Force Protection: Our View


Protecting Our Service Members – The Imperative of Expanding Force Protection

A crucial aspect of comprehensive force protection extends beyond physical safety to include safeguarding the rights, interests, and futures of our service members. One aspect of force protection is restricting organizations with manipulative or self-serving influences from accessing military installations for recruitment purposes.

In addition to the risks posed to physical security, allowing external entities unrestricted access to military installations and personnel poses a threat to this well-being. These organizations, though sometimes well-intentioned, can use unscrupulous tactics and have a sharper focus on meeting quotas rather than genuinely serving the needs of our military personnel. Yet other organizations can hijack patriotism and support for our troops for their fundraising and building up their brand as being military friendly.

Some organizations and recruiters employ strategies that prioritize their interests over those they claim to serve. Manipulative practices and false promises are not uncommon, especially targeting individuals who are in vulnerable states of transition or crisis caused by a change in status, location, or life stage. These tactics not only exploit the goodwill of our service members but also risk leading them into decisions that may not align with their best interests or career aspirations.

We hear time and again from veterans who were recruited into positions after transitioning out of the military only to find that the role was not a good fit or not what the recruiter touted it would be. So rather than understand and develop their civilian career goals and take the time to translate their military skillset into civilian career pathways, recruiters will simply fill a role. With their task completed, the recruiters move on leaving the veteran without the support that is needed to succeed. The genuine needs of service members and veterans often become secondary, overshadowed by the organization’s pursuit of financial or reputational gain.

The pressure on recruiters to meet quotas can result in a lack of regard for the circumstances and best interests of potential recruits. This quota-driven approach can lead to service members being placed in positions that are not well-suited to their skills, aspirations, or personal circumstances, thereby jeopardizing their future career success and well-being.

Our position is clear: the focus should always be on the service members, veterans, and their families. We advocate for a holistic, person-centric approach to employment and support services. This approach prioritizes the individual’s needs, talents, and aspirations, ensuring that any transition into civilian life or new career paths is in their best interest, not driven by external pressures, kickbacks, monetary rewards, or self-serving motivations.

We firmly believe that the protection of our service members extends beyond physical safety into safeguarding their rights, interests, and future. By restricting external recruiters and organizations from military installations, we ensure a protected space where the focus remains on the well-being and best interests of our service members and veterans. This is not just a policy recommendation; it is a moral imperative. Force protection must be comprehensive, and this includes shielding our personnel from potentially manipulative and self-serving external influences. Let us commit to a future where our service members receive the holistic support they deserve, free from external pressures and influences that do not align with their best interests.

At the Arizona Coalition for Military Families, we offer transitioning service members, veterans, and their families opportunities to explore opportunities in their chosen field or expand their skills to a new career field. We offer support services to help them define that career growth, attain and sharpen the skills to succeed with career growth, and match them to vetted opportunities with reputable employers who have already gone through a process to be designated an Arizona Veteran Supportive Employer. We do this work free of charge for service members, veterans, and their families. We do not fundraise or ask for monetary donations from individuals. We never ask for or accept commissions for successfully placing service members, veterans, and their family members with employment or SkillBridge opportunities. We never have and we never will. Our mission is to ensure that the needs of these individuals are placed at the forefront, fostering an environment where their well-being is the priority, not the fulfillment of quotas or the advancement of external agendas.

Warm regards,
Thomas Winkel
Director, Arizona Coalition for Military Families

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