Saturday updates – Recruiters, Military Drag revisionism

| July 8, 2023

Remember the Navy saying it would be requiring its recruiters to work six-day weeks in an effort to make recruiting numbers? Well, that lasted… a whole week.

Last Wednesday, the service confirmed that Rear Adm. Alexis Walker — the head of Navy Recruiting Command — gave the order to go to a six-day schedule after emails announcing the change began to surface on social media. But on Friday, the Navy said that Walker’s boss “issued a pause” on the plan.

Capt. Jodie Cornell, a spokeswoman for Vice Adm. Rick Cheeseman, the chief of naval personnel and Walker’s boss’ boss, said that Cheeseman put the move on hold “as the Navy is committed to providing a work-life balance for our personnel.”

Many of the memes and comments posted after the policy became public were simply criticisms of Walker’s decision. One comment on Reddit said the extra hours weren’t “gonna change anything” and called the move “ridiculous and a waste of good people.” Others portrayed Cheeseman as a hero for stepping in and publicly overriding a subordinate officer.

Included in the initial social media posts were images that suggested the Navy was also considering ordering sailors slated for recruiting duty to report to their new posts six months early and keeping recruiters already serving in place for an extra year.

Let’s see…high stress duty that most have to be ORDERED to accept – let’s make it a longer assignment and increase the hours and stress. What could go wrong?

And Military Times is running a piece claiming that shows in World War II in which men dressed as women were actually LGBTQ-friendly events in which alternate-sex folks could be their “true gender” temporarily.

The U.S. military has a rather lengthy history when it comes to drag shows, particularly during World War II, when cross dress events were not only sanctioned by the Army, but celebrated as a boon for morale. Because the armed forces were officially segregated by sex until 1948, there was little choice for any service member theater production but to employ men as women.

The World War II-era shows, which featured men dressed as women, not only provided a platform for troops to decompress during a time of stressful conflict but furnished a safe space for members of the gay community who were clandestinely serving as well, according to New York University New School professor Joe E. Jeffreys, a drag historian.

Military Times

I sense a bit of projection on said historian’s part… having seen similar events in all-male establishments like sex-segregated high schools, the main audience reaction to boys dressing as girls was laughter. I, of course, would not suggest that is still the main reaction nowadays in a much more sensitive, enlightened world… would I?




Category: "Your Tax Dollars At Work", Dick Stepping, Diversity, Get woke, Navy, Points-and-Laughs

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George V

I guess the next thing we’ll hear is that Bugs Bunny is really a trans character since he disguises himself as a woman to fool Yosemite Sam, or as a female Tasmanian Devil to fool the Tasmanian Devil.


Wearing a Toga during Blue Nose initiation does not make me a Roman.

In a Submarine you can’t even see the water.


Let’s hope not.

Skivvy Stacker

Well, if the Captain lets you look through the periscope.


We joined the Navy to see the world, and what did we see? We saw the sea.

Regarding the second photo – is that the new Chief of Naval Operations?

Skivvy Stacker

Don’t give Biden any suggestions!!


ADM Sam Paparo head of US Pacific Fleet is the name I’m hearing that SecDef Lloyd Vader has recommended as next CNO.


Here comes the Shellback initiation. Again.


Are the Navy and Marine Corps even allowed to do traditional Shellback initiations anymore? I’m fairly certain that the traditional Shellback initiation ceremony was (wrongly) defined as “hazing” during the mid-’90s, so of course it had to be outlawed.

I went through the traditional initiation and became a Shellback way back in 1987. At the apparent direction of HQMC during the time that The Poisonous Dwarf was Commandant, my Shellback certificate was pulled from my OQR by squadron admin during a routine record book audit without my knowledge or consent. It was never even offered to me to keep in my private personal records; it simply disappeared, and I assume that it was destroyed. WTF.

Yet another time-honored Naval tradition thrown down the shitter in the name of political correctness.


