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RebootedCorpse
11-16-2007, 03:09 PM
Army Desertion Rate Highest Since 1980
By LOLITA C. BALDOR 2 hours ago
WASHINGTON (AP) Soldiers strained by six years at war are deserting their posts at the highest rate since 1980, with the number of Army deserters this year showing an 80 percent increase since the United States invaded Iraq in 2003.
While the totals are still far lower than they were during the Vietnam War, when the draft was in effect, they show a steady increase over the past four years and a 42 percent jump since last year.
"We're asking a lot of soldiers these days," said Roy Wallace, director of plans and resources for Army personnel. "They're humans. They have all sorts of issues back home and other places like that. So, I'm sure it has to do with the stress of being a soldier."
The Army defines a deserter as someone who has been absent without leave for longer than 30 days. The soldier is then discharged as a deserter.
According to the Army, about nine in every 1,000 soldiers deserted in fiscal year 2007, which ended Sept. 30, compared to nearly seven per 1,000 a year earlier. Overall, 4,698 soldiers deserted this year, compared to 3,301 last year.
The increase comes as the Army continues to bear the brunt of the war demands with many soldiers serving repeated, lengthy tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Military leaders including Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey have acknowledged that the Army has been stretched nearly to the breaking point by the combat. Efforts are under way to increase the size of the Army and Marine Corps to lessen the burden and give troops more time off between deployments.
"We have been concentrating on this," said Wallace. "The Army can't afford to throw away good people. We have got to work with those individuals and try to help them become good soldiers."
Still, he noted that "the military is not for everybody, not everybody can be a soldier." And those who want to leave the service will find a way to do it, he said.
While the Army does not have an up-to-date profile of deserters, more than 75 percent of them are soldiers in their first term of enlistment. And most are male.
Soldiers can sign on initially for two to six years. Wallace said he did not know whether deserters were more likely to be those who enlisted for a short or long tour.
At the same time, he said that even as desertions have increased, the Army has seen some overall success in keeping first-term soldiers in the service.
There are four main ways that soldiers can leave the Army before their first enlistment contract is up:
_They are determined unable to meet physical fitness requirements.
_They are found to be unable to adapt to the military.
_They say they are gay and are required to leave under the so-called "don't ask, don't tell" policy.
_They go AWOL.
According to Wallace, in the summer of 2005, more than 18 percent of the soldiers in their first six months of service left under one of those four provisions. In June 2007, that number had dropped to about 7 percent.
The decline, he said, is largely due to a drop in the number of soldiers who leave due to physical fitness or health reasons.
Army desertion rates have fluctuated since the Vietnam War when they peaked at 5 percent. In the 1970s they hovered between 1 and 3 percent, which is up to three out of every 100 soldiers. Those rates plunged in the 1980s and early 1990s to between 2 and 3 out of every 1,000 soldiers.
Desertions began to creep up in the late 1990s into the turn of the century, when the U.S. conducted an air war in Kosovo and later sent peacekeeping troops there.
The numbers declined in 2003 and 2004, in the early years of the Iraq war, but then began to increase steadily.
In contrast, the Navy has seen a steady decline in deserters since 2001, going from 3,665 that year to 1,129 in 2007.
The Marine Corps, meanwhile, has seen the number of deserters stay fairly stable over that timeframe with about 1,000 deserters a year. During 2003 and 2004 the first two years of the Iraq war the number of deserters fell to 877 and 744, respectively.
The Air Force can tout the fewest number of deserters with no more than 56 bolting in each of the past five years. The low was in fiscal 2007, with just 16 deserters.
Despite the continued increase in Army desertions, however, an Associated Press examination of Pentagon figures earlier this year showed that the military does little to find those who bolt, and rarely prosecutes the ones they find. Some are allowed to simply return to their units, while most are given less-than-honorable discharges.
"My personal opinion is the only way to stop desertions is to change the climate ... how they are living and doing what they need to do," said Wallace, adding that good officers and more attention from Army leaders could "go a long way to stemming desertions."
Unlike those in the Vietnam era, deserters from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars may not find Canada a safe haven.
Just this week, the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear the appeals of two Army deserters who sought refugee status to avoid the war in Iraq. The ruling left them without a legal basis to stay in Canada and dealt a blow to other Americans in similar circumstances.
The court, as is usual, did not provide a reason for the decision.

