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Wrong way to recruit

Iths one for the memos-we-wish-had-never-been-written file. We refer to Defense Secretary Brown's memorandum to his Pentagon deputies to exploit the nation's jobless rate in recruiting and retaining personnel for the armed forces. He called for steps like making sure that no one leaves active duty without "knowing full well" the state of the job market.

Just salesmanship? Maybe. But to play on unemployment fears hardly seems either a worthy or an effective way to hang onto the kinds of volunteers that are needed.

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The services should be made a magnet competing with other employers for young men and women of high potential, not a self-touted refuge from the vicissitudes of civilian life.

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