Military recruiter wrongdoing and military criminal violations on the rise

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


The Government Accountability Office announced today that allegations of wrongdoing by military recruiters increased by 50% in the period from 2004 to 2005, and that criminal violations such as falsifying documents and sexual harrassment more than doubled during the same period. (An educated guess says that sexual assault complaints significantly increased, also.) The Department of Defense has no oversight system, so it is impossible to know the full extent of these violations.

“Determined to find ways to succeed in a challenging recruiting environment, some recruiters reportedly have resorted to overly aggressive tactics, such as coercion and harassment,” the report said. Unlike the Marine Corps, the Army, Navy and Air Force measure recruiter performance by the number of recruits who enlist and report to basic training, as opposed to the number who complete basic training.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest