The Jury Talks Back


Insert vulgar words here

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott Jacobs @ 7:54 pm

So, I’ve hit what you could charitably call “a snag” in my enlistment.

If you were trying for the “understatement of the millennium” award.

The Gunny Sgt of the local recruiting post informed me today that my criminal record is a problem.  A “stopped dead” kind of problem.  The issue is that, apparently, recruitment is darned good for the military, and as such the work involved in getting the waivers is more trouble than it is worth for those up the chain.  Why work on my stuff when there’s that 19 year old over there with a clean history?  Sure he’ll only score a 55 on the ASVAB, but they only need him to get a 50, and he’s in.  Way less work, same result.

But I’m not giving up.  Hell to the no.

What I need is a way to give incentive.  Means to show the Marines that I’m a good person to sign up, and that I’m likely to stick around for the long haul.  Letters from people with impressive letters by their name.

I need brass, and I need politicians (my God, I think I found a use for politicians!!!).

So, if any of you fine, fine folk happen to have an Admrial, or Captain, or General somewhere in your roladex (any service works, retired is ok), or if you’re in Illinois if you happen to have a way to get a few minutes ear-time with one of my two Senators or Governor, and if you have a high enough opinion of me to go to bat for me (if you have a low opinion of me, I think I’ll pass on your kind offer to help :)), then please let me know.

Respond here using a working e-mail as your “check in” e-mail (you know, that thing what Patterico requires you to put in to post), I will be more grateful to you than I could ever express in word or deed.

I would, in fact, have a rough time even expressing my gratitude in my own mind, let alone how I would ever convey such lofty concepts to you fine people.

Thanks folks.  Whatever you can suggest, I’m more than open to.

PS – Sorry for bumping the actual informative posts, aphrael.  Mea Culpa.  :)


  1. feel free to disregard this suggestion, but instead of attacking it head on, try this: contact the local ARNG or USAR recruiter, and see what they can do for you. if you can get in one service, and do a hitch, getting in the Marines later will be easier, unless they have a block on prior service…. they may.

    another angle is wait until the new FY starts (1OCT, IIRC) and then try, when all new quotas are up, and everyone is worried. if they are hitting their targets all along so far this year, they won’t want to stress themselves, but if they are desperate, they will w*rk for it, which goes back to what i said a few threads ago: there is more than one recruiting office. if you are having problems getting what you want, keep looking until you find the one that’s not hitting his numbers.

    Comment by redc1c4 — 5/18/2009 @ 10:20 pm

  2. no reason to be sorry; you talking about the trouble you are having with enlisting is just as informative and interesting as me talking about california politics.

    and … more relevant in a community of friends, as well. :)

    Comment by aphrael — 5/18/2009 @ 10:52 pm

  3. contact the local ARNG or USAR recruiter

    “However, we are not accepting applicants that require moral waivers at this time”

    Insert further vulgarity here.

    Comment by Scott Jacobs — 5/19/2009 @ 5:26 am

  4. Senator Durbin, no matter what you may think of his politics, has constituent service second to none. He has a very competent staff in his Chicago office who do nothing else but constituent service and will help if they can.

    I recommend a short, no more than two-page, letter making your case — 1)what you had for the judge the last time when you were up for jail time and 2) your reformation and continuing good conduct since then.

    As for cold calls to other influential people … forget it. “They” hoard their connections and influence the way bees hoard honey and they will not give it out except in a manner which will get them something more for themselves.

    I am afraid that another reason the recruiters are leery of you, though, is the alcohol problem. Not that the convictions are a pretext, but do they want to stick their necks out for someone who may be disabilited out for alcoholism?

    You have posted on these things, here, but if you think I have said too many things that you might not want known please delete this comment.

    Comment by nk — 5/19/2009 @ 6:12 am

  5. So calling Sen. Durbin’s office might be a good way to go?

    Comment by Scott Jacobs — 5/19/2009 @ 6:22 am

  6. It may be the only way. BUT they cut through an immigration mess for me one time that $35,000.00 worth of lawyers had not been able to.

    Don’t call them on the phone first off. (I.e., don’t also ask them to take down dictation about your problem.) Go to his site (Google “Senator Durbin”), first. Look at his preferred procedures and contact addresses whether email or snail-mail. And put forward your case in a concise writing like I said above.