Blandy vs Terrorism
11-16-2007, 03:11 PM
Good for Canada.

Thommy Melanson
11-16-2007, 03:19 PM
There are four main ways that soldiers can leave the Army before their first enlistment contract is up:
_They are determined unable to meet physical fitness requirements.
_They are found to be unable to adapt to the military.
_They say they are gay and are required to leave under the so-called "don't ask, don't tell" policy.
_They go AWOL.


Just like Iran, the Army doesn't have homosexuals.

What century is this?

Every soldier in Iraq should go to their C.O. and tell them they're gay.

Does this policy apply to lesbians as well, btw?

Ray G.
11-16-2007, 03:20 PM
Anyone who thinks they can treat the military like an at-will employment opportunity is an idiot.

Blandy vs Terrorism
11-16-2007, 03:24 PM
Just like Iran, the Army doesn't have homosexuals.

What century is this?

Every soldier in Iraq should go to their C.O. and tell them they're gay.

Does this policy apply to lesbians as well, btw?

Most chains of command would require more than that. A guy in basic tried telling his drill sergeant that he was gay, to which the DS replied: "Here's the phone. Call your dad and tell him you're gay and we'll start the paperwork right now."

RebootedCorpse
11-16-2007, 03:27 PM
If people are leaving for true convictions of conscience then it's hard for me to see why they shouldn't.

Amos Moses
11-16-2007, 03:28 PM
I doubt you'll find much support for this Corpse.

Thommy Melanson
11-16-2007, 03:28 PM
Most chains of command would require more than that. A guy in basic tried telling his drill sergeant that he was gay, to which the DS replied: "Here's the phone. Call your dad and tell him you're gay and we'll start the paperwork right now."

He should have done it.

He can always tell his dad afterward he needed to do that to get out of the Army.

Relaunched
11-16-2007, 03:28 PM
Quit the military? Cool - just write the government a check to reimburse every nickel and dime the US dumped into training, feeding, housing and educating you.

You don't like going to a war you don't believe in? Me neither! Which is why I didn't join the frigiin army.

Blandy vs Terrorism
11-16-2007, 03:28 PM
Anyone who thinks they can treat the military like an at-will employment opportunity is an idiot.

Also, given that it's been four and a half years since we invaded Iraq, and longer since Afghanistan, fuck those who go AWOL in the ass even more. Unless they signed up for six years (which wouldn't be many, as that's very uncommon contract for new soldiers to go for), then they signed up after both conflicts started. They knew exactly what they were getting into when they walked into the recruiter's office.

Blandy vs Terrorism
11-16-2007, 03:29 PM
Also, given that it's been four and a half years since we invaded Iraq, and longer since Afghanistan, fuck those who go AWOL in the ass even more. Unless they signed up for six years (which wouldn't be many, as that's very uncommon contract for new soldiers to go for), then they signed up after both conflicts started. They knew exactly what they were getting into when they walked into the recruiter's office.


If people are leaving for true convictions of conscience then it's hard for me to see why they shouldn't.

That's why.

Thudpucker
11-16-2007, 03:37 PM
If people are leaving for true convictions of conscience then it's hard for me to see why they shouldn't.

They shouldn't have enlisted if serving goes against thier convictions. If this was a draft situation I would be sympathetic, but it's not. Fuck those deserters.

RebootedCorpse
11-16-2007, 03:39 PM
They shouldn't have enlisted if serving goes against thier convictions. If this was a draft situation I would be sympathetic, but it's not. Fuck those deserters.

Fighting in war is far different from thinking about war.

Blandy vs Terrorism
11-16-2007, 03:41 PM
Fighting in war is far different from thinking about war.

