Unusual and questionable military recruitment policies are nothing new to militaries around the world. They have existed since big armies were first formed and have not done so without causing controversy from time to time. In the 18th Century, the King of Prussia was so taken by the idea of tall soldiers that he put a minimum height restriction on a unit and renamed it the “Potsdam Giants” (the tallest member was rumored to be over 8 feet tall); sadly, when the king passed on his son disbanded the unit because they were a drain on the royal coffers. Although this sounds a little silly, these types of practices still go on in various forms today.
The United States has not been without its share of questioned rights policies, especially where the right to join the military service was concerned. There has been perhaps no non-combat military topic more debated than that of whether homosexuals should be allowed to serve in the military. That was not the case from 1950 – 1993 when known homosexuals were not allowed to serve and were said to be incompatible with military service. Despite immense pressure for change, and a campaign promise by Bill Clinton, the best the new administration could do in 1993 was to morph the old code of military justice into the famous “don’t ask, don’t tell” legislation. It took until 2010 to finally repeal the code and let openly gay people serve in the military.
You thought it was tough to be a Green Beret or Navy Seal? How about what it takes to be a Gurkha. In 1814, a famous battle took place in Nepal and the British Army took heavy losses suffered at the hands of Nepal’s Gurkha Troops. They were so impressed by the toughness and fighting skill of these men that they eventually conscripted them into the regular British Army. They have fought in almost every engagement that involved British Troops since then and Gurkhas have received thousands of citations for valor and 13 Victoria Crosses (equivalent to the US Medal of Honor). The Gurkha tradition has become so prestigious that over 30,000 youths apply each year for the approximately 200 available spots. Screening for these coveted positions is intense and includes a long distance run through mountainous territory in the Himalayas wearing 70 pounds of rocks.
Perhaps no recruiting process is as bizarre as that which potential female Indonesian Army recruits are subjected to. No women may serve unless they are examined and found to be a virgin. It is said to be a test of the women’s moral character, which is one of three requirements for entry into the Indonesian armed forces (the other two being strength and high academic standards). Civil rights advocates around the world cite the practice as violating a person’s rights because the women are stripped naked and then examined using a two finger test; experts point out that it is the kind of test that is more humiliating than accurately conclusive anyway. The practice even strangely extends to those women that want to marry Indonesian officers.
There truly are some interesting recruiting policies and practices, even in these so-called modern times.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.
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