Army Recruiters Play Hard Ball

CBS News has learned that the Army will halt recruiting for one day later this month to re-instruct its recruiters on what they may and may not legally do to persuade young people to enlist.

With casualties mounting in Iraq, recruiters have been unable to meet their goals for three months now. The so called "stand down" follows a rash of complaints that recruiters are resorting to unscrupulous tactics to enlist new soldiers, reports CBS News Correspondent Bob McNamara.



"Going Army" and making history appealed to 20-year-old Chris Monarch, so he called a Houston recruiting office.

"I recognized the name," he said. "His name was Kelt."

Sgt. Thomas Kelt was the recruiter.

But a new baby changed Monarch's plan to enlist and he cancelled his meeting with the recruiter.

"I said I'm a volunteer firefighter and eventually gonna try to go career with it and I'm just not interested anymore and I hung up the phone," Monarch said.

But the recruiter wouldn't take no for an answer -- with a phone message threatening Monarch with arrest if he didn't show.

"By federal law you got an appointment with me at two o'clock this afternoon at Greenspoint Mall." said Kelt. "OK, you fail to appear and we'll have a warrant, OK? So give me a call back."

In fear, Monarch called the recruiter back.

"He said, 'Oh Chris, don't worry about that. That's just a marketing technique I use,"' Monarch recounted.

Reporter Mark Greenblatt of CBS affiliate KHOU-TV questioned recruiter Sgt Thomas Kelt.

Greenblatt: "I'd just like to know why you have called up young men threatening to arrest them if they don't come and talk to you?"

Kelt: "No comment."

Greenblatt: "You told the young man that this is a standard marketing technique that you use. Is that true?"

Kelt: "No comment. No comment."

The case is under an Army investigation.

  • Bootie Cosgrove-Mather

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