Archive for Friday, September 14, 2001

Military recruiters encounter status quo

September 14, 2001


Terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon may have caused lines to form this week at blood centers, but that did not happen at area military recruiting and ROTC offices.

"Signing up, no. Calling, yes," said Sgt. Thomas Stewart, a U.S. Marine recruiter in Lawrence. "A lot of older guys 30 and 40 have been calling, but they're outside our age group, or retired Marines. Guys calling leaving numbers in case we want to call them back. Everything else is pretty much the same."

Recruiters for the Navy, Air Force and Army reported business as usual.

"There's been nothing unusual here," Gunner's Mate Chief Marty Trumble said, a recruiter in the Lawrence Navy office, 1424 W. 23rd St.

Calls to the Lawrence Army Recruiting Office, 2223 La., were referred to U.S. Army Recruiting Command, Fort Knox, Ky.

"It's too early to tell if there is any impact," said Douglas Smith, a civilian spokesman for the Army. " We'll have to see what happens. Nationally and regionally there has been no increase (in interest)."

Kansas University's Air Force ROTC had already scheduled a recruiting drive this week and it has been more successful than past years' drives, said Col. Kevin McNellis, program director. About a dozen people have expressed an interest in becoming cadets compared to three or four in past years, he said.

A better recruiting plan may deserve the credit, he said.

He also noted that joining ROTC involves a longterm plan to become officers.

"It's not like we're going to strap an F-16 on your butt and say 'let's go get some terrorists,'" McNellis said.

KU's Navy ROTC Cmdr. Jeff Richards said the attacks have brought an adjustment to the program's curriculum.

"Instead of the routine of marching and drilling, we've been talking about how these things affect the military and what it means to go to a certain step of alertness," he said.

Calls to the KU Army ROTC program were referred to the Army Cadet Command in Fort Monroe, Va. No one there could be reached for comment.

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