Saved round:

Regarding the traditional Shellback initiation ceremony, don’t forget the Royal Baby.

Fellow TAH Shellbacks will know what I’m talking about.


Bunch’a wogs around here, Mick.





Elizabeth II crossed the line as a princess in 1947 and was initiated. She likely got the abbreviated officer treatment and not the full enlisted version. Note Neptune’s queen sitting on the throne behind her.

Old tanker

Holy crap, can you imagine having a career in the Military with a name like “Cheeseman”??? Well then again it IS the Navy….  😂 

jeff LPH 3 63-66

Nothing cheesy about the cheesman


Once upon a time, I had an instructor Major Crummy.

Skivvy Stacker

The good Doctor Jeffrys holds the following academic degrees:
Ph.D.–Performance Studies, New York University.

M.F.A.–Dramaturgy, SUNY Stony Brook University.

BA–English, Wake Forest University.

Very useful and sure to guarantee him a successful and well payed future.


…and he is an adjunct at NYU and a ‘part time’ prof at the New School. His NYU classes include a semester studying Ru Paul’s ‘Drag Race’.

Definitely no confirmation bias with that guy.


I guess all of England was pronoun friendly until 1660. They only had to wait another 300 years to lift the death penalty on it.


I remember those conversations:
“you are effing your soldiers over”

“it’s part of the plan”

“come up with a different plan”


Big Navy missing the boat (see what I did there?). They’re putting their recruiting efforts toward a small % of the population with all the emphasis on trans folks. Bring back floggings and they can recruit the multitudes of BDSM folks out there. How about make the ships “wet” by having a daily grog ration? That’ll get the drunks to sign up. Win Win!

When you have alienated nearly 80% of your potential customer base on what you’re selling, it’s not surprising that you aren’t getting too many takers for your product. Keeping the “store” open longer isn’t going to increase your bottom line.


If they keep pushing then no one will want to be a recruiter.

Maybe they can start playing “In The Navy” video to get more people to sign up.


That and maybe some more Documentaries on the glory of Naval Aviation. Gun for the top mavericks that hang out in karoke bars and participate in beach volley ball. Recruiters are going to find out their goose is cooked and any hope for promotion will be put on ice, man.


Be all you can be.


You will never get the kids to sign up for grog. Light the smoking lamp and let everyone toke some ganja and they will beat a path to your hatch and knock insentiently.


Ok, I confess. I wore a coconut bra in a high school production of “South Pacific”. I’m so happy I got that off my chest.


I bet it was squeezing the hell out of your D-cups

Green Thumb

Transphildo Monkress.

There you go!


I was born over thirty years after WWII ended, so perhaps I’m not the best qualified or informed, but having seen various classic movies and TV shows, methinks the “historian” is projecting quite a bit. Drag used to be a fairly harmless means of adding some humor to otherwise serious situations. About to go fight the Japs or the Nazis? Hell, throw on a couple coconuts and/or a dress, apply some makeup, and give your buddies something to laugh at before you’re all fighting for your lives in a few days.


As for the recruiting deal, I can vouch for how ineffective additional hours and days can be. When I reported back in 2008, Houston had recently had its fourth or so Recruiter suicide. I’d PCS’ed from The Old Guard, having previously been a Rakkasan and seeing combat in Baghdad in March/April 2003. I’d been pretty successful up until my recruiting assignment and didn’t cope too well with the lack of success I found in USAREC.

First, I scouted out my assigned Station in a mall, getting my hopes up when I saw the hours posted as “Monday-Friday 9-5, Saturday by Appointment”. A day or two later, I reported to the unit, started Permissive TDY, and upon completion had two days left in the mission month. Naturally, I “rolled a donut”, having to attend “Zero Roller training” that weekend, and being required to report at 0730 instead of 0900. I’d get in, make about 150-200 phone calls in the conference room since I didn’t have a desk for a few weeks, and then maybe get to ride out with another Recruiter, coming back by 1600 to make more phone calls and hopefully get out of there by 2000.

