A Navy recruiter has been accused of making false promises to enlist
two Kapolei teenagers.
Misleading young men and women in order to sign them up for military
service makes no sense for anyone involved, including the tricky recruiter.
When enlistees discover they have been deceived, they aren't likely
to view their stints favorably, the military gains service members
who are disgruntled and the recruiters -- though possibly reaching
their enlistment quotas -- get bad reputations that can prevent them
from doing their jobs effectively. In addition, the military and
recruiters in general are tainted by the bad practices of a few.
Parents and young people as well as older people considering
enrolling in the armed forces should make sure they know in detail
what's ahead before they agree to enlist. While a career in the
military can provide an education, a range of opportunities and other
benefits, potential recruits need to enter the services with eyes wide open.
Two recent Kapolei High School graduates and their families have
found that a recruiter's promises of college benefits weren't exactly
as billed. They were told that the Navy would pay for them to go to
college for four years before having to serve four years, but it
turned out the sequence was reversed; they were to serve on full-time
active duty before earning any college benefits.
The mother of one of the graduates told the Star-Bulletin's Susan
Essoyan she was skeptical of the promises and went with her son to
assure herself everything was in order and to verify the terms of
enlistment. But they turned out to be otherwise.
The recruiter, Petty Officer 1st Class Jimmy Pecadeso, apparently had
been the source of previous problems. The school's principal said he
had banned Pecadeso from recruiting on campus for being "overly
aggressive" and "doing things that appear not to be ethical." The
recruiter's supervisor was advised of problems several times, the
Recruiters can meet with students at the school only if parents have
given permission and if a counselor is present. However, the
resourceful recruiter managed to track down one of the teenagers off campus.
Granted, the teenagers should have known what they were doing, but it
appears they were rushed into a decision without the benefit of
talking with their families.
A 2006 government study showed that while hard-sell tactics by
recruiters were rare, claims of recruiter misconduct were increasing
and, because the military did not track all allegations, the problems
likely were underestimated. The study also showed that the majority
of recruiters, who are involuntarily assigned the duty, are
dissatisfied with the task, which has become increasingly difficult
because of the war in Iraq.