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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 21, 2005 / 10 Adar II, 5765

Willing to serve

By Jack Kelly


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The Army fell far short of its recruiting goal for February, giving journalists a welcome respite from the avalanche of good news from the Middle East.

The Army signed up 1,823 fewer recruits than its goal of 7,050 for the month. A falloff in enlistments by blacks and women appears to be the chief reason for the decline. In the 2000 fiscal year, 23.5 percent of Army recruits were African American, 22.1 percent were female. So far this year, only 14.5 percent of recruits are black, just 17.1 percent are female.

The Marine Corps made its goal, but by the skin of its teeth. The Air Force and Navy are having no recruiting problems.

Journalists portrayed the February shortfall in the worst possible light.

"To the daily drumbeat of casualty reports from Iraq, young blacks and women are marching away from offers to the join the Army," wrote Robert Burns of The Associated Press.

"These trends, combined with negative effects of the Army's image as a last-resort career choice for what one study called the 'average Joe,' suggests the military's largest service may be entering a prolonged recruiting slump at a time when it is trying to expand its ranks," Burns wrote.

Or maybe not. The last time the Army missed a monthly recruiting goal — in May 2000 — it made it up by the end of the fiscal year. The glass always seems half-empty when you tell only half the story.

The war in Iraq and an improving economy have made the recruiting mission "very difficult," said S. Douglas Smith, public affairs officer for the Army's Recruiting Command.

But Congress has approved higher enlistment bonuses, more money for college and more recruiters. As these resources come on line, recruiting should improve, he said.

Burns implied that opposition to the war in Iraq is the chief reason for the decline. His article cited a quote from the U.S. Military Image Study, conducted for the Army last year by the Minneapolis polling firm Gfk Custom Research: "More African Americans identify having to fight for a cause they don't support as a barrier to military service." But blacks and Hispanics still have a higher propensity to enlist than whites do, and more young people are willing to join up now than before the war on terror began, the study also indicated. These facts didn't make it into Burns' story.

Overall, 6 percent of blacks, 7 percent of Hispanics and 5 percent of whites surveyed in 2004 said they definitely would serve in the military. An additional 17 percent of blacks, 15 percent of Hispanics and 9 percent of whites said they probably would serve.

In 2001, only 11 percent of all young people surveyed said they would definitely (2 percent) or probably (9 percent) enlist. Last year that figure rose to 15 percent (5 percent definitely, 10 percent probably).

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Since the economy is stronger now than it was in 2001, and good economic times typically are hard times for military recruiters, a 36 percent increase in the proportion of young people willing to consider enlisting since the war on terror began says something good about our young people that Burns, apparently, is not eager to have you hear.

Burns notes with alarm that the proportion of young people who cite fear of combat as a reason for not joining the military nearly doubled (from 14 to 26 percent) between 2000 and 2004. He quoted the study again: "In the past, barriers were about inconvenience or preference for another life choice. Now they have switched to something quite different: fear of death or injury."

But is it all that astonishing that fear of death would be a bigger consideration during time of war than it is during peacetime?

Money for college was the principal reason young people gave for a willingness to enlist, followed by "duty."

Proportionately more blacks and women enlist for the economic benefits, while a higher proportion of white males give duty as a reason for joining up.

So blacks and women who enlisted primarily for the benefits are being replaced by white males who enlist primarily to serve their country. That's not such a bad thing.

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JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration. Comment by clicking here.

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© 2005, Jack Kelly