In April 2009, the USAREC CG signed a time-off policy mandating 0900-1700 workdays with one day designated as family time with a 1500 release. Weekends were only permitted on rare exceptions for community outreach like fairs or other events–no office work. This helped me regain some much-needed work-life balance, but even the 79Rs that had spent years working 12–18-hour days recruiting started to get more motivated and productive. It’s funny, but when Soldiers (or Sailors) look forward to a set schedule and known time off, they are more effective than they are when forced to do work longer hours and miss time from their families and personal lives.


Strangely, I was also in the Houston Recruiting Battalion in 2008. I volunteered to go to Iraq to get out of there. Worst assignment ever. The battalion commander was the worst I’d ever seen in 20 years.


I was in the neighboring battalion (Baton Rouge); I apologize for the poor wording. But, yep, I think that recruiting has always had a poor reputation. A lot of the 79R NCOs converted either to make E7 or to collect the pay without having to play Army. I had one or two good Station Commanders, but also saw some of the worst NCOs out there. Many of the officers seem to be average–at best–sorts looking for a command or a second shot at command (I’m pretty certain company commanders are required to have already held a command). Both of my company commanders made MAJ before going back to their branches. The BR battalion COs were decent enough. I will say that I’m glad I didn’t go to Houston. Baton Rouge was my second choice after Montgomery and before Columbia.


We were very close neighbors then. I was one those very average middle of the road officers in a second command that made major before I left. Nobody died in my company while I was there but shortly after I left, my replacement made a series of poor life choices that resulted in him suddenly having to seek new employment options.

When that happened the battalion started running the company from afar. We had always done ok, but when the commander was relieved the company imploded and the battalion team went berserk on them. They immediately had two additional suicides. Both were station commanders that had been in position for about six months. One arrived a few weeks before I left and the other arrived a few weeks after I left so didn’t know the one very well.

This was all relayed to me by some of the guys I knew that stayed in contact after I left.


Recruiting has always been a love/hate type of assignment. Me, an average Infantry SSG at the time, being DA Select and planning to submit a Drill Sergeant packet for my broadening assignment, took the challenge and promptly fell on my face. I did well in Recruiter School, scoring 100%, 98%, and 100% on the three written tests and getting all first-time goes on P1 (telephone) and P3 (face-to-face) as well as the interview. I learned how subjective success in that environment is when I had back-to-back Trainers from the Brigade and then the Battalion ride along with me. One swore on posting businesses while the other told me to forget that and pull three quality “hot knocks” a day from the system before going door-to-door.

I suspect the Navy and other branches are similar, but Army Recruiters are either Career (79R) or detailed from their respective branch. A lot of 79Rs are NCOs who found recruiting tolerable enough, were successful, and decided to quit playing Army while maintaining the pay and wearing a uniform. PT once or twice a week, work out of an office in a civilian facility like a mall or shopping center, and just keep the numbers up. Converting to 79R is basically a guarantee of promotion to SFC, though MSG/1SG and SGM/CSM is much tougher. Hence, a lot of 88 and 92-series convert for the promotion, while 11-series and other combat MOS’s tend to convert more for the stability and not having to constantly deploy or spend weeks in the field.

All that to say this: even the 79Rs appreciate time off and quality of life. While some leadership fought the 2009 time-off policy, when it became clear that it was both serious and being enforced, no one from the CSM and officers down to the most dedicated Station Commander complained. We Detailed Recruiters stepped up our game knowing that we had 38 hours of serious work as opposed to trying to fill 70+ hours with looking busy. We were more motivated, better rested, actually wanted to work.


I’m interested in your insight.

What do you think the issues are today? Are we using outdated methods to reach the target demographic (I’m guessing cold calls aren’t as effective these days), or do kids just not seeing the benefit of service due to low pay, questionable missions, and poor quality of life?

