May 17, 2005

On May 3, 2005 the New York Times reported on military recruitment misconduct and impropriety. This is not a new issue. On the GI Rights Hotline, which receives thousands of calls per month, almost every caller talks about recruiter deception. Recruiters have been known to cover up disqualifying medical conditions like asthma, chronic back pains, bipolar disorder and other things in order to fill their monthly quotas. They have also been known to mislead a recruit on what military life is all about and on many occasions recruiters have promised that an individual will never have to go to war. Once the recruit reports for boot camp they realize that they have been misled and find that they have little or no option. In many cases of disqualifying medical conditions, the recruit faces a bad discharge for fraudulent enlistment, even though they told the recruiter the truth.

To fix this problem, Representative Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) will offer an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for 2006 (H.R. 1815).

At the time of enlistment, this amendment will require a non-military person of the enlistee’s choosing to be present as a witness of enlistment. If a witness is not present, then the Secretary of the particular branch will not accept the enlistment.

Additionally the McKinney amendment will give the enlisted member the right to contract revocation within the first 180 days of enlistment if the member presents a prima facie case of recruitment impropriety. Recruitment impropriety includes “coercion, threats or intimidation’” “misrepresentation of military benefits,” “misrepresentation as to military process, assignments and training, including the likelihood of an assignment exposing an enlistee to combat,” “recommendation to falsify or omit disqualifying conditions,” “falsifying, concealing, omitting, or otherwise failing to disclose the existence of a disqualifying condition” and “recommending, encouraging, or materially assisting a transfer of custody of the enlistee’s minor children for the purpose of meeting enlistment eligibility.”

The amendment will also require the Secretary of Defense to include “statistics on the number and types of cases of recruitment improprieties, as well as the rate of disciplinary and prosecutorial actions taken” in the annual report to the Congress.

The McKinney amendment is essential to protecting the rights of those who are victimized by the military recruitment system. The Defense Authorization bill and the McKinney amendment will be debated in the House Armed Services committee on Wednesday, May 18th. Thirty-three votes are needed for this amendment to move out of committee for a vote on the House floor.

If your member of Congress is on the House Armed Services committee, get in touch their office now and ask them to vote in favor of the McKinney Amendment when its introduced. IF not contact your Member of Congress and ask them to lend their support.

To find contact information for your member of Congress visit, or contact the Center on Conscience & War (202-483-2220) if you need help.

The list of member on the Armed Services Committee is as follows:



Duncan Hunter (CA)

Ike Skelton (MO)

Curt Weldon (PA)

John Spratt (SC)

Joel Hefley (CO)

Solomon Ortiz (TX)`

Jim Saxton (NJ)

Lane Evans (IL)

John McHugh (NY)

Gene Taylor (MS)

Terry Everett (AL)

Neil Abercrombie (HI)

Roscoe Bartlett (MD)

Mary Meehan (MA)

Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (CA)

Silvestre Reyes (TX)

Mac Thornberry (TX)

Vic Snyder (TX)

John Hostettler (IN)

Adam Smith (WA)

Walter Jones (NC)

Loretta Sanchez (CA)

Jim Ryun (KS)

Mike McIntyre (NC)

Jim Gibbons (NV)

Ellen Tauscher (CA)

Robin Hayes (NC)

Robert Brady (PA)

Ken Calvert (CA)

Robert Andrews (NJ)

Rob Simmons (CT)

Susan Davis (CA)

Jo Ann Davis (VA)

James Langevin (RI)

W. Todd Akin (MO)

Steve Israel (NY)

J. Randy Forbes (VA)

Rick Larsen (WA)

Jeff Miller (FL)

Jim Cooper (TN)

Joe Wilson (SC)

Jim Marshall (GA)

Frank LoBiondo (NJ)

Kendrick Meek (FL)

Jeb Bradley (NH)

Madeleine Bordallo (GU)

Michael Turner (OH)

Tim Ryan (OH)

John Kline (MN)

Mark Udall (CO)

Candice Miller (MI)

G.K. Butterfield (NC)

Mike Rogers (AL)

Cynthia McKinney (GA)

Trent Franks (AZ)

Dan Boren (OK)

Bill Shuster (PA)

Thelma Drake (VA)

Joe Schwarz (MI)

Cathy McMorris (WA)

Michael Conaway (TX)

Geoff Davis (KY)

Center on Conscience & War

1830 Connecticut Ave. NW

Washington, DC 20009

Ph: 202-483-2220

Fax: 202-483-1246

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