And again, with the exception of the six year guys who might have joined before said conflicts, they knew that if they joined they'd more than likely going to fight. Fuck them in the ass with a sandpaper condom.

RebootedCorpse
11-16-2007, 03:44 PM
And again, with the exception of the six year guys who might have joined before said conflicts, they knew that if they joined they'd more than likely going to fight. Fuck them in the ass with a sandpaper condom.

Are you going to keep reposting this? I hope so. I look forward to what the next instrument of ass-fucking will be.

Blandy vs Terrorism
11-16-2007, 03:45 PM
He should have done it.

He can always tell his dad afterward he needed to do that to get out of the Army.

As far as I'm concerned, that still wouldn't be good for someone's future. If I were interviewing someone with prior military service and they got out through any other means than honorable discharge or medical reasons, I'd more than likely not hire them. Lots of employers are that way.

Blandy vs Terrorism
11-16-2007, 03:46 PM
Are you going to keep reposting this? I hope so. I look forward to what the next instrument of ass-fucking will be.

Are you going to keep posting comments about how anyone who wants to get out of the military should just be able to leave?

RebootedCorpse
11-16-2007, 03:47 PM
Are you going to keep posting comments about how anyone who wants to get out of the military should just be able to leave?

Yes, because that's not what I said.

Blandy vs Terrorism
11-16-2007, 03:48 PM
Yes, because that's not what I said.

Actually, it kinda is.

Amos Moses
11-16-2007, 03:49 PM
I wonder this is hitting the Army harder than the other branches. The only thing that comes to mind is that it's probably support personal leaving, since the Army has more of them than the Marines.

Bedlam66
11-16-2007, 04:22 PM
YAY!!!! Deserters!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

RebootedCorpse
11-16-2007, 04:25 PM
YAY!!!! Desserters!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

http://www.uwstout.edu/chd/rendezvous/Dessert2.jpg

Ray G.
11-16-2007, 04:29 PM
Armies do not work that way. Regardless of the morality of the issue, armies just cannot function if people can up and quit. I don't know personally, but how many people do you think would up and quit during the first few days of basic if they weren't locked in? An at-will military(not to be confused with the volunteer contract system we have now) would leave us extremely vulnerable, and regardless of what you think of this administration and this war, I can't imagine anyone wants that.

RebootedCorpse
11-16-2007, 04:37 PM
Armies do not work that way. Regardless of the morality of the issue, armies just cannot function if people can up and quit. I don't know personally, but how many people do you think would up and quit during the first few days of basic if they weren't locked in? An at-will military(not to be confused with the volunteer contract system we have now) would leave us extremely vulnerable, and regardless of what you think of this administration and this war, I can't imagine anyone wants that.

I don't think it should be legal, armies obviously don't work that way.
But there are some laws I can see breaking for reasons of conscience.
I don't expect to be agreed with.

PimpSlapStick!
11-16-2007, 05:45 PM
Wow Awol went up by 42%?

Thudpucker
11-16-2007, 05:49 PM
Wow Awol went up by 42%?

It's expected during wartime.

During peacetime not very many people go AWOL so that small number increasing by 42% is still not alot of people btw.

PimpSlapStick!
11-16-2007, 05:51 PM
It's expected during wartime.

During peacetime not very many people go AWOL so that small number increasing by 42% is still not alot of people btw.


42% is significant no matter how you spin it.

adam_warlock_2099
11-16-2007, 05:56 PM
42% is significant no matter how you spin it.

I dare comment . . . strickly mathematical . . . if desertation was 1% in peace time and there were 100 soliders, that would 1 solider. So at 42% it would be 42 soliders. So that's damn near 50%.

So if we have 100,000 that would be 42,000 soliders? (I'm drinking so bear with me.) That does sound like a lot.

Let's see then a 1,000,000 would 420,000? Damn.

How many soliders are over there?

I need another Chimay.

