Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

Military seeking civilian recruiters

Lawrence office will be on wave of the future

February 18, 2006


In the near future, when someone in Lawrence decides to "be all you can be" and join "An Army of One," it might be a civilian showing them which dotted lines to sign.

A private firm that contracts with the military on a wide range of services and projects, from assisting with security to training foreign militaries, also is helping the Army with recruiting efforts.

The firm, Military Professional Resources Inc., recently began advertising in Lawrence for former military members to take a job locally recruiting for the Army. Salary potential is listed at $50,000 plus benefits.

Don Tarter, vice president of MPRI's recruiting division in Radcliff, Ky., home of the Army's Fort Knox, said he thought using civilians as military recruiters was the wave of the future.

"I believe it is successful so far, and I believe the Army is going to continue to grow it," said Tarter, a retired lieutenant colonel who spent 30 years in the Army, 10 of them in its recruiting command.

The Army contracted with MPRI to augment its existing soldier recruiters a few years ago. Six other companies also have recruiting contracts. MPRI has nearly 200 recruiters scattered across the country, Tarter said.

At a time when the Army is stretching to fill its obligations in Iraq, Afghanistan and other locations around the world, using civilian recruiters frees up soldiers to do other jobs. Army noncommissioned officers who prefer to stay in other military specialties such as the infantry or military police, won't be shifted for three years to training and service as recruiters, Tarter said.

"The Army needs them to stay where they are, so the Army is examining just how much help they can get from trained civilians," Tarter said.

MPRI hires only former military personnel. A pilot program is testing the effectiveness of all-civilian recruiting offices in several locations, including East Oklahoma City; Maryland; Delaware; Dayton, Ohio; Jackson, Miss.; and Tacoma, Wash.

Only one civilian will be stationed at the Lawrence Army Recruiting office, 2233 La.

Sgt. 1st Class Colon Purdie a supervisor at the office, said he was aware a civilian was to be hired to work there.

"It doesn't bother me at all as long as they meet the standards we uphold," he said.

In fact, MPRI is attempting to fill 10 Army recruiting slots in what it calls its Kansas City battalion, which includes Lawrence, Tarter said.

The Army has about 12,000 personnel in its recruiting command.

"None of them carry a weapon or engage the enemy," Tarter said. "There is a percentage of them that can be replaced by civilian recruiters."

At the same time, Tarter doesn't foresee the Army getting totally out of the recruiting business.

"I think having an Army green suit presence out in the community where there aren't (Army) installations is a wise thing to do," he said.


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 4 months ago

Military Professional Resources Inc., just another company at the government trough, costing lots of money and delivering dubious results.

ben_ness 12 years, 4 months ago

bozo - I am a federal contractor living in the Washington DC area. You have no clue what you are talking about. Federal Contractors employ hundreds of thousands of civilians and provide a stable, comfortable standard of living. Additionally they keep this country's infrastructure sound and secure.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 4 months ago

I'm sure there are many government contractors who provide worthwhile services for a reasonable amount of money.

But there are lots which are nothing more than cash cows for the politically well-connected, and that is particularly true at the Pentagon.

ben_ness 12 years, 4 months ago

So you are an expert on the Pentagon? The General Services Administration (GSA) has a very rigerous system of checks and balances all federal contractors have to adhere to; including those with contracts related to the DoD. While they may be owned and operated by former military personnel (in some cases), they are not cash cows but privately held companies providing neccessary services. Often these contractors are subject to congressional oversight and interdepartmental investigations and face large penalties if they attempt to step outside of the box to strike strategic backroom deals. My guess would be you have never worked as a federal contractor nor been involved with the lengthy business development process neccessary to procure federal business. Politics play a VERY small part. Out of the hundreds of federal contractors in the DC area I can think of only one that has questionable ties to politics and that is KBR Halliburton. Currently they face four investigations initiated by the Pentagon. Eventually, these inquests will cost them billions.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 4 months ago

Other people who are in a position to know have very different views from the one you apparently have a vested interest in defending. If you are interested in reading about them, the Web has plenty of information available.

ben_ness 12 years, 4 months ago

I really don't consider opinions published on the web a viable source of information. Furthermore, my point is the amount of honest hard-working people involved in federal contracting far outweigh the dishonest.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 4 months ago

Sorry if you take what I say as a personal attack. I'm sure most of the people in your business are honest and hardworking, but that doesn't mean that too many of the companies involved, such as the one I started this thread linking, have very questionable histories.

