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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
NH Dave BS: Lower Standards Help Army Recruit More (36) RE: BS: Lower Standards Help Army Recruit More 11 Oct 06

I believe that the US Air Force started out with what they called Project 10,000, and when it served to produce some usable recruites, although not the sharpest knives in the drawer; went on to accept more of these low category recruits. Generally these people were run through training that was designed to get them into occupations that didn't require a lot of heavy thought, and where they could be closely supervised. There are a lot of these jobs in most branches of the service, and if these people could fit in in this niche, everything was golden. What frequently happened was that one of these people was taken from his shop where he had lots of peer support and placed into a position where he was the one man performing his type of work, and he had to do it on his own, whereupon he failed miserably.

When one of our people crashed and burned in this manner, we had him evaluated and learned that he could barely read at the third grade level, while we had him doing work that required using a tech manual written at the ninth grade level. We sent him to remedial reading school, lost his services for nearly three months while he was in school, and it raised his comprehension to about the sixth grade level. We asked him if he wanted to try the school again, and when he agreed, we sent him back for a second time, hoping that he'd finally be able to read his tech manuals and work more safely. Unfortunately he discovered other things going on around the school location, and was kicked out of the school. At that time, we released him to his original outfit as unsuitable, and levied a requirement on them for a smarter person to work with us.

Actually the work we were having him do was running a diesel engined generator, little more complex than keeping one's car working correctly, but he was the one who was supposed to schedule and perform refueling, checking fluid levels in the engine, as well as doing low level repair on failed generators, which is where he failed. His replacement was less challenged and worked out fine with us for the rest of my tour with the unit.

Probably the thing that doomed the project was the AF deciding to farm out dull repetitive tasks to civilian contractors, the same way most businesses farm out their office cleaning to companies that do this as their daily work. The AF's stand was that it made no sense to train young people as electronic technicians and then use them as dishwashers, grounds keepers, or building cleaners, when we could contract this work at less than half the cost of misusing our technicians in this sort of work. Should these outfits go overseas to support a deployment, it is easy to find locals who will fight over the garbage hauling contract, and gladly clean buildings, wash dishes, and mow lawns for even less than it would cost us in the US.


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