I know they are working all sorts of issues like a recruiting ribbon, recruiter incentive pay, better training and education, and of course manning USAREC at over 100%- not only are the recruiter positions completely manned, but they are sending extra LTs to do nug staff work and MAJs fresh out of MBA programs with marketing concentrations.


Bear in mind that I’m now retired, served as a Recruiter over ten years ago, and served as a Drill Sergeant starting about 4.5 years after my recruiting time, so my thoughts may not be valid. Also, a Recruiter’s success or lack thereof as well as their Prospect pool varies vastly depending on location and demographics. My understanding is that some stations in Texas, for example, are walk-in markets where qualified Applicants stream in, while areas of California and other states are much tougher to recruit in.

My area, Baton Rouge, suffered from a high dropout rate coupled with lower quality of education. We had people trying to enlist for OCS who had master’s degrees but couldn’t score 50+ on the ASVAB. We also had to struggled with high crime rates and even seemingly positive programs like Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) and the National Guard Youth Challenge Program (YCP). If a young person got charged for a crime, the DA would often offer PTI in lieu of a trial. Even if completely innocent, most kids are going to take the offer of doing a few hours of community service or a month probation to get the charge “dismissed”, but the Army views that as a conviction, so instant disqualifier depending on the charge. YCP graduates were often expressly disqualified as “X” coded for education, even when we could take GEDs from other sources.


-Continued: But to better answer your question, I think it’s a combination. A lot of younger people have grown up living in a virtual world. Their friends are mostly online, their phone and video games are their connection to the outside world and removing them from technology is taking them far outside of the comfort zone. Though I’d argue that overall compensation for an enlisted Soldier is much better than most entry-level jobs, there is the stigma that it’s hard and that enlistment is not worth the hassle of going through all of the entry requirements, undergoing Initial Entry Training, and then moving far away from home to do a job that might be dangerous and might not always be relaxing. Better off working at the local gas station for $15/hr, going back to the parents’ house, and rage-quitting World of Tanks every evening.

Parents are another barrier. Increasingly, we have parents in their late-30s and early-40s who simply lack traditional American values. Little Johnny might want to join, but when Mom and Dad are not only anti-military, but also anti-Americana, Little Johnny is going to lack the support he needs to make that commitment. What do I mean by this? Look at our current social issues. When Dad went to college, started a job in Tech, and met Mom in an activist organization, you can’t expect Little Johnny to get a warm welcome home if he decides that just maybe, the Army’s a good path into his future. Looking at the news and opinions, we are more concerned with supporting a war we have no business getting involved in (Ukraine), what beer to drink or not drink, and how rich people die through foolishness than we are with our country’s future as a world power capable of not only projecting power but defending our own borders.


-Continued (again): political and social stuff aside, the military seems incapable of finding an effective means of maintaining manpower. I saw it multiple times throughout my career, a promising young officer or NCO who, despite having all the makings of a future Battalion Commander or CSM, decides to pop smoke as a post-command CPT or as an SSG. Sometimes it’s toxic leadership, sometimes a better opportunity in the civilian sector, and sometimes it’s as simple as being fed up with the Army Way.

Ribbons and additional pay only go so far. We already have the Recruiter Badge, and the Incentive Awards Program consisting of Gold Stars, a Gold Badge with Sapphires, and eventually a ring and the Morrell Award was discontinued back in 2010. I think they brought the Gold Badge back, and they established a Master Recruiter Badge, but neither the incentives nor the $450/month SDAP were enough for me to really buy into USAREC. Similarly, when I left the Trail, they were offering an additional $500/month on top of our $375/month SDAP for Drill Sergeants to extend for a year. I got my PCS orders less than a year after reporting, and gladly left Benning right at the two-year mark.

To sum it up, we have NCOs doing a difficult and often thankless job, often having their careers threatened if they are unable to convince and unwilling and unqualified public to take the Oath of Enlistment. Then we have overworked Drill Sergeants and Cadre trying to turn those relative few civilians who took that Oath into Soldiers, often being scrutinized by leadership not too dissimilar from that in USAREC…TRADOC assignments are known as career-enders for a reason.