Blandy vs Terrorism
11-16-2007, 05:56 PM
I dare comment . . . strickly mathematical . . . if desertation was 1% in peace time and there were 100 soliders, that would 1 solider. So at 42% it would be 42 soliders. So that's damn near 50%.

So if we have 100,000 that would be 42,000 soliders? (I'm drinking so bear with me.) That does sound like a lot.

Let's see then a 1,000,000 would 420,000? Damn.

How many soliders are over there?

I need another Chimay.

That's not what he's talking about.

Thudpucker
11-16-2007, 06:00 PM
42% is significant no matter how you spin it.

Spin is an interesting word. I would have chosen 'put in perspective' myself. The article goes into detail about the numbers in case you missed it:


Army desertion rates have fluctuated since the Vietnam War when they peaked at 5 percent. In the 1970s they hovered between 1 and 3 percent, which is up to three out of every 100 soldiers. Those rates plunged in the 1980s and early 1990s to between 2 and 3 out of every 1,000 soldiers.
Desertions began to creep up in the late 1990s into the turn of the century, when the U.S. conducted an air war in Kosovo and later sent peacekeeping troops there.
The numbers declined in 2003 and 2004, in the early years of the Iraq war, but then began to increase steadily.
In contrast, the Navy has seen a steady decline in deserters since 2001, going from 3,665 that year to 1,129 in 2007.
The Marine Corps, meanwhile, has seen the number of deserters stay fairly stable over that timeframe with about 1,000 deserters a year. During 2003 and 2004 the first two years of the Iraq war the number of deserters fell to 877 and 744, respectively.
The Air Force can tout the fewest number of deserters with no more than 56 bolting in each of the past five years. The low was in fiscal 2007, with just 16 deserters.

2 or 3 out of every 1,000 soldiers in the Army were deserting in the 90's. It said that number declined in 03-04, then began to climb again. I still think that's a pretty small number, even if it raises aqs high as 5 out of every 1000.

The Navy and the Marines have seen a steady decline in desertions, not an increase. The Air Force has only had 16 desertions total this year.

PimpSlapStick!
11-16-2007, 06:02 PM
Either way I feel both sympathy and anger for those who go Awol.

Doc Randy
11-16-2007, 06:24 PM
Also, given that it's been four and a half years since we invaded Iraq, and longer since Afghanistan, fuck those who go AWOL in the ass even more. Unless they signed up for six years (which wouldn't be many, as that's very uncommon contract for new soldiers to go for), then they signed up after both conflicts started. They knew exactly what they were getting into when they walked into the recruiter's office.

QFT

Whip
11-16-2007, 06:31 PM
I can't imagine going AWOL in Iraq or Afghanistan. Where will you go?

PimpSlapStick!
11-16-2007, 06:34 PM
No most guys go Awol before even leaving the states.

Whip
11-16-2007, 06:45 PM
No most guys go Awol before even leaving the states.

Makes sense. Well, it doesn't. They better hope they never get pulled over by a cop ever.

ThisSpaceForRent
11-16-2007, 06:49 PM
And again, with the exception of the six year guys who might have joined before said conflicts, they knew that if they joined they'd more than likely going to fight. Fuck them in the ass with a sandpaper condom.

I guess being over simplistic and ignorant saves you the trouble about having to think about what you're saying and make up everyone else's mind for them.

Humphrey_Lee
11-16-2007, 10:21 PM
Actually, it kinda is.

What this man said.

Thomas Mauer
11-16-2007, 10:37 PM
Armies do not work that way. Regardless of the morality of the issue, armies just cannot function if people can up and quit. I don't know personally, but how many people do you think would up and quit during the first few days of basic if they weren't locked in? An at-will military(not to be confused with the volunteer contract system we have now) would leave us extremely vulnerable, and regardless of what you think of this administration and this war, I can't imagine anyone wants that.
When I was in the army, there was a guy who stuck it out through basic training. Only when we got transferred to our actual battalion did he file for conscientious objector release to do civil service instead of doing the remaining few months of peace-time, in-country service as a maintenance soldier. Civil service takes a few months longer than military service, so I have a whole lot of respect for his decision to wait till after the worst part of draftee army life was over to quit.

