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  • Army changes PS enlistment process

    Not sure how many of you have been following this story on Army Times besides me, but here ya go.

    Army enlistment changed in light of faker

    By Danny Robbins - The Associated Press
    Posted : Sunday May 30, 2010 10:00:33 EDT

    DALLAS The Army is instituting a new procedure for checking the backgrounds of enlistees who claim to have a military record after a report that a reservist apparently faked a background as a Marine to enter the service.

    Recruiters can no longer simply accept discharge papers as proof of service, Douglas Smith, public information officer for the Army recruiting command, told The Associated Press on Thursday. They now must also seek to verify the documents through a military database, he said.

    The directive follows an AP story last Friday detailing how a Texas man apparently tricked the Army into allowing him to enter a reserve unit as a noncommissioned officer earlier this year.

    Records show that Jesse Bernard Johnston III, 26, was given the rank of sergeant even though he didn't have a military background other than spending six weeks in a 12-week Marine officer candidate program for college students. Because Johnston didn't complete the course, he never became a Marine.

    Smith said the change in enlistment procedure, which went into effect Tuesday, means recruiters can't accept an enlistee's discharge paperwork, known in the military as a DD-214, as proof of military service without cross-checking it through the Defense Manpower Data Center.

    Previously, he said, a "valid-looking" DD-214 would have been accepted without checking the database.

    Smith declined to give a reason for the change or discuss the Johnston matter, which is under investigation by the Army.

    Johnston joined the Army's Corps Support Airplane Company based at the Fort Worth Naval Air Station in February. Since March, he has been stationed at Fort Rucker in Alabama, the primary training base for Army aviation. He has not responded to phone and e-mail messages seeking comment.

    A spokeswoman at Fort Rucker said Thursday the ongoing investigation prevents her from commenting on Johnston's status.

    Rep. Mike Coffman, a former Marine who has closely followed the Johnston case, said the change in enlistment procedure confirms his fear that loopholes are allowing individuals to join the Army without being properly vetted.

    "It is unconscionable that U.S. Army policy has been to simply accept, rather than verify, discharge documents provided to recruiters," Coffman, a Colorado ********** who serves on the House Armed Services Committee, wrote in an e-mail to the AP.

    In a letter delivered to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates on Monday, Coffman said his office had obtained a copy of a phony DD-214 portraying Johnston as a veteran of Marine service in Iraq and Afghanistan and that the document may have been used when he enlisted in the Army Reserve.

    Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and military awards historian, said a DD-214 essentially a resume of military service generated for each veteran is an easily forged document. He said he is aware of many instances in which such documents have been falsified or altered to obtain preferences in hiring as well as veterans benefits but none in which one was used for military enlistment.

    "With a history of how frequently these have been forged, it's amazing that the military has not been checking them," Sterner said.

    Smith said the Army has always checked enlistees' Social Security numbers against the manpower database. However, those checks seek only general information and are aimed mainly at making sure someone who professes to have no military service is telling the truth.

    Citing the investigation, he declined to say whether Johnston's Social Security number was checked and what, if anything, was discovered.

    Questions about Johnston came to the Army's attention when an officer became concerned over Johnston's inability to answer questions about the Marine medals and ribbons he was wearing. The officer, who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation, said he later learned from the Marines that Johnston never served. He said he then contacted military legal authorities.

    Johnston's ex-wife, also an Army reservist, obtained an annulment earlier this month on grounds of fraud after filing court papers that included an affidavit in which she said Johnston obtained his rank in the Army Reserve with phony documents detailing Marine service.

    In her sworn statement, Melanie Rolfing, 24, said Johnston led her to believe he'd served with the Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan and earned a Bronze Star and two purple hearts. She also described how he would attend military functions wearing a Marine dress uniform. The annulment was granted after Johnston signed a document waiving his right to contest it.

  • #2
    Re: Army changes PS enlistment process

    Amazing with the advent of modern technology "how this turd" slipped through the cracks. I hope he gets the maximum sentence and is made an example of!

    However, I don't think it should stop there. There should be charges levied against the recruiter and the HRC in general. There are plenty of "checks and balance" and safeguards during the enlistment process for this to be allowed.

    IG needs to get involved and the responsible people should be terminated (loss of employment).

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Army changes PS enlistment process

      Originally posted by 7011USMC
      Amazing with the advent of modern technology "how this turd" slipped through the cracks. I hope he gets the maximum sentence and is made an example of!

      However, I don't think it should stop there. There should be charges levied against the recruiter and the HRC in general. There are plenty of "checks and balance" and safeguards during the enlistment process for this to be allowed.

      IG needs to get involved and the responsible people should be terminated (loss of employment).
      Oh I agree. I'm not really sure what's worse either, the fact that someone would fake a prior service record to enlist, or that they'd claim false citations for valor.

      I'm also amazed how this slipped through the cracks.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Army changes PS enlistment process

        Originally posted by 7011USMC
        Amazing with the advent of modern technology "how this turd" slipped through the cracks. I hope he gets the maximum sentence and is made an example of!

        However, I don't think it should stop there. There should be charges levied against the recruiter and the HRC in general. There are plenty of "checks and balance" and safeguards during the enlistment process for this to be allowed.

        IG needs to get involved and the responsible people should be terminated (loss of employment).
        Im not really sure how you can hold the recruiter responsible if he provided the required documentation? The army says what is required, then the recruiter just has to ask for those documents. While that process now shows that it has some flaws, that is not the recruiters fault. He was just following the procedures laid out for him. Now, without seeing the DD214, we cant say whether or not any of us would have called it a fake.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Army changes PS enlistment process

          Originally posted by RSP NCO
          Im not really sure how you can hold the recruiter responsible if he provided the required documentation? The army says what is required, then the recruiter just has to ask for those documents. While that process now shows that it has some flaws, that is not the recruiters fault. He was just following the procedures laid out for him. Now, without seeing the DD214, we cant say whether or not any of us would have called it a fake.
          Where is the accountability? That means just about every swinging richard can come in with documents that aren't legit. You mean to say they don't cross reference a DD214 with a REDD report? Where is the "checks and balances"....

