Murphy's Law: August 21, 2004


As the Army calls up more National Guard,  Reserves, Individual Ready Reserve, and extends stop-loss orders, some military personnel cant get deployed to a war zone even when they volunteer. For example, the Marine Corps has 3,300 recruiters looking for a few good men (and women) across the country. Only half the officers and NCOs that cycle through the seven weeks of recruiting training are volunteers, while the others are ordered to the duty. It takes seven weeks of hard work to train recruiters to become better public speakers and deprogram them a little bit out of their Corps habits so they can be more approachable to young,  impressionable civilians. Once trained, they spend three years as recruiters, working the local high schools and malls for prospects. Given the pressure to make mission meet recruiting quota some recruiters would prefer to be patrolling the streets of Najaf than being yelled at by their superiors. However, an all-volunteer Corps needs to steadily recruit highly intelligent fresh bodies. 

Military officers in the middle of graduate programs are also told to stay in school, despite their desires not to miss out on the action. The Army especially values officers working towards Masters and PhDs in engineering, computer technologies, and other sciences. Officers often earn partial or full academic scholarships. For instance, the Department of Defense offers a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship Program awarding anywhere from 100-300 fellowships per year. The fellowships represent a significant investment, with DoD picking up full tuition and required fees for up to three years of study, anywhere from $27,500 to $28,500 per year, and $1000 throw in towards minimum health insurance coverage. Doug Mohney


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