Wry post-Easter thoughts

The Better Half and I headed to southern Maine yesterday for Easter dinner with friends. The food was good, the company was good, and it was a lovely day.

I had the pleasure of sitting across the table from a member of the hosts' extended family. He works for the US Army, placing new recruits in jobs that are suited to them. Important work, to be sure, and he had a lot of interesting things to say.

A couple of years ago it was very difficult for them to fill their recruiting quotas. The economy hadn't hit the skids, and people weren't enlisting as much as they needed. (He didn't say this, but I suspect people weren't especially excited about being cannon fodder when there were less dangerous options available.) This led, of course, to a lowering of their recruitment standards. For example, it's generally unacceptable for new recruits to have visible tattoos. But a couple of years ago, this was waived for people who had tattoos on their necks. Ditto people who scored below a certain threshold on their aptitude testing.

With the economy in the tank, however, everything is back to beer and skittles for recruitment. Being a fan of a well-trained volunteer Army, as free as possible of knaves and fools, I am generally happy about this. But I couldn't help but be a bit bemused by one small thing I heard.

When recruitment was in the doldrums, they even began to issue waivers for certain felonies. Sex offenders were still out, but if you'd stolen a few cars and had paid your debt to society, then there may have been a place for you in the US Army. Now, I don't really have a problem with this per se. But what the hell is wrong with the US Army that it will willingly take convicted felons, but gay people are still forced to serve in silence?

1 comment:

  1. Today's St. Louis P-D has an article about the Knights Out group that addresses this topic.