Just an example how it can work, but I don't think it's the norm. I also agree with you that leaving the military whenever one feels like it would cripple the service too much to be a viable option.

mario
11-17-2007, 12:43 AM
well, since they ARE fighting in deserts, being a deserter is the right word.

Blandy vs Terrorism
11-17-2007, 04:10 PM
I guess being over simplistic and ignorant saves you the trouble about having to think about what you're saying and make up everyone else's mind for them.

How am I being ignorant?

Blandy vs Terrorism
11-17-2007, 04:12 PM
When I was in the army, there was a guy who stuck it out through basic training. Only when we got transferred to our actual battalion did he file for conscientious objector release to do civil service instead of doing the remaining few months of peace-time, in-country service as a maintenance soldier. Civil service takes a few months longer than military service, so I have a whole lot of respect for his decision to wait till after the worst part of draftee army life was over to quit.

Just an example how it can work, but I don't think it's the norm. I also agree with you that leaving the military whenever one feels like it would cripple the service too much to be a viable option.

In our army, you can choose what job you have before you go in. If you don't want to be in a situation where you might be in combat, pick something as far away from that as you possibly can.

Ours is voluntary to begin with, though. Don't know if yours is mandatory at a certain age or what.

Thomas Mauer
11-17-2007, 05:52 PM
In our army, you can choose what job you have before you go in. If you don't want to be in a situation where you might be in combat, pick something as far away from that as you possibly can.

Ours is voluntary to begin with, though. Don't know if yours is mandatory at a certain age or what.

It's mandatory to choose between military and civil service between the ages of 18 and 28. I have no idea how many months service is these days because it got cut by a few after I got out, but civil service was 3 months longer when I was in.

You take a proficiency test about a year before being drafted, and you can choose between the branches and also pick a few of your favorite professions. Based on your physical and the proficiency test, they'll give you a few choices to pick from.

I wanted to go into engineering, but because I have a bum knee, they wouldn't let me. However, for some reason, they said I could go into airborne, which would have been much worse for this fucking knee.

So I chose maintenance because I thought I'd learn something in there that I could also use in civilian life later on.

As a maintenance guy, you usually stick it out in the rear in the first place as you know. Anyway, the reason the guy filed for conscientious objector release was that rifle training apparently showed him the consequences of war and killing (even though we only ever were on the firing range and unless you sign for NCO or officer service, you never ship outside the country). But he didn't file those papers until we were already at our actual unit and basic training was done with.

So he didn't want to chicken out out of convenience when we were crawling through mud and doing longass marches; he gave up the cushiony job in the garage to instead do something like hospice or hospital work although he knew how easy he could have it in our unit.

Most people who choose civil service do it because they think it's easier than military service, so they come up with excuses during the physical and proficiency tests to get into the civil service system. This guy actually witnessed army life for three months before he made that decision, so I believe he did do it because of a change of conscience. And he has my respect for that.

Amos Moses
11-17-2007, 05:55 PM
It's mandatory to choose between military and civil service between the ages of 18 and 28. I have no idea how many months service is these days because it got cut by a few after I got out, but civil service was 3 months longer when I was in.

You take a proficiency test about a year before being drafted, and you can choose between the branches and also pick a few of your favorite professions. Based on your physical and the proficiency test, they'll give you a few choices to pick from.

I wanted to go into engineering, but because I have a bum knee, they wouldn't let me. However, for some reason, they said I could go into airborne, which would have been much worse for this fucking knee.

So I chose maintenance because I thought I'd learn something in there that I could also use in civilian life later on.

As a maintenance guy, you usually stick it out in the rear in the first place as you know. Anyway, the reason the guy filed for conscientious objector release was that rifle training apparently showed him the consequences of war and killing (even though we only ever were on the firing range and unless you sign for NCO or officer service, you never ship outside the country). But he didn't file those papers until we were already at our actual unit and basic training was done with.

