sounds like my dh when he's talking. I just wanted to add my 2 cents from the perspective of a military wife. My dh was Navy. The guys next door in the Marine office had it even rougher... they had to work Sundays, Christmas Eve and Thanksgiving.

One of my experiences: The command drove me nuts with their constant pushing my dh to take leave, but then cancelling it at the last minute when SOMEONE ELSE didn't make their quota. This went on until I got a face to face with the unit commander... based in another city. I outed all of them... I was so sick of it all! The RInC at my dh's office tried to lie and say I made it all up, but it was impossible to fake that dh was taking regular leave when he arrived with 45 days of leave (after taking 28 days of leave to transfer - last ship had issues permitting leave as well) and 1 1/2 years later he had 62 days still on the books. There were other things going on as well, and let me tell you something... if you want someone to cover for your a**, then you should tell them AHEAD of time that the way you're teaching them to do things is not by the books. It's tough on everyone when the lesson is learned because your wife shares a casual drink at the bar at the annual get together in Laughlin with a woman sitting next to her that she LATER learns isn't just another recruiter's wife, but the commander herself!

It didn't help that the command kept changing while we were there and all the guys in charge began recruiting during the months following 9/11 - talk about easy duty back then! Looking at the numbers, recruiters back then were more about processing paperwork and screening applicants than actually recruiting.
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:45 AM
Location: Fly-over country.
1,765 posts, read 6,240,790 times
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Brings back memories. On 9-11 many schools let out early. They had us doing "red-time" to 9 pm that night. "Red-time" means calling from all lists of prospects and school lists to try to get appointments.

I remember some really angry parents that night.

Then, shortly after 9-11, all the disqualified but patriotic people came in droves. We spent quite a bit of time turning people away. Then the "war" went sour, and we had vandalism at the station. We also had a gang threat of drive by and could not be in the station before sunrise or after sunset during the investigation.

So factor those oddities into your decision.

It is tough, but someone has to do it. I put in one kid who went combat arms (Cav. Scout) and made SSG in three years. He's had three combat tours and multiple awards. I put in another gal who made SGT in three years, married an NCO from another unit and has two kids now. Her husband is now an SGM. She was from an area of Houston where bullet holes in houses were common. Another girl who maxed the ASVAB and turned down a scholarship to serve broke her leg in training and stayed in rehab for about a year before finishing basic, when most would have taken the discharge. Her grandfather was an NVA officer. Her mom hung the picture of her in dress uniform next to a small picture of him, in his NVA uniform. She made SGT in three years and now attends college full time, hoping to pop back in as an officer.

Those kids were worth all the crap I had to deal with. There were more like them, but they stand out the most since they write often.
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Old 03-10-2009, 11:43 AM
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As a satisfied USAF Recruiting Service customer, I'm definitely proud of what the men & women in all of the armed forces recruiting offices do!!! Sorry, you won't get any "horror stories from me! My Recruiter in Miami, FL was MSgt Sandy Sundburg. And he was tops! I'm sure having a dad in the military and time in Army JROTC probably helped, but my experience with him was outstanding & experience at the MEPS was at the very least, bearable.

It used to burn me up while on active duty to hear "my recruiter lied to me"... I truly believe very few in the Recruiting Service lie. I think the biggest part of the problem is that many applicants walk thru the door with preconceived notions about what military life is like and little the recruiter tells them will change that. And, I'm sorry, anyone that walks into a recruiting office and expects to only serve in the ConUS or some exotic overseas base with a big BX ought to go work for some Fortune 500 company instead...

Thanks, guys (and spouses) for all you do!
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:24 PM
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
236 posts, read 332,585 times
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RED TIME! Wow...Its been a lil bit since I heard that term!

If you go on recruiting duty it is all about Location! Think about your co-workers now, where are they from? That is where the recruiting is easier.

I chose a location I had visited and loved the area...but there were no posts! So when my branch manager gave me the "two choice close" of "Recruiting and pick your spot OR Drill and I pick.." I chose RURAL Maine. Not a lot of folks up there, and even fewer that ready to leave...and 3/4 werent qualified for medical reasons (Caution is spot on). Also, the "Mission" (sort of like a quota) is higher in the areas where enlistments predominantly come from. IF you recruit more, your mission goes up next year.

Recruiting is one of the most challenging assignments you will ever have, and it will break some. Some great warriors wither out there at the stations, Ive seen it. Other guys find their true calling, and will be a public speaker in one form or another for the rest of their lives...but this is more rare.
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Old 03-12-2009, 09:04 AM
Location: Hard aground in the Sonoran Desert
4,549 posts, read 8,001,354 times
Reputation: 6273
11 years of Recruiting and still going. It's hard work and not the place for someone that doesn't like to talk to people. You're going to spend long hours trying to find the applicant that will meet the qualification guidlines. If you like your current job I'd recommend you stick with that as Recruiting Duty is more stress than it's worth.
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Old 03-17-2009, 02:12 PM
Location: Lovelock, NV - Anchorage, AK
1,195 posts, read 4,913,409 times
Reputation: 463
The first poster made a comment about bad debt, if an applicant has filed for bankruptcy will that disqualify him for military service?
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