Sound Off: Should the Military Allow Civilians to Guard Recruiting Centers?



The Pentagon has long insisted that its recruiting centers around the country be staffed by unarmed men and women, mostly to create what that brass believes is a welcoming environment for potential recruits and partially to short-circuit theories that the military is secretly planning a domestic takeover.

In the wake of the July 16 shootings at two facilities in Chattanooga, TN, armed civilians (many of them veterans) have been standing guard at recruiting centers around the country.

Department of Defense spokesman Peter Cook has asked the self-appointed guardians to stand down:

While we greatly appreciate the outpouring of support for our recruiters from the American public, we ask that individuals not stand guard at recruiting offices as it could adversely impact our mission, and potentially create unintended security risks. We continue to partner with and rely on first responders for the safety of the communities where our service members live and work.

Cook’s request may have been prompted by the accidental discharge of an AR-15 outside a Lancaster, Ohio facility last Thursday.

There are a lot of questions here. Do you agree with the Pentagon’s position that unarmed recruiters create a more welcoming environment? If so, do civilians armed with automatic weapons marching around outside create an even more forbidding scene than an armed recruiter sitting behind a desk? Should the military run its facilities the way it sees fit or is self-appointed civilian oversight the way to go? Sound off!

  • C. Sokolik

    If they have a permit to carry, why not ?

    Ret E7

    • dockrick

      they are redneck, untrained, and will get bored fast,,one has already shot his rifle by accident,, just put in bullet-proof windows.

      • Matt

        They are not all redneck, and untrained. In our state the majority of them are off duty police. Don’t typecast them all when you don’t KNOW them all.

      • TSgt W

        if you read the article you would have read most of the armed guards were civilian besides the one that discharged his weapon had to be a city slicker because rednecks are better train with guns than most the military

    • Chuck

      I’m a retired Marine and I was on recruiting duty in Iowa, no way would I want them guarding me. What are they going to do when I’m visiting a high school or going to some kids home to talk to them about joining. What is going to happen when someone they don’t know pulls up that is also armed? Are they trained on what to do in an active shooter situation? Do they shoot first and ask questions later. How many shooting have their been lately by law enforcement where the other person turned out to be unarmed or a child playing with a toy gun? MORE GUNS DO NOT MAKE US MORE SAFE.


        God bless you and the tank you rode in on. You are 200% right. I was a WM, a recruiter and never needed anyone for protection. How do you tell who’s who in civies? If the military needs civilians for protection we don’t need the military.

    • MSG retired

      What kind of message does this send? The military can’t protect itself. They need civilian bodyguards. Issue them side arms and let them do what they were trained for. No matter what your MOS is we are all 11B.

    • Jhon

      If you like a Recruiting station full of Drop Outs and Cat Fours? A great idea. Send in all the knuckle head RWNJ Gun Nuts. Sure.

  • guest

    Public sidewalk and parking lot. If they are breaking no laws, than tough toenails to the pentagon.

    • Motive25

      A strip mall and the parking lot is not public property. They are owned by an individual or company who has every right to set policy with respect to firearms on the premises.

  • guest

    How many civilians have automatic weapons. Another anti-gun reporter that would not know an AR15, from a flintlock musket.

    • guest2

      You might not know as much as you think either. last time I checked AR15s are SEMI-automatic weapons not automatic weapons.

      • spstr883r

        You might not know how to read either as that is what he was implying. He is quoting the article, look for yourself.

    • think before you run your mouth

      You should maybe do a little check your writings. I am pretty sure, the last time I checked, AR15s are SEMI-AUTOMATIC weapons and not automatic weapons. (Unless they have been illegally modified.) Most automatic weapons are by permit only.

      • spstr883r

        Again please indicate your highest reading level and comprehension ability. He is quoting the article, look for yourself, the original post from “guest” knows that AR-15 are “semi-automatic”.

  • Mike Cooper

    Well, considering the fact that these places are unprotected by the military they represent, it falls on the rest of us to protect the brave soldiers, airmen, sailors, Marines, Coast Guard, and National Guard. It seems to me that they were the “Armed Forces:” when I served.

    • 8950331

      Agreed…unless & until the DOD allows these vets, who are manning these recruitment stations, to be able to carry arms for any necessary protection; then it is a blessing that able American civilians are willing to step in to fill this gap.

  • William

    If the government that these soldiers serve won’t protect or take measures to protect them , we as citizens that these men and women swore to protect and defend shall protect them.

