WASHINGTON, D.C. – Having failed to meet recruiting goals for the third year in a row, the U.S. Army again changed its stance on recruiting standards. In the past few years, the Army has loosened recruitment standards on age, physical fitness, aptitude, and criminal history. But the Pentagon’s latest reform may be the most radical yet.
Army Chief of Staff General George W. Casey, Jr. announced in a press meeting Wednesday that the army “will no longer have recruiting restrictions, whatsoever.” The move came as a shock to some, but others weren’t so surprised.
“This has really been a long time coming,” said military analyst Fred Kaplan. “With the military ranks being stretched thin and a continued lack of recruits, it was really only a matter of time before drastic measures like these were emplaced.”
The new move will allow anyone, and even anything, to enlist in the United States Army. “For too long, people who have not completed their high school education have been looked down upon. These people will no longer have to obtain a GED to gain enlistment in the U.S. Army,” said General Casey. “It is time we welcomed them into the force, and if they survive their first couple of deployments, we’ll look into getting them some education opportunities.”
Casey told reporters that the lifting of restrictions didn’t only apply to those who were lacking in aptitude sets. “There are a great deal of deer who have not been able to serve in the armed forces. This year, that will come to an end.” Deer were not the only fauna mentioned by Casey. “Our newly designed BCTs, i.e. Bear Combat Teams, are expected to be dispatched to Iraq within nine months. They will have a significant impact on the war effort, I assure you.”
Casey also pointed out that trees would no longer be barred from service. “With these new measures in place, we can recruit oaks, maples, redwoods, even the loathed black locust trees may join our ranks. Evergreen and deciduous alike can fight side be side, brothers in branches.”
Casey even told the correspondents “Inanimate objects have served the military well over the years, from tools and hardware, to parking lots and commissaries, but lifeless items can all play a bigger role by enlisting this year.” Casey continued, “They say that the sword is mightier than the pen, or, wait, I just messed that up. Anyway, both swords and pens can now enlist and proudly serve their country together.”
Casey informed reporters that the army would train different group sets of people, animals, plants, and objects differently, but warned that segregation would not be tolerated. “Company commanders will ensure that a limestone rock receives the same treatment as an osage orange bush or even an African American. We are tripling the number of equal opportunity officers in our forces to ensure that no major problems with discrimination occur.”
Members of the military seemed optimistic thus far. Private First Class Jamie Wilson commented that, “I think it would be really exciting. I mean, can you imagine serving with a rattle snake or maybe even a grapefruit? Perfect roommate. The grapefruit, I mean.”
Staff Sergeant Louis Greenwald also expressed a bright outlook on the matter. “I’ll thank God when the new enlistees get here; my platoon has been undermanned for sometime. If I could get a good shade tree, you know, like an ash or a hickory in here, it’d make some of our motor pool work a lot easier. Also, I’d let to get one of them chupacabra thingies. I bet they’ll only get assigned to Cav units, though.”
General Casey did point out that restrictions on homosexuality will stay put. “If we find out you’re a total gaywad, you’re out of here,” remarked Casey. “If there are reports of a male sea tortoise going down on some tiger lily’s stamen, they will both be discharged from the service. The ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy remains in effect.”
Secretary of the Army Pete Geren declined to answer any reporter questions at the conference, only saying afterwards, “That was the most regrettable and embarrassing event of my entire career. God have mercy on us.”