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Business Ethics

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The company I selected is the company I have been employed by for 30 years. I work for the United States Army Recruiting Command. I have been with this command for 17 years and I am currently assigned as the Operations Noncommissioned Officer in Charge at the Mid Atlantic Recruiting Battalion. This Battalion handles all recruiting operations and enlistments in the states of New Jersey, Delaware, and parts of Pennsylvania. We employ about 250 Soldiers and my responsibilities range from interpreting recruiting policies, regulations and waivers, enlistment standards and I also have the additional duty as the Battalion Equal Opportunity Representative. The EOR position is a demanding one at the Battalion and sometimes it feels as though it was my only duty. I handle all cases of sexual harassment, sexual assault, discrimination, and sensitivity and consideration of others training. I also perform command climate sensing sessions with all 5 companies in our footprint. This duty is very demanding and requires that I am fully trained on all aspects of proper reporting techniques, knowledge of current regulations, and a great deal of empathy and desire to help fellow Soldiers.

The recruiting business is an occupation that tests the integrity and morality of all our recruiters on a daily basis. At any given time a recruiter might find themselves on 60 Minutes or the local news saying something to a potential applicant in an effort to recruit them that in not ethically sound. The quest to find a qualified applicant is difficult; they have to be morally, medically and intellectually qualified in order to even begin the processing phase to enlist them. Trying to get a high school graduate to even pass the entrance test is a challenge in itself. The school systems need only to look at the pass rate on the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) to judge their effectiveness. When you find an applicant who can pass the test, you have to weave your way through juvenile law violations, tattoos, drug use, Ritalin use, depression and other assortments of road blocks to enlistment. Plus you have to have a motivated group of young people who want to join the US Army despite a daily dose of Iraq causalities paraded on the news nightly. We are in the living rooms of the American youth, but parents don't want us there. "Not my son or daughter or student", is a common cry among educators and parents. But they all have minivans and cars with the yellow ribbon emblazoned with "We Support our Troops!"

Herein lays the ethical challenges that recruiters are faced with daily; a decreased propensity to enlist in the Armed Forces, poorly educated young people, prevalent drug use and a litany of law violations. The temptation for recruiters to overly enhance the benefits and downplay the possible outcomes of an enlistment can be overwhelming. This is the problem I see in my organization that is ruining our reputation and questioning the very integrity that in so instilled in our recruiters as Soldiers. Only recently 3 of our recruiters were suspended due to a local newscast of undercover "applicants" that went in to a recruiting station with cameras to see how likely it would be for them to have to go to Iraq if they joined. Recruiters were heard saying, "You have more of a chance to get killed in the streets ofÐ'... then in Iraq." Other comments were, "the war is really over, no one else is getting sent thereÐ' could get killed at Subway todayÐ'...only infantry goes over thereÐ'...women are never on the front lines." Recruiters downplayed the inherent dangers of being in the military and the chances of ever serving in a combat situation. "It's all about the college money Johnny!!" All this was captured in vivid Technicolor and broadcast that night to all our communities we recruit in. Even though this is not the message we are taught to relay, out of desperation comes poor lapses in judgment. There have been other recruiters who were caught telling potential applicants how to "beat" the drug test that all are required to



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