So he didn't want to chicken out out of convenience when we were crawling through mud and doing longass marches; he gave up the cushiony job in the garage to instead do something like hospice or hospital work although he knew how easy he could have it in our unit.

Most people who choose civil service do it because they think it's easier than military service, so they come up with excuses during the physical and proficiency tests to get into the civil service system. This guy actually witnessed army life for three months before he made that decision, so I believe he did do it because of a change of conscience. And he has my respect for that.
I'm suddenly much less frightened of the German Army.

Thomas Mauer
11-17-2007, 05:57 PM
I'm suddenly much less frightened of the German Army.

To put you even more at ease, we have too few bodies in the ground forces to even QUALIFY for an army. That's why it's called Bundeswehr.

The times that we had a 6th army to surrender anywhere are long gone. ;)

mario
11-17-2007, 10:18 PM
I'm suddenly much less frightened of the German Army.

History has taught me to ALWAYS fear the German army
:surrend:

Jamie Howdeshell
11-17-2007, 10:24 PM
In our army, you can choose what job you have before you go in. If you don't want to be in a situation where you might be in combat, pick something as far away from that as you possibly can.


I know that isn't true for the marines. They gave my brother a song and dance about making him an aircraft mechanic when they recruited him and then after he signed they made him drive trucks.
My other brother said that type of stuff was common in the navy too.

They seriously never do that in the army?

Magnum V.I.
11-17-2007, 10:33 PM
I know that isn't true for the marines. They gave my brother a song and dance about making him an aircraft mechanic when they recruited him and then after he signed they made him drive trucks.
My other brother said that type of stuff was common in the navy too.

They seriously never do that in the army?

From what I understand if they promise you something make sure it's in writing before you sign. Otherwise it's no good.

Jamie Howdeshell
11-18-2007, 08:47 AM
From what I understand if they promise you something make sure it's in writing before you sign. Otherwise it's no good.

Isn't it nice to know there is little difference between some military recruiters and car salesmen?

Scotty
11-18-2007, 08:49 AM
I hope they are punished to the fullest extent of the law.

Blandy vs Terrorism
11-18-2007, 09:40 AM
I know that isn't true for the marines. They gave my brother a song and dance about making him an aircraft mechanic when they recruited him and then after he signed they made him drive trucks.
My other brother said that type of stuff was common in the navy too.

They seriously never do that in the army?

If it's in your contract, that's what you're getting.

Blandy vs Terrorism
11-18-2007, 09:44 AM
Isn't it nice to know there is little difference between some military recruiters and car salesmen?

They kinda have to be, otherwise, a lot of the people they get to sign up wouldn't, no matter if it's war or peace time. Mine didn't give me much bullshit, but I didn't really give him the time to. I went in already knowing I was joining, and what job I wanted. Mine also happened to be one of the most in demand jobs, so there was no chance of them trying to get me to do something different.

WinterRose
11-18-2007, 10:56 AM
Quit the military? Cool - just write the government a check to reimburse every nickel and dime the US dumped into training, feeding, housing and educating you.

You don't like going to a war you don't believe in? Me neither! Which is why I didn't join the frigiin army.

Hypothetical answer: "Sure. I'll cut you a check as soon as I get a refund of every tax dollar you ever took from me. I'm sure you'll get right on that."

Thomas Mauer
11-18-2007, 10:58 AM
Hypothetical answer: "Sure. I'll cut you a check as soon as I get a refund of every tax dollar you ever took from me. I'm sure you'll get right on that."

This doesn't make any sense.

Amos Moses
11-18-2007, 11:02 AM
This doesn't make any sense.

Sshhhh! Don't argue with it!

Colby
11-18-2007, 12:18 PM
Either way I feel both sympathy and anger for those who go Awol.

I like this one.

I've got no problem with soldiers speaking their mind on the way- they most certainly could've changed their opinion while they served.

But out of sheer practicality, they just can't leave when they start not liking what they're doing.