          Even so this tool didn't even complete 1/2 of PLC and didn't earn the title of Marine. He doctors up a DD214 with valor and yet the military screeners can find a sealed records for a youth that has been expunged...lol. I don't buy it for a minute.

          So I guess anyone can "steal" a blank DD214 fill in the blanks and your good to go....Sheiot bag was at rucker awaiting flight school if there wasn't an envied officer that questioned him and looked into it. He could of possibly went on to earn his flight wings.

          Where is the accountablity, transparency, and honor? There is none! IG should order a Article 32 hearing and then head hunt from there!

          Starting with leader then carry on from there!....Sheiot rolls down hill

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Army changes PS enlistment process

            Better yet, why don't they just check the military database and not worry about the DD214 to begin with. Just like they should do Federal BGC's instead of having someone write down their entire life for the past 10 years.

            I'm just sayin....

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Army changes PS enlistment process

              Originally posted by 7011USMC
              Sheiot bag was at rucker awaiting flight school if there wasn't an envied officer that questioned him and looked into it. He could of possibly went on to earn his flight wings.
              Although he may have been stationed at Rucker, it is just a rumor or an assumption that he was there awaiting flight training. Unless someone can correct me otherwise...

              http://www.kiowapilots.com/forums/sh...ad.php?t=14848

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Army changes PS enlistment process

                Originally posted by Mike2K
                Although he may have been stationed at Rucker, it is just a rumor or an assumption that he was there awaiting flight training. Unless someone can correct me otherwise...

                http://www.kiowapilots.com/forums/sh...ad.php?t=14848
                Perhaps that is correct...just going off Army times and his fiancee quote:

                "In her affidavit, Rolfing said she met Johnston in 2006 and that he joined her Army Reserve unit so they could fulfill their dream of becoming Army aviators together". Hence, they were both stationed at Rucker.

                The couple was home stationed out of JRB Ft.Worth TX. Recently got PCS stationed at Rucker. He or she may be awaiting a seat or in process. Who really knows; It just speculative? Just saying...

                Bottom line, This turd shouldn't have made it past jump street period! What a disgrace and a slap in the face towards his command, HRC, US Army, DOD, and to the CIC.

                IMO heads should roll.....Starting with his first contact and then let the "chips fall where they may".

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Army changes PS enlistment process

                  Originally posted by 7011USMC
                  Where is the accountability? That means just about every swinging richard can come in with documents that aren't legit. You mean to say they don't cross reference a DD214 with a REDD report? Where is the "checks and balances"....

                  Even so this tool didn't even complete 1/2 of PLC and didn't earn the title of Marine. He doctors up a DD214 with valor and yet the military screeners can find a sealed records for a youth that has been expunged...lol. I don't buy it for a minute.

                  So I guess anyone can "steal" a blank DD214 fill in the blanks and your good to go....Sheiot bag was at rucker awaiting flight school if there wasn't an envied officer that questioned him and looked into it. He could of possibly went on to earn his flight wings.

                  Where is the accountablity, transparency, and honor? There is none! IG should order a Article 32 hearing and then head hunt from there!

                  Starting with leader then carry on from there!....Sheiot rolls down hill
                  Dont get me wrong, Im not depending him or the process. But the same checks would have been done for him as those that were done that catch all the little kiddies and their records from childhood. The check doesnt search for past military records though, just past criminal.

                  I would want to know how it wouldnt be caught while applying for a security clearance. That's where it should have been found. He would have needed to apply for a clearance if he was going Warrant. But that would be findings by the investigators, not by his recruiter or anyone in his chain of command.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Army changes PS enlistment process

                    If he applied for a Secret clearance, which he probably did, the verification of military records is pretty minimal provided there's not disciplinary problems during service.

                    It's pretty common for errors or no records to be found at the records repository too. I provided my DD-214 which said "General (Under Honorable Conditions)", but I pulled a FOIA on my TS investigation, and the records repository told the investigator that I was I discharged fully Honorable. Which the investigator noted as discrepant and that was that.

                    Some other records of mine didnt exist at all.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Army changes PS enlistment process

                      Originally posted by 7011USMC
                      Amazing with the advent of modern technology "how this turd" slipped through the cracks. I hope he gets the maximum sentence and is made an example of!

                      However, I don't think it should stop there. There should be charges levied against the recruiter and the HRC in general. There are plenty of "checks and balance" and safeguards during the enlistment process for this to be allowed.

                      IG needs to get involved and the responsible people should be terminated (loss of employment).
                      Active Duty uses eMILPO, the Reserves use RLAS, and NG uses what SIDPERS, for thier personal systems. So much for modern technology.
                      Last edited by RedLeg; June 1st, 2010, 09:58 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Army changes PS enlistment process

                        Originally posted by RSP NCO
                        Im not really sure how you can hold the recruiter responsible if he provided the required documentation? The army says what is required, then the recruiter just has to ask for those documents. While that process now shows that it has some flaws, that is not the recruiters fault. He was just following the procedures laid out for him. Now, without seeing the DD214, we cant say whether or not any of us would have called it a fake.
                        Yeah, with you on this for holding the recrutier responsible. We just take the papers required, scan them in, and then project / upload his packet. Any flags would be raised @ that point. Were werent given any tools for verifing the document. This should have been implemented a long time ago, I'm sure that there are others. you still the man 7011!

                        Comment

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