Any comments on them?

ben_ness 12 years, 4 months ago

No worries bozo. I don't know too much about MPRI. I work specifically in IT. It has been my experience that Federal Contractors tied closely to DoD operations are typically founded by former military officers. One of the reasons for this is they can show what we refer to on the BD side of house as "past performance". Being able to show past performance is essential to staffing proposals submitted in response to Requests for Proposals (RFPs). I don't know all of the criteria the feds adhere to when making their decision on who to award work to but I know this can be a large factor in the decision making process. Former military personnel typically already understand the intricacies of the federal bureaucracy especially as it related to the DoD. Also, there are some feelings that it is owed to military personnel to give them a fair shake in the civilian world as they have typically dedicated their lives to their country for many years. There certainly is some quid-pro-quo but it is to be expected. MPRI may be under some public scrutiny but typically the public doing the scrutinizing doesn't know the whole story as they aren't privy to the entire picture for proprietary or security reasons.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 4 months ago

And you dispute that, OMB? That's the entire basis for globalization, although you should substitute 1/100 for 1/2.

Godot 12 years, 4 months ago

I think Bozo is on the payroll of, you know, one of the bloggers paid to spread the manure of Soros' propaganda. This has to be, because no one would post this crap unless it was for money. It is useless to engage this person in discourse.

armyguy 12 years, 4 months ago

While this story is old to say the least, MPRI has been hiring recruiters for more than a year. The story is that the Army is privatizing. The military can no long recruit enough people, heck they can't even get enough recruiters. While In Iraq aw people hired by L-3 (MPRI parent company) doing my same job for $150k or more per year (I wish I had been paid a part of that). Not to say that they were bad, just not many people want to go to Iraq these days. It is a free market country we live in. If you can't get it done by one means, just create another.

ben_ness 12 years, 4 months ago

Godot - No problem. I have worked with many retired military persons, both commissioned and enlisted. They are some of the fairest, most stand-up people I have had the pleasure to share office space with. My guess would be that bozo has never worked in the federal world, nor served. While his/her ideas seem to be well thought out, they aren't very pragmatic.

ben_ness 12 years, 4 months ago

armyguy - if you are interested in getting a piece of the pie, I have some connection at KBR and could get you in touch with the right people.

ben_ness 12 years, 4 months ago

By pragmatic, bozo, I was alluding to the fact that you are in a class of people who think the entire processes of the federal government can be changed overnight and for half the price without global impact to our society and economy; that is not pragmatic. Additionally your entire understanding of how federal contracting works seems to come from information you have read on the internet. It is too complicated to understand unless you have been in the trenches. You obviously have not.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 4 months ago

I beat counting sheep, though, don't I, C-man?

Or do you have other intentions with sheep?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 4 months ago

Okay, ben, I guess I'm just too ignorant to have any valid opinion on any of this.

I think I'll just stay in bed tomorrow and let the omniscients in DC take care of me.

ben_ness 12 years, 4 months ago

bozo - If you are so knowledgeable of the corruption in the federal government, as well as federal contracting, perhaps you should consider running for public office so you can make changes and end the "corruption". I didn't say your opinion was not valid. I just don't think you really know what you are talking about.

bearded_gnome 12 years, 4 months ago

Ben: thanks for posting, and thanks for your obviously well-considered service to our country.

Bozo has a very well-established habit of spouting ill-informed/completely uninformed opinions, then resorting to personal slights and invective. his/her/its dept of rhetoric is very shallow. sorry you've had this blight address you. just treat it like "bugs on the windshield!"

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 4 months ago

ben said: 'If you are so knowledgeable of the corruption in the federal government, as well as federal contracting, perhaps you should consider running for public office so you can make changes and end the "corruption"'

Given that the corruption extends quite pervasively into the election process, this is an unlikely route to effect any meaningful changes even if I wanted to become a politician. The information of this corruption is readily available to those who aren't ideologically blinded to it, or defensive about their own involvement in it.

"I didn't say your opinion was not valid. I just don't think you really know what you are talking about."

Which is it? You can't have it both ways.

You mentioned Halliburton/ KBR, two companies (now one) who achieved a good deal of their current success by using their money to buy politicians-- LBJ was one of the politicians they owned.

But perhaps the poster child of corruption in the military/industrial complex is Carlyle Group.

If you really care to have some info on this, read this book-- Dan Briody, The Iron Triangle: Inside the Secret World of the Carlyle Group, John Wiley & Sons, 2003,

He also has a very good book on Halliburton/KBR

You can see a video on much of the ground covered by Briody's Carlyle book at

The first minute or so is in Dutch, but the bulk of it is in English.

You can go to this Wikipedia link:

Godot 12 years, 4 months ago

She uses wikipedia as a source, as though it were credible!! How funny!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 4 months ago

Attack the source rather than the content.

Does that mean you have nothing to say pertinent to say, Godot?

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