    Comment by nk — 5/19/2009 @ 6:37 am

  7. For the “subject”, would you suggest I pick “Defense/Military”, “Help with Federal Agency”, or “Other”?

    Comment by Scott Jacobs — 5/19/2009 @ 6:41 am

  8. Dear Senator Durbin,

    I want to serve my country. I tried to enlist in the Marines but I have _______________.

    However, I have overcome them.

    1) What you told the judge

    2) What you have done since that proves you’re a good citizen and reformed citizen.

    Pleas help me, if you would, to have the Marines at least consider a moral waiver for me

    Comment by nk — 5/19/2009 @ 6:42 am

  9. We cross-posted. Give me a minute to check out the site.

    Comment by nk — 5/19/2009 @ 6:43 am

  10. also, you have e-mail, nk.

    Comment by Scott Jacobs — 5/19/2009 @ 6:47 am

  11. Scott, my lawyer is a Retired Marine JAG Col. I can put you in touch with him. He should be able to help you. He said before, running, lots of running and get into shape.

    Comment by PCD — 5/20/2009 @ 6:53 am

  12. You have my e-mail. I am taking all help offered.

    Comment by Scott Jacobs — 5/20/2009 @ 7:02 am

  13. Scott, Email sent to your gmail addy.

    Comment by PCD — 5/20/2009 @ 7:40 am

  14. And it happens again? Computers, or did I offend someone?

    Comment by htom — 5/20/2009 @ 8:48 am

  15. Must be that it doesn’t like the link.

    There’s an organization of retired and dischraged Marines, the Marine Corps League; members of your local detachment may be able to help. Click on find a detachment, midwest, illinois, and you get a list.

    Don’t have your gmail. :(

    Comment by htom — 5/20/2009 @ 8:51 am

  16. I don’t see anything from you in the filter, htom. Maybe it just didn’t take?

    I searched, and found the site and the nearest detatchment. I shot an e-mail off, and will likely give a call later.

    The USMC will learn, by God, that I’m determined to get in. Eventually they will let me in, just so they can break me. :)

    Comment by Scott Jacobs — 5/20/2009 @ 9:16 am

  17. bizarre. Left a note yesterday, wondered when it didn’t appear, left it again, got smacked by the “duplicate post” robot. Same thing happened today. Must be something about the deep link to the MCL.

    Email replied to. Best wishes.

    Comment by htom — 5/20/2009 @ 9:26 am

  18. Recruiters have a “recruiting year” that they follow. I don’t know about the Marine Corps, but at least for the Army Reserve, the next recruiting year begins at the end of July.

    My younger daughter wanted to do BCT between her junior and senior years in high school, but she started the process late, and by the time things were being completed, all of the available billets were closed. Her recruiter told her to return at the end of July, when everything would open up again.

    I do know that the Army reserve was more than 40,000 recruits ahead of their goals, at least a month ago, so they’re probably pushing 50,000 by now. Recruiting has gone so well that the Army has cut back on the number of hours recruiters may work.

    Like I said, I don’t know if the USMC follows the same schedule, but placements reopen after the end of July for the USAR, and that means recruiters will, once again, be below their targets, starting out a brand new recruiting year. You just might find a more sympathetic attitude to getting extra things done when they are under, rather than well over, their targets.

    I would also suggest two other things: First, if you talk to the Marines again, go to a different recruiting station, and speak to a different recruiter, someone who hasn’t already turned you down. Second, talk to the Army as well. The Army has much higher recruiting goals, and this might help you, possibly a lot.

    Comment by The helpful Dana — 5/20/2009 @ 12:43 pm

  19. Already tried the Army. Same reason was given.

    But the reason I’m continuing to pursue this is because a former recruiter TOLD me that the stuff stopping me can be waivered, but it isn’t “efficient” to do so for them right now.

    Pushes from the right fronts (Senators and Congressmen talking to the DoD and the DoD pushing the recruiting battalion, for example) can get me the waivers I need.

    Comment by Scott Jacobs — 5/20/2009 @ 1:47 pm

  20. It sounds like you are doing all you can and more. I hope everything works out the way you want.

    Comment by DRJ — 5/20/2009 @ 5:52 pm

  21. So, what was (or were) the crime(s) and how old were you when the crimes were purportedly committed?

    Comment by Ira — 5/27/2009 @ 3:37 pm

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