24 February 2008

Military Recruiting

I've never been interested in sales, so I knew that I should avoid recruiting duty if at all possible.  I could talk with potentials about the positives and negatives, types of duties, financial aspects... just as a recruiter does.  What I would have a problem with is closing the deal.  I have too much respect for personal choice to pressure someone, something a good recruiter (or salesman) must do at times.  I would also have a problem with signing up someone who was likely to screw up.  I know that's the wrong attitude.  The military can help someone who is struggling get control of their life, develop self-discipline and maturity, and otherwise stop being a screwup.  But most of us have had occasion to say, "The recruiter who signed this dirtbag up should turn in a stripe.", or words to that effect.  I didn't want to be that guy.

The way recruiting works now, military members (enlisted and officers) get pulled from their specialties and become salespeople for 2-4 years or so, depending on how they do and how much they like it.  Meanwhile, their specialty goes forward while they lose proficiency.  How they perform as recruiters affects their career, and in the case of sharp operators that downright suck at sales, very negatively.  Even if they do well, "punching the ticket" rarely makes up for the loss of proficiency and currency within their usual specialty.

What I'd like to see happen is that recruiting be contracted out.  There are several large personnel companies that are capable of handling it.  You can still detail active-duty military to recruiting since meeting and talking with our military folks is the best advertising.  Just make it for 4-6 months of temporary duty near their hometown (or another open station-of-choice, don't send them where they don't want to go... not for this.)  They can still get their ticket-punch, recruiter badge, down-time to attend school or stabilize family, etc...  all without losing currency in their specialty.

For the contractor, a graduated payment system will ensure a good mix of recruits and not just warm bodies.  Figure out what a fair compensation is for signing up someone who will make it through their first enlistment.  The contractor gets paid 30% when the recruit successfully completes their basic and advanced individual training.  Payment of another 25% if the recruit completes their first year post-basic and AIT.  The remaining 45% gets paid at the end of four years, no matter how long the active duty commitment .  The actual total payment, percentages, and when distributed are for example only.  When MEDCOM was negotiating the contract for TRICARE, there were tons of people involved, not just a retired nurse spitballing.

I've talked about this with several folks over the last 10 years and every one of them liked the idea.  Why didn't I ever submit it to the "echelons above reality" that might act on it?  That's a great way to become the "project officer"... I've already said I'm not a salesman.  Anybody want to try?

Posted by: Stashiu3 at 23:10:00 | Comments (15) | Add Comment
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23 February 2008

Professional Sports on Television

My wife says that I can be extremely stubborn.  I call it principled (I just call it that, it's mostly just being stubborn.)  One of the problems with that is when I tell a business that I won't patronize them again, I really won't.  Ever.  For example, Office Max is on "the list" because of a customer service rep I dealt with back in 1995 or so when I purchased a defective computer desk.  So here it is, 13 years later and I still hold a grudge stick to principle.  "The List" is pretty long actually (it includes Target, John McCain, Rosie O., Jane Fonda, Michael Moore, the Dixie Chicks, anything with a Sheen in it, and CNN to name a few), but there are only two things on it that I really wish weren't there.

Professional sports is a business also.  When baseball went on strike, I had no beef until the World Series was canceled.  That made it clear to me that both the players and the owners were more interested in the money they made than pleasing the fans who gave them their money and I haven't watched a game since.  After the 88-89 NBA lockout, I gave up on professional basketball.  The NFL was spared banishment from my TV simply because I completely missed their strike in 1982 (I won't say alcohol was involved, but I won't say it wasn't either... just sayin').

So essentially, I only like watching the occasional NHL game (go Red Wings!), and the NFL (go Lions! please, just one season, go Lions!), Golf, Soccer, Tennis, MMA, Darts, Bowling....... ok, if I'm watching TV it's almost always sports.  Just not pro basketball or baseball.  It's the principle.

Posted by: Stashiu3 at 07:06:31 | No Comments | Add Comment
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