-Continued (for the last time): I know I didn’t fully address JoshC’s questions, and that my ramblings are both subjective and full of my own cynical view of the Army and society as a whole.

The Army (and Navy, for that matter) has a large personnel requirement and everyone enlists or commissions for a different reason. A lot of people either make their own decision not to join or let others make that decision for them, whether by becoming disqualified or simply deciding that the military is not a good organization to join. Those that do join decide to get out when they do for their own (or other people’s, e.g., a spouse’s) reasons as well. I fully intended to go back to being a “fat mechanic” (my words at the time) after my 3-year contract. Those three years turned into 21. I’ve known people who hit 32 years as a CSM and requested and Exception to Policy to stay longer, people who completed one, two, or three contracts and gotten out, and people who were shown the door within weeks or months of putting on a uniform.

At the end of the day, my service in TRADOC, MDW, FORSCOM, and Futures Command was all over the place in terms of duties and levels of authority, and despite having been a Recruiter and a Retention NCO, I can’t act like I know what the true issues with accession and retention are. I was never a “thinker”, just a “doer”. As such, I’ll leave the thinking for those still in uniform and their civilian counterparts to figure out.


Thanks for the info. Enjoyed your ramblings.


Valuable insight- I know a guy who knows a guy that’s on the task force they are building to try to fix this mess, and I’ll pass it on.

From me to you, thanks for doing a tough job that no one really understands. Never stop rambling.

jeff LPH 3 63-66

Join the Navy and see the world through a porthole


Bubblehead Ray

What’s a porthole? 😜

Bubblehead Ray

Funny but true.

Not sure why no one wants to thin the Army.

Keep in mind that Gen Z gets their information about the military from IG and Twitter influencers. This is what they see:

All we are asking for is athletic kids with no recent serious criminal history that are smart enough to go to college but are willing to put that off a few years to work 50+ hours a week (not counting field time) working for less than you can make at a fast food restaurant.

Oh, and no marijuana use although it is essentially legal everywhere, and no ADHD medication even though virtually every Gen Z was diagnosed with ADHD when they were 10 by a teacher that hates boys.

Their bitter and probably alcoholic 21 year old supervisor was selected for the job because everyone else ETSd but he had no options due to the divorce from his stripper wife and his kid with the questionable conception timeline.

At least 5 of those work hours will be PT led by a 22 YO track star LT that doesn’t understand not everyone wants to run 3-5 miles a day. Another 10 will be manual labor, vehicle maintenance, and landscaping work that has nothing to do with the job you signed up for. Probably another 5 ‘waiting for the word’ about PT tomorrow (which will be changed via text message at 0500).

Not to mention they have to live in government housing and eat in basically a soup kitchen to make the pay and benefits situation at least tolerable.

On the plus side, they are getting formal training in gender identity, woman’s issues, and Critical Theory that would be the envy of your local Liberal Arts college junior.

And you sometimes get to shoot guns.


Simply put, military culture isn’t appealing to their ideal demographic–the 18 to early-20s high school graduate (henceforth called “kids”). The military is a “hurry up and wait” environment–kids want instant gratification. The military appreciates quiet professionals–most kids want some level of fame, or at least notoriety, even if hidden behind a gamertag or screenname. Military training and life are an uncomfortable intrusion into the regularity that most young men and women have in their early adulthood. Parents and the community are probably more accommodating than ever towards making young adults feel stabilized without having to leave the house and face life in the “real world”. Pay and benefits mean little to someone who can mooch off of relatives, exchange their high school “career” for one in a local fast-food joint or store, and still keep up with their friends, both local and online.

