29 Recruiters Recommended for Dismissal
CHICAGO (AP) _ The Army has suspended 29 recruiters and disciplined 33 others for their alleged roles in a scheme to provide recruits with fraudulent high school diplomas, officials said Wednesday.
The investigation began last year when a Chicago recruit at Fort Jackson, S.C., told his drill instructor that he paid a recruiter $85 for a high school diploma, but had not received it.
Lt. Col John Cullen, a spokesman for the U.S. Army Recuriting Command, based at Ft. Sheridan north of Chicago, said a high school diploma is not necessary for Army enlistment. However, those without a degree must score 50 percent or higher on the Army’s aptitude test. Only 9 percent of all Army enlistees over the last four years were non-graduates, Cullen said.
The Army has recommended that the 29 recruiters be dismissed from their jobs. Pending a full hearing, they will be suspended from their jobs, said Lt. Col. John Cullen.
The 33 other recruiters received letters of reprimand, he said, adding: ″They were not considered to be as deeply invovled in it.″
Investigators found that Army recruits had paid recruiting sergeants as much as $200 for a diploma from Roseland-Englewood Educational Center, a non- accredited school that was associated with Josephinum High School.
Cullen said the Army re-examined at least 170 diplomas from Roseland and determined that only 49 recruits had ever attended classes there.
″As it turned out at Roseland, the students were doing nothing,″ he said. ″The recruiters were setting it up. We had our people taking money from the applicants: Go to Roseland and get a one-day quickie diploma.″
Roseland Principal Juanita Haskins denied the Army’s claim that the students received diplomas without enrolling.
She said the students were in independent study and did not attend classes. She also said 100 blank diplomas were stolen last year.
″I don’t know why the Army is doing this. This is an alternative school,″ Ms. Haskins said. ″I’m dealing with dropouts, people who have dropped out, gang members, drugs, welfare and what have you.″
Josephinum ended its relationship with Roseland last February. The Roman Catholic school regularly had approved diplomas and letters of graduation from Roseland by stamping its seal on the documents.