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Army Recruiting Offices Closed Friday After Allegations Of Wrongdoing

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FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — With the military conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, recruitment is a high priority.

The Army alone promised to enlist 80,000 soldiers this year. But the Army is 15 percent behind its year-to-date goal. With statistics like that, it may hardly be the time to put recruitment on hold. But that's exactly what the branch did on Friday.

All 1,700 Army recruiting offices across the nation closed for the day on Friday so recruiters could spend the day discussing policies and tactics to make sure all recruiters play by the rules.

This comes in the wake of several recent news reports that have accused some recruiters of breaking the rules and lying to get people to enlist.

For example, a television station reported that a recruiter in Texas told a possible recruit that he would get arrested if he changed his mind about signing up. Inside Edition also went undercover and reported several violations. Some of those allegations involve recruiting offices in North Carolina.

Officials said the Army has received 40 complaints about recruiting tactics so far this year. Recruiters approach as many as a dozen people before getting even one person to enlist. That means recruiters approach about a million people each year, officials said.

With deployments and casualties up and recruiting numbers down, pressure is on recruiters to meet quotas, said retired Lt. General Robert Springer of the U.S. Air Force.

"At the Army and Marine level it's very aggressive," Springer said. "And these young men and women spend probably thirteen to fourteen hours a day, six days a week, trying to make their recruiting goals."

Meanwhile, the Army spends millions of dollars every year to come up with slogans and commercials to attract recruits. Now, officials said, the Army wants to make sure recruiters sell the right image in the right way.

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