I used to find it funny that every MOS video we had contained the disclaimer, “You will work long hours in the field, day and night, to accomplish your mission.” The video might show an 11B on patrol, a 92G unloading MREs, or a 42A sitting behind a field desk. That’s not want our air-conditioned and unconditioned kids want these days. I’m a father of five. My 24-year-old daughter probably can’t join if she wanted to. Nothing major, but likely disqualified. My 22-year-old son dropped out, works full-time at a convenience store, and is perfectly content struggling to keep up with bills while probably spending as much time gaming as he does at work. Different generation than mine, and I don’t see any of my youngest trail-blazing their paths into military service, meaning my kids will be the first in my family in probably three hundred years that haven’t been part of a muster call or enlisted in the Armed Forces. They see Dad collecting retirement and disability in his mid-40s and think, “is it worth it?” My answer is yes, theirs probably “HELL NAW!”


I know the Army is going to try to completely revamp recruiting. Not sure what the Navy is doing to address the issue, but it seems to me that simply doing more of what isn’t working now won’t solve the problem- it could even make it worse if stressed recruiters are incentivized to falsify records, hide problems, etc, as well as ‘corrosive behaviors’ like substance abuse, personality failures, and so on.

The notion that any man playing a woman on stage is a drag show is simply ridiculous. The Globe Theater in Shakespearean times did not allow women in stage, so all the female roles were played by men. I pulled out my Complete Works of Shakespeare to make sure, so I can confirm there was no twerking in Romeo and Juliet.


“it seems to me that simply doing more of what isn’t working now won’t solve the problem- it could even make it worse”.

But progressive / liberals have always followed that path. They’ll get it right. Eventually. Just like socialism / communism.


Some Recruiters (and even MEPS Counselors) falsify records, coach Applicants into lying or concealing information, and commit other ethical and legal violations when enough pressure is applied. Not all of us, mind you, but the Hero to Zero mentality reigns supreme. If you make mission, and especially if you exceed mission, you’re good as gold. Successful Recruiters learn to think strategically, holding onto Applicants until the start of the mission month if they don’t have much in their funnel and already got their two contracts for the month. Those like me that were smart but not exactly high rollers learned to be on point when it came to admin, including our daily plan (calendar) and number of prospecting attempts and contacts.

We’re all NCOs, and as others have stated, we’re largely a voluntold force. There are many that volunteer, but the DA Select among us try to make the most of it and get back to our MOS with rank and integrity intact. Some, both Volunteer and DA Select, decide that the grass is a little greener and take that nice 79R MOS with the almost guaranteed promotion to SFC.

At the end of the day, we’re all humans, many with families and lives outside of the military, so adding a few hours a day or another day each week to our duty schedule is neither motivating for us, or a good look to the public. If I’m on the fence about joining and suddenly SSG fm2176 is telling me that he’s got to start working on Saturdays in an effort to get more enlistments, I’m going to think ahead to where I might be in a few years, when Big Army decides it’s time for me to get a nice “broadening” assignment.

Green Thumb

I can remember back in the day when Private Thumb was sitting in the recruiters office doing two weeks of “Hometown Recruiting” when an E-5 went to the E-7 and asked if he could sew a short tab on his shoulder. Yep.

Private Thumb (at the time) did not really understand what that was all about. The E-5 said he needed a little “juice” so that the kids would talk to him.

And the E-7 (after a short pause) said “yes”. Not making this up.


That is pretty tame actually. The tales I could tell…

I guess I will share tame one. The recruiter was taking the gal to MEPS to enlist. He forgot to ask if she had any tattoos. So he asks her in the car. She says “oh yeah”, and shimmy’s her pants on down to display some ink of her boyfriend with his rather large endowment on full display on her nether regions..

He knows she won’t make it with that so he takes out his ball point pen and draws a rather well done gym shorts on the tat, you know on her nether regions, in the car, on the way to MEPS. We would have made mission that month if the doc hadn’t of spotted it…..

Last edited 4 months ago by 5JC

‘his rather large endowment’

I mean, Are you sure it was to scale?


She was dating Biggus Dickus.


Before he married Incontinentia


Incontinentia Buttocks?


I imagine the artist took certain liberties; you know in the name of art.