HELL IN THE HOUSTON RECRUITING BATALLION
SERIES OF SUICIDES FORCE ARMY BRASS TO
INVESTIGATE - THREE RECRUITERS DEAD, TWO
BY HANGING - FORMER PERSONNEL OFFICER
SHOOTS HIMSELF IN HEAD - REPORT CITES
"POOR COMMAND CLIMATE" - LTC TOIMU REEVES
GETS A TRANSFER - COMMAND SGT MAJ CHERYL
BROUSSARD SHUFFLED OFF TO SAN ANTONIO
CAN YOU SPELL: "C-O-V-E-R U-P?"
It was August 2008. S/SGT Amanda Harrison sat clutching the hand of her husband Patrick, also a recruiter at the trouble-plagued, mismanaged Houston Recruiting Battalion in Texas.
They were attending a memorial service for their colleague at the Nagogdoches office, S/SGT Larry Flores. The 26 year-old recruiter and combat veteran had just been berated by his brutal commander for not "making mission" (at least two recruits signed up per month) and the 14-hour days, six to seven a week, had taken their toll.
Flores had had enough. He hung himself. Ironically, fellow NCO Patrick Harrison did the same thing a few months later. He too, was under the merciless pressure of callous, career-minded martinets who care nothing for the soldiers under their command, only making themselves "look good."
SUICIDE PATTERN AT HOUSTON RECRUITING BATTALION
The deaths at the end of a bicycle chain and a rope weren't the only "casualties" at the recruiting battalion. CPT Rico Robinson, 32, a personnel officer, put a bullet through his head, and Staff Sgt. Nils Anderson, a two-tour veteran of Iraq and former member of the 82nd Airborne Div., also took his own life.
Both men snapped under the relentless stress.
Four deaths since 2005 in one recruiting battalion caught the attention of Texas Sen. John Cornyn who demanded an investigation. The Army responded with a thick pile of paper that cited "poor command climate" and "an unhealthy and singular focus on production at the expense of the soldier and family."
Of course, the usual "shuffle" resulted. The recruiting battalion's commander, the surly LTC Toimu Reeves, got a slap on the wrist and a transfer to another unit. He'll likely make colonel in a couple years. The top-grade enlisted member, Command SGT MAJ Cheryl Broussard, remains "under investigation," but while she's waiting for the white-wash to be completed, she's working in of all places, the San Antonio recruiting office.
Let's hope she takes better care of her soldiers and NCO's down there than she did in Houston.
THE WORST DUTY IN THE ARMY - RECRUITING
Name-calling - "dirt-bag" and "loser" - plus plenty of degradation and humiliation is the Army's usual method to motivate and "punish" recruiters who, for any reason, fail to "make mission." We wonder how long it will be before the new "leadership" at Houston revert back to the old, ugly ways of signing up new recruits. Perhaps as soon as the media glare goes elsewhere.
MilitaryCorruption.com rarely sees anything in TIME Magazine to admire anymore. The increasingly-thin publication was almost as bad as NEWSWEEK in 2008 with the "all-Obama, all the time" worship and political propaganda. At least in years past, the national news magazines would make a pretense of being "objective." Now, the last two left, don't even try and hide their left-wing bias.
But writer Mark Thompson and TIME itself are to be highly commended for the excellent job they did in their recent story on the Houston situation, entitled: "THE DARK SIDE OF RECRUITING." We suggest our readers go there for a more complete report on the troubles in Texas.
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