View Full Version : Marine Corps credits recruiters, not waivers, for success

06-18-08, 02:20 PM
Marine Corps credits recruiters, not waivers, for success

By Jeff Schogol, Stars and Stripes
Pacific edition, Wednesday, June 18, 2007

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Marine Corps’ recruiting success is due to largely to more recruiters, not more waivers, a Corps official said on Tuesday.

In May the Corps made 122 percent of its monthly recruiting goal with 2,656 recruits, marking the eighth month in a row that the Corps had exceeded its monthly goal.

Steve Wittle, of Marine Corps Recruiting Command, attributed the Corps recruiting success in part to the 600 extra recruiting personnel that the Corps has added since 2006.

“They are — as has been stated in the past — they’re the ambassadors of the Marine Corps,” Wittle said Tuesday.

With the number of U.S. veterans declining since the end of the draft 30 years ago, the general public is not as well informed about military service, he said. That means recruiters are the primary sources of information of what it means to be a Marine.

Stars and Stripes posed the question whether the Corps was issuing more waivers to exceed its recruiting goals.

“That implies that we’ve deliberately went out to, you know, give more waivers, and the answer is no,” Wittle said.

The Corps issued has issued more waivers for conduct and other issues than the other services since fiscal 2003.

In fiscal 2007, the Corps issued 17,750 individual waivers to recruits, or 49.9 percent of all recruits for that fiscal year, according to information provided by the Defense Department.

Also last fiscal year, the Army issued 14,820 waivers, or 22 percent of all recruits; the Navy issued 7,378 waivers, or 20.1 percent of all recruits; and the Air Force issued 2,429 waivers, or 8.8 percent of all recruits, according to the information.

Data on waivers issued by the Corps for this fiscal year are unavailable, Corps officials said.

Wittle said one reason the Corps leads the other services on waivers is that Marine recruits need a waiver if they’ve tried marijuana just once.

“One-time use requires a waiver,” he said. “There are some people that ask the question, ‘Well why don’t you set, set a threshold? And you sit there and say, well if you use marijuana more than 10 [times], that’s a waiver.’ Well the Marine Corps looks at it from the perspective of, wait a second, we want to try to get the applicant to be upfront [and] honest with us.”

In fiscal 2007, The Corps issued 12,289 waivers for drug, according to the Defense Department.

The Corps does not have figures on how many of those waivers were for one-time use of marijuana, because recruiters ask applicants if they have smoked marijuana between one and 50 times, Wittle said.

“That’s the range,” he said. “That would be it, and they would not differentiate. Like I said; one-time use would be the same thing as somebody [who] says ‘up to 50.’ ”