Mar 19, 2007

Safeguards Needed at Recruiting Stations

The military is considering installing surveillance cameras in recruiting stations across the country, the most dramatic of several new steps to address a rise in misconduct allegations against military recruiters -- including sexual assaults of female prospects and bending the rules to meet quotas.

In a letter to Congress obtained by the (Boston) Globe, a top Pentagon personnel official outlined the initiatives, which also include a ban on recruiters meeting with prospective recruits of the opposite sex unless a supervisor is present.

Recruiters may also be required to give potential recruits "applicant's rights cards," spelling out what a recruiter can and cannot do to get them to enlist, and the military may set up a hot line to report violations, according to the letter.

Together, they mark the Pentagon's most forceful attempt to address what government investigators say is an increase in the number of recruiters using questionable tactics -- and breaking the law in some cases -- while trying to fill the Pentagon's need for new soldiers and Marines.

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