    • Leon Suchorski

      The last time that someone had an idea that he would shoot a bad guy, I asked him where he would aim at, and he replied, right between the eyes. I told him GOOD, because then I would feel safe if I was in the area, and he aimed at me. All of you vets know what I mean.

  • Gas Passer

    If the pentagon isn’t going to protect them, then citizens should protect them.

  • lcdr kent

    Armed citizens without specific training as guards/security officers can be as dangerous as terrorists. Once the shooting starts, how can police tell them apart?

    • Matt

      Sorry, they are not ALL civilians. Many are trained armed security employees, as well as off duty law enforcement officers.

    • Yellow Devil

      Obviously if the police tells them to drop their firearms, and they comply, they are not the threat.

      Most situations involve the Police arriving well after an armed citizen ended the actual threat, if they even respond at all.

      Although I advocate everyone who has a firearm to get proper training, I ultimately leave it up to them to decide what that is. I have no idea what “standard” you are looking for, because even among law enforcement and security personnel, training standards vary. Some citizens may actually get better training and practice than their local police officer. You might be surprised to know that there are many police officers that do not like firearms, and outside of their job, do not carry. And numbers that compare the hit rate on criminals between police shootings and lawful self-defense shootings seem to suggest that.

    • Mike11C

      Then, allow recruiters, no, all Soldiers, to carry if they have a CHL. Otherwise, all the top brass should move their offices out of a secure base and into strip malls with “Gun Free Zone” signs on the door. How about that?

  • Thunder350

    As the incident a few days ago in Lancaster shows, it is more dangerous for untrained citizens to go play army outside a recruitment center. Leave the games to children, and let our military personnel and police forces deal with any threats. Even if we actually required people to get proper training on how to handle their weapons like most other countries that allow citizens to own guns, it shouldn’t be allowed due to cultural differences and a big difference in mental mindsets that many (though not all) of the volunteers seem to have so far, which is being a redneck.

    • Wtf

      Morons like you think you’re better than civilians. Why don’t you attack our politicians, and that weakling in the White House, instead of people who are trying to look out for the military. Terrorist are killing are men and women on our soil!!! What the hell is going on in Washington?!?!

    • JJMurray

      As incident after incident around the country literally every day shows it is far more rare for an armed civilian to accidentally shoot a bystander when they are reacting to a criminal than it is for trained police to do so. Yet the screed persists with people like you who think that if civilians are allowed to be armed and protect themselves there’s going to be all kinds of wild west shootouts with civilians being gunned down all over the place. Funny thing is that it DOESN’T HAPPEN!

      • Wtf

        “Check you white privilege thought?” Way to spew the mindless catch phrase constructed to stir up bullshit. Why didn’t you just say privileged? Don’t be a sheep. We have a country full of them already.

    • ROM83703

      “We continue to partner with and rely on first responders for the safety…” First responders get there after the incident. The old saying,”When seconds matter, help is minutes away.”, should make at least some sense, even to you. Once you or a loved one experiences an encounter where you need to be armed RIGHT NOW while waiting for a police response, you’ll change your tune. And, your playing the REDNECK-card reminds me of Obama’s ‘guns and Bibles’ comment. That surely makes me a redneck, then.

      Read more:
      Under the Radar

    • Ssgt serving proudly

      Redneck, really? Are you a bleeding heart pacifist? I consider myself very worldly (having been in almost every continent with the military) educated, and a redneck who is still serving. I think the states ought to leave the civilians out of this, and staff the security with the national guard. I know there are plenty of trained and available soldiers out there who would readily volunteer for this (title 10) opportunity! As for the redneck quip…I’ll let it slide, considering the source!

  • mkantzler

    The military has no way to properly vet civilian, voluntary “guards,” so on that basis alone, the answer has to be “no.”

    But, the argument that armed recruiters would violate law on the basis of domestic-military separation from civilian affairs or control/policing is too narrow. Recruiters are not civilians, but they can operate within dual, civil-military regulations, and this should be allowed. Military recruiters should be required to learn applicable laws/procedures, demonstrate skill, and obtain licenses and carry permits from the FBI and be authorized to carry arms on U.S. soil in their military jobs only as a condition of personal or recruitment-office defense against attack. There is little likelihood, if any, that any use of arms by recruiters would occur outside of the intended limits, and if it did, the line would be clear and discipline/punishment could then be adjudicated.

    • JJMurray

      The military has nothing to SAY about it. These are civilians, they are not government contractors. If they desire to hang around on public property with their legally owned firearms and if it is legal for them to either open or concealed carry there then the military has NOTHING to do with it.

