New armed forces recruits ask more questions - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

New armed forces recruits ask more questions

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May 19, 2004

Albany -- Military recruiters say even in the midst of the war in Iraq, they aren't seeing a shortfall in recruiting. But with no certain end to the fighting new recruits know they could end up on the battle field.

Eight-teen old Maurice Davis is closely watching a recruiting video that may sway him to join the Marines. A move he hopes will pay for college. But one he hopes won't necessarily mean he'll see any fighting.

"It pretty dangerous I don't want to be caught in any fire or nothing," says Davis.

Recruiters say although they aren't seeing a decrease in their numbers, they are noticing more recruits asking about whether they will be required to fight in Iraq.

"Will I have to go? You just tell them you can't guarantee that you will or you wouldn't but obviously being in the military there is a chance you might have to," says Marine Recruiter Jeff Schlarb.

Whether new recruits will go to war is an issue of timing. Marines are trained from a year to a year and a half before they are expected to fight.

In the army the number is about six months and in the Navy it's four months.

Those who sign up now for the Air force may get up to two years of training before they become active. But with no quick end to the new war on terror in sight, recruiters say they aren't trying to sugar coat the picture of war.

Even their new video shows a far more realistic picture than those in the past.

"It hasn't changed the way I talk to these men and women at all because I've set a standard for myself and my recruiters out here that they are going to honest with these kids from the beginning," says Schlarb.

Explaining to young service people now about a war that may define their generation.

The marine recruiters we talked Wednesday say many people who sign up believe the benefits of joining the armed forces outweigh the potential dangers.

posted at 6:23PM by scott.hunter@walb.com