Some schools are barring recruiters from talking to students, Army secretary says

Joining the Military
Recruits take the oath of enlistment before a NFL game in Arizona, November 2018. Photo: Alun Thomas/U.S. Army Recruiting

Army Secretary Mark Esper said on Friday that some schools "are not letting our recruiters in" to talk to students, and some school counselors "are not even presenting [the Army] as an opportunity, the chance to serve their country."


"It's considered the only path to success is college, and that there are no other paths," Esper said at a Center for Strategic and International Studies event. "I just think we need to do a better job across America and our school districts, our states, our cities, to present the American military as a great path for the future."

This resistance presents a bit of a roadblock for an Army with a renewed focus on recruiting this year after failing to meet its goals in 2018. The service announced its intent to recruit more aggressively outside of its typical comfort zone of the South, Southeast, and Midwest, and to push into 22 major cities like Boston, San Francisco, and New York.

Esper told reporters at a Pentagon roundtable on January 24th that the campaign to recruit in those cities had been "positive so far." But he told reporters after the CSIS event that there's a "spectrum" of support found at schools around the country — some don't let recruiters in at all, some may let them in on "very restrictive purposes," and others are less restrictive.

Esper clarified that he wasn't necessarily referring to schools in those 22 cities that were resisting recruiters, and that he hasn't assessed where in the country this problem is most prominent.

But, he said, all schools "should allow recruiters in just like they let in colleges to come recruit. ... We should have equal access to America's youth."

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley had previously echoed the importance of expanding recruiting efforts on January 16th, telling reporters at an Association of the United States Army breakfast that around 50% of Army recruits "come from about 10 to 15% of American's high schools."

"We need to expand - and we're doing that this year – rapidly expand the footprint by which we are canvassing to get recruits to come into Army," he said.

Task and Purpose Pentagon correspondent Jeff Schogol contributed to this story.

SEE ALSO: The Army Is Fielding Hundreds Of More Recruiters After Failing To Bring In New Soldiers

WATCH NEXT: Gen. Petraeus On Answering The Call

My brother earned the Medal of Honor for saving countless lives — but only after he was left for dead

"As I learned while researching a book about John, the SEAL ground commander, Cmdr. Tim Szymanski, had stupidly and with great hubris insisted on insertion being that night."

Opinion

Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.

Air Force Master Sgt. John "Chappy" Chapman is my brother. As one of an elite group, Air Force Combat Control — the deadliest and most badass band of brothers to walk a battlefield — John gave his life on March 4, 2002 for brothers he never knew.

They were the brave men who comprised a Quick Reaction Force (QRF) that had been called in to rescue the SEAL Team 6 team (Mako-30) with whom he had been embedded, which left him behind on Takur Ghar, a desolate mountain in Afghanistan that topped out at over 10,000 feet.

As I learned while researching a book about John, the SEAL ground commander, Cmdr. Tim Szymanski, had stupidly and with great hubris insisted on insertion being that night. After many delays, the mission should and could have been pushed one day, but Szymanski ordered the team to proceed as planned, and Britt "Slab" Slabinski, John's team leader, fell into step after another SEAL team refused the mission.

But the "plan" went even more south when they made the rookie move to insert directly atop the mountain — right into the hands of the bad guys they knew were there.

Read More Show Less

Sen. Rick Scott is backing a bipartisan bill that would allow service members to essentially sue the United States government for medical malpractice if they are injured in the care of military doctors.

The measure has already passed the House and it has been introduced in the Senate, where Scott says he will sign on as a co-sponsor.

"As a U.S. Senator and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, taking care of our military members, veterans and their families is my top priority," the Florida Republican said in a statement.

Read More Show Less

Little girls everywhere will soon have the chance to play with a set of classic little green Army soldiers that actually reflect the presence of women in the armed forces.

Read More Show Less
Turkish and Russian patrol is seen near the town of Darbasiyah, Syria, Friday, Nov. 1, 2019. (Associated Press/Baderkhan Ahmad)

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia landed attack helicopters and troops at a sprawling air base in northern Syria vacated by U.S. forces, the Russian Defence Ministry's Zvezda TV channel said on Friday.

On Thursday, Zvezda said Russia had set up a helicopter base at an airport in the northeastern Syrian city of Qamishli, a move designed to increase Moscow's control over events on the ground there.

Qamishli is the same city where Syrian citizens pelted U.S. troops and armored vehicles with potatoes after President Donald Trump vowed to pull U.S. troops from Syria.

Read More Show Less
An Austrian Jagdkommando K9 unit conducts training (Austrian Armed Forces photo)

An Austrian soldier was apparently killed by two military working dogs that he was charged with feeding, the Austrian Ministry of Defense announced on Thursday.

Read More Show Less