      • C.E. Harris

        While I agree with your premise that the military has nothing to say about it as they are civilians, that is where we differ. These individuals are there because they wish to support and defend the recruiters, otherwise would they be there to begin with? When one of these individuals does cause harm to someone, regardless of the legality of the situation, the military/government is going to be considered a responsible party. There is no oversight, training, or leadership of these individuals and while they have good intents I say it has more potential to create issues than solve them.

      • Scrappy

        Agree – good point C.E.

      • Yellow Devil

        The government/military has disavowed any ties or cooperation to individuals who volunteer their time to stand in front of the recruitment stations. So no, I doubt the military will be “blamed” in any situation where a perpetrator is stopped from attacking the service members.

        I do blame the military for not taking security seriously enough. This isn’t the first time an attack on a recruitment center or Reserve station has happened.

    • dspvb

      Why should they (recruiters) be required to be authorized by the FBI? The branch they belong to can authorize them if the law changes!

      • Wtf

        For more federal oversight. This administration has its appointees in key power positions. Thus, controlling the outcome.

      • Malcolm Kantzler

        It would be more uniform and expeditious for the FBI to issue carry permits to them rather than the different states. They have no authority to carry arms as military members unless they are in the National Guard and activated by state governor, and it would be easier to have them carry under a civil authority than change the law. The Texans who fear military coup would go berserk.

        Read more:
        Under the Radar

    • Malcolm Kantzler

      It would be more uniform and expeditious for the FBI to issue carry permits to them rather than the different states. They have no authority to carry arms as military members unless they are in the National Guard and activated by state governor, and it would be easier to have them carry under a civil authority than change the law. The Texans who fear military coup would go berserk.

  • CTOCS77

    Someone needs to tell the Pentagon that this is America.

    • wtpworrier

      All the more reasons why we don’t need armed citizens walking around guns. We are suppose to be a civilized Nation…the old west days are over. Perhaps somebody should tell the right wingers in Congress this is America, and not some third world backwoods country…even they are backwoods.

    • CTA1_6484

      Licensed and vetted veterans with prior weapons qualifications or combat experience would no doubt offer their services. Wannabe’s with guns itching to be a “hero” isn’t the way to go. Using Oathkeepers worked for property owners in Missouri, as they are a cadre of military, veteran, and law enforcement veterans and retirees.

  • ipscone

    Of course they should be allowed to defend recruiting stations. This is America, still, isn’t it? I mean, the president hasn’t changed that yet, has he?

  • Gray Jones

    You betcha. Responsibility finds a way…Semper Fi Nam 66-67

    • Jbadwin

      You should know better. This is not being responsible . Most of the mass killings In the USA lately have been done by armed civilians . And now you want to make it easier for some gunman to walk around armed disguised as a protector ? What the hell are you thinking, get your head screwed on right ! Semper FI 9th Marines.

  • Leon Suchorski

    They should maybe change the glass to a more bullet proof kind, but this is a place of business, not an armory. Potential recruits come there to interview for a wide variety of jobs in the military, not just to carry a piece. upon entering service, they may also get fire arms training, but initially they are in doubt the variety of jobs that are open to them in the military. That is the job of the recruiter to explain all of this to them, not to shove a rifle into every recruits hands. They will learn about that, once they are in. We do not need civilians standing outside, as if they are better at handling all situations. After I got off of active duty in the Marines, I caught my share of crooks without using any firearm. and some of them were armed. I just used my Marine Corps training, and all of the civilians were amazed at how quickly and easily I resolved the situations.

    • Matt

      We’re too busy giving 150$ billion in sanction relief to Iran. You think we have money to update the 1,000s of recruiting centers in the USA will ballistic glass? Leon you must be on something!

    • spstr883r

      Way to go super troop!!! Please have at it and save these recruiters Marine Corp Martial Arts style and let me be amazed also? I’m so glad that your bulletproof.
      (No disrespect to the USMC) just this guy.

      • Leon Suchorski

        But I still could have been stabbed badly by the ones with the knives of varied length up to blade length of 9 inches.

  • JJMurray

    Poor question.
    If the civilians have the right to bear arms where they are (concealed carry or open carry) and they are on public property then the military has nothing to say about where they stand. Should the military “encourage” or “discourage” them is the actual question here. Beyond that it is up to the citizens if they desire to stand guard over a recruiting station or a gas station or a radio station as long as they aren’t breaking any laws.

    • Leon Suchorski

      So why don’t they just go inside, and join the military?

