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Army eyes school dropouts to fill ranks

The Local · 15 Feb 2011, 14:02

Published: 15 Feb 2011 14:02 GMT+01:00

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The Bundeswehr is hoping to make military service more attractive to less educated and unskilled Germans as it transitions to a fully professional force, daily Financial Times Deutschland reported.

“In light of the demographic developments as well as the ongoing structural adjustments to the Bundeswehr, young people with below-average education and school dropouts will now be approached for recruiting,” the document acquired by the paper reads.

This “opening of new potential for gaining personnel” will be necessary to maintain the necessary troop numbers, it says, calling the plan an “Attractiveness Programme.”

These recruits would be targeted to fill mainly lower-ranking military positions, the paper said.

The latest detail in military reform plans by the Defence Ministry came after this weekend’s news that foreigners living in Germany could be allowed to join the Bundeswehr.

But a Defence Ministry spokesperson told the Financial Times Deutschland on Tuesday that only EU citizens and those from a few other countries would be among those considered for enlistment.

Members of Chancellor Angela Merkel's centre-right coalition are apparently considered foreigners could have divided loyalties.

"Germany doesn't need a foreign legion," said Christian Lindner, the general secretary of the Free Democrats.

Story continues below…

Other ideas revealed over the weekend included plans to make the Bundeswehr more family-friendly for soldiers, with the provision of parent-child work rooms in around 200 bases, as well as holiday care for children to be provided at 100 bases.

The top age limit for reserve soldiers would also be scrapped, with the maximum time for soldiers to remain in the military raised from 20 to 25 years.

The Local/ka

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

17:26 February 15, 2011 by westconser
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
17:32 February 15, 2011 by idiot
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
17:38 February 15, 2011 by westconser
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
17:46 February 15, 2011 by Kanji
high school dropout??? are they fit for army job? maybe, maybe not. If they are not doing well on their high school education, does this mean army if the place for them? will they be accountable or responsible? maybe they can grew mature in the army.... :-)
21:19 February 15, 2011 by wenddiver
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
21:37 February 15, 2011 by catjones
Release the ax murderers from prison and send them to the front lines...they'll get the job done. Just make sure they always have enemies to fight..keep em busy and distracted.
07:06 February 16, 2011 by wood artist
I don't think that "high school dropouts" are automatically stupid, and the military might well be a place where they could succeed. Why?

Some young people don't learn well in the typical school structure. They may grow frustrated and see the whole thing as a waste of time. That doesn't necessarily equate to "stupid." Remember, Einstein was identified as "addled" by one of his teachers. In the US, recruits are encouraged to complete school before enlisting, but there are also programs to help them complete a GED (think arbitor) once they have enlisted. They can, and many have, become outstanding soldiers.

As for "foreigners" being allowed...it's a different issue. It could be good, or bad, or just different, and probably each individual is a different situation. I'd love to hear all the thinking on that one before making judgments.


I suspect a multitude of religions are already present in the Army, even the one you seem to feel automatically disqualifies someone.

11:59 February 16, 2011 by idiot
Not to find new donkeys for taxes paid clubbing in southafrica is one.

Mention the following seriously in one breath is another story.

quote wenddiver:

> Stupid People and Foreigners

quote wood artist:

> Einstein ... Army

But both, the two commentators and the army fit like a bucket under the ass and a fist on the eye.

Guttenberg welcomes ya.
12:04 February 16, 2011 by theartofwar
An old US general whose name I don't remember, once said, that Germans, Japanese, koreans and the Vietnamese were the best and the most formidable enemies that he ever fought in the battles and among the most discipline and respected soldiers. I guess if the general is still alive, he probably would have a second opinion about the German army now.
12:13 February 16, 2011 by idiot
> An old US general once said [...]

> were the best and the most formidable enemies

What a great predicate ...
14:07 February 16, 2011 by theartofwar
Oh hello idiot, how you doing idiot? Thank you idiot! and f%%k yu idiot!
17:17 February 16, 2011 by LecteurX
Hey Wenddiver, nice to see you again.

Stupid people then, yeah? Sure, school dropouts face a far higher chance of a life of underachievement than those who shone through the whole thing, but to dismiss them all as "stupid" is ridiculous. There are countless counterexamples of very successful people who dropped out of school, but who nevertheless (actually in most cases we should say "therefore") went on to extraordinary achievements in life.

Somebody mentioned Einstein, the easy example, but there are so many of them:

- Richard Branson, a very successful businessman and entrepreneur (a quite controversial figure as well but that's not the point)

- Henry Ford

- Quentin Tarantino

- John Major (former British Prime Minister)

- the Wright brothers (inventors of the aeroplaine)

- Al Pacino

- François Truffaut

- George Eastman (the inventor of photography film and founder of Kodak, a name you may have heard once or twice in your wretched life)

- Soichiro Honda, founder of the Honda company

- Joschka Fischer

- Stanley Kubrick

- Richard Wagner

All of these are "too stupid" for professional army?

And there are many more of them. They all achieved great things, the only feature they have in common was to drop out of school at one point, all of them for very different reasons.

Stupid people, eh? I guess they contributed a lot more to advancing humanity than you did, belching contempt and hatred on this website as you do day after day. By reading your comments, it's hard to believe you actually had an education. To say the least, most of it was wasted on you.

As for the nice way you put "foreigners, stupid people (aka school dropouts) and the criminally insane" on the same foot, in the very same breath, I need not say much. In my humble opinion, the Germany of 2011, confident, open to the world and accepting foreigners, is a far better place than the Germany of, say, 1937.
08:57 February 17, 2011 by livingintomania
"The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education." - Albert Einstein
11:44 February 17, 2011 by idiot
quote livingintomania:

> "The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education."

> - Albert Einstein

16:51 February 18, 2011 by Thekla
My biggest complaint with the 'professional' army is that most citizens really won't care where the troops are sent. The US government faced massive antiwar protests during Vietnam because everyone was affected due to the draft. There was little interest in Iraq and definitely not about Afganistan because the armed forces are filled with low income poorly educated people. It doesn't impact the 'important' people.

Germany is just starting down this road. The US has troops scattered across the globe---178 countries, I believe and they wonder why people hate them. Is this really what Germany wants?
01:15 February 19, 2011 by kentchap

Oi, mate, maybe you want to leave a clever comment on the story about the truck driving German Fritzl, too. That's about the only place on today's issue where you haven't left your pearls of wisdom yet.
08:03 June 25, 2011 by lal mani sharma
If an individual has not done well in studies it does no mean that he is equally inefficient in other walks of life.At times it has been seen that dropouts of school became good soldiers.Some of the generals who enrolled as mere soldiers rose to the position of three star general.They attended the evening schools when posted in peace and passed. Finally they were promoted and reached the highest level.An added responsibility also compels an individual to do something in life. If they can not be good students at least they can earn their lively hood by becoming good soldiers and serve the nation. They will not be a burden on the nation and indulge in unsocial activities.A good step
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