  • Mark-USN Retired

    Bulletproof glass to stop the accidental discharge bullets from injuring or killing the recruiters…
    Look, I don’t want to get in a 2nd amendment argument, but these guys aren’t part of a “well -organized militia”….and how the heck do the recruiters decide who is guard and who is the terrorist?.?.?
    Keep the wanna-be’s away from the actually-are’s.

    • Yellow Devil

      “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

      The well regulated Militia (“or well practiced” in 18th century terms) is a clarify-er, not a qualify-er for the rest of 2A. It says the right of the of the people, not the Militia.

      But since the regular military seems to have a disdain for its own troops to have personal firearms, the argument that only the “Militia” should have firearms goes out the window too.

      • Mark-USN Retired

        Well regulated is well regulated. Organized, practiced and sanctioned….which most of these guys are not. That was my actual point …..

    • Enjoying a good laugh !

      Exactly – arm the recruiters ! Let them protect their own lives until the local law enforcement get there !

  • Beego

    “If so, do civilians armed with automatic weapons marching around outside create an even more forbidding scene than an armed recruiter sitting behind a desk?”

    What idiot wrote this, someone from MSNBC? No one is carrying automatic weapons, they are semi-auto.

  • Leo Johnson

    I’m glad that some people are willing to stand pfor those who have given their lives to guard us.I’m a retired Sailor and during my time in the Nvy I and a bunch of other sailors went to weapons training at Camp Pendleton and Parris Island. Then to NTC san Diego and Little Creek Va. W e received training in all of the weapons systems the military was using at that time. The AR-15 was one of the sstems that we were trained in. Even today if I was given a weapon of todays design I could figure out how to operate it . My Granddaughter’s Husband has two AR-15;s .One is Semi-Automatic and the other one can be fired Semi or Fully Automatic.There was a mention of Bullet proof glass .Grant you that bullet proof Glass will stop most Ammo.but there is Ammo out there that will penetrate even bullet proof Glass These are specially made Ammo. These specially made Ammo can be purchased in the open market or the black market.

  • L.Cox USAR

    This is where you need that “Oh hell no” button!

  • J. Abbott USMCR

    These civilians need to go home and mind their business. The military doesn’t need retired/prior service/wannabees interfering in active military business.

  • Scrappy

    It’s a bad idea to have untrained, disorganized civilians milling around with weapons in a public area. The shooting in Chattanooga was horrific and senseless, but also an isolated incident. The circumstances certainly don’t seem to merit the use of civilians in this manner. Leave law enforcement to the professionals.

    • Michael

      We have seen the clowns in the secrete service. They should be disarmed so the President can have the same protection the recruiters have.

    • sheepdog 1951

      NO, scrappy, its not an isolated incident. There have been other recruitment center shootings and least you forget the Ft. Hood shootings. A shotter is going to carry out their deed wherever they feel that they won’t be opposed. Now , I’m not in favor of untrained citizens being there with guns, but do feel that if the govt. isint going to protect these men and women, then it fall to the FBI or other govt. agents,natl. guard or local law enforcement.,and certainly not some wannabe security guard.

  • Jbadwin

    No way , wasn’t the person who did the Chattanooga shooting a civilian . Civilians protecting military facilities is the craziest thing I’ve heard lately. If a civilian is protecting a place and a fire fight breaks out how will the police know who is the shooter and who is the one protecting. If civilians want to protect the military let them join the military . Otherwise they’re just another avenue to a bigger problem . It just makes it easier for someone intent on doing harm to have an easier access by disguising themselves as a civilian protector . That is a no brain dumb idea .

    • spstr883r

      Let’s just have you and your fellow anti gun activist supporter mecanico stand in front of recruiting centers unarmed and politely ask these terrorists to leave them alone and go in peace?

  • mecanico

    I am a former US Army Recruiter, having served in the NYC area for 5 years, as well as serving as a Commander of Recruiting Operations for 2 years. I do NOT approve of armed militia standing guard at recruiting facilities, as their presence does not heighten the security of the facilities; in fact it will deter those individuals looking for opportunities in our armed forces. The mere presence of armed persons standing around the facility causes undue stress and fear, as these individuals are not trained nor qualified to provide security in these environments. That some may be veterans does not in itself qualify them for this security mission. If the military feels they need to secure and guard recruiting offices, then they should hire trained personnel for that mission. A gun toting individual is not a good alternative; I, as a trained career soldier, would feel uncomfortable around such individuals.
    Last week one of these so called “guards” discharged an AR 15, into the curb, in front of a recruiting station; it was pure luck he did not injure or kill someone. These people should not be allowed to perform any type of armed security, that’s what our police force is there to provide, should the Pentagon determine it is necessary.
    Then comes the question, who are these people and what is their agenda? Can they be that lone wolf just waiting to do harm?

    • Michael

      The lone wolf has already visited. Would it have been worse if these patriots were there? We have a politically correct Administration that needs to bow to the progressives trying to take our rights. I am a two tour Vietnam vet and I trust the people. You talk about individuals are not trained nor qualified to provide security in these environments. The fools in charge of the gun free zone are the ones not qualified.

      Read more:
      Under the Radar

  • Bill

    If we stopped MPs from carrying every time there was an accidental discharge we would have no armed MPs. Weapons free zones are the easy targets of terrorists. The DOD really needs to rethink its outdated policies.

  • WWID?

    (What would Israel do?)

  • bbabbitt

    And just how will they be able to tell the good guys with guns from the bad guys with guns? Seems like a huge security liability.

    • Retired ole fart

      never served have you

  • Why Not

    If the military, DOD, will not protect recruiters, not allow recruiters to arm themselves, as they ought to be, then I commend the efforts of civilians who demonstrate the initiative to protect. The O administration repeatedly fails our men and women in uniform. Sometimes there is just no other choice but to be responsible yourself.

  • Yellow Devil

    Unfortunately these are just stopgap measures. Until the military gets it’s collective you know what out of its fourth point of contact and takes actual measures to safeguard these places, then individual citizens and even service members are going to ignore the Pentagon’s directive and carry their personal firearms anyways. When I was in the Army Reserves, I took my personal firearm to drills and kept it to myself. I’m certain I wasn’t the only one either.

  • Motive25

    If he is a “good guy”, why is he wearing a mask? What would Joe/Jane Citizen think if they saw that guy wandering around? Is he licensed bonded and insured? What authority does he have to shoot, other than in self-defense?

  • Navyjag907

    First responders can’t protect squat and DOD should know better than to say that. First responders would be great in collecting evidence for the trials of terrorists who have murdered recruiters. Otherwise, they’re useless in terms of protection. //These citizen volunteers protecting recruiters should be lauded for their efforts particularly since DOD is insisting they remain unarmed and thus otherwise defenseless against terrorists.

  • Veteran’s Spouse

    The military should run their facilities as they see fit!

  • Chief

    The military should guard there own posts with weapons, not civilians. People will still enlist.

  • nicademus

    All Recruiters should be issued “sidearms”.

  • Bluebeard

    Not arming recruiters to make a more welcoming environment seems like a mistaken approach to recruiting. I think most young people would be drawn to armed recruiters through fascination with the weapons they saw in the possession of the recruiters.

  • Isaidit

    It could actually have the opposite effect and scare away recruits. Maybe these tacticool wannabes should go inside and sign up.

  • matthew maki

    All good thoughts. A related question to whether “civilians” should be guarding recruiting centers is this: What has happened to make some feel it is necessary to protect recruiting stations, for example, beyond normative practices of dependence on local law enforcement?

  • Mike11C

    Unless the brass is willing to allow Soldiers with CHLs carry concealed, they need to shut the hell up. If they would rather leave our guys out there vulnerable to terrorist attacks, they should move their own offices to strip malls and post “Gun Free Zone” next to the door, just like recruiting stations. Lead by example, RIGHT?

  • W.Allen

    NO. Hire the local National Guard members that are trained. It appears that if the security is out sourced it will become just another very expense cash cow and a legal problem in the future with using unqualified personnel. The legal professional is waiting in the wing for this one.

  • Calvin

    Only those with familiarization with military rules, regulations, personnel and have served honorably on active duty status while currently a civilian are living a life worthy of such an honor.

  • Rabbit tail

    I seen some of the Militia men attempting to secure a recruiting station, the look is very unprofessional, appear untrained, and or a regular citizen just woke up deciding thats his/he way of serving our country. From wearing holsters backwards (I’m sure thats how he trains) to just plain unsightly. If the Military is unable to provide a “professional security company” (veteran vets) then there should be no reason why recruiters can not be armed. We require recruiters to qualify with weapons yearly, i assume…. There is a better solutions than a regal citizen or a self made militia group.

  • dustin hopper

    Yes. I see nothing wrong with it. Most of the ppl standing guard are probably prior service anyway and can probably shoot better then the untrained army who’s budget cuts have caused soldiers not to have the ammo and funds needed for proper training.

  • Phillip Smith

    I would prefer that the Recruiters carry and that the Civilians go home. I’m a retired Vet I do respect what the civilians and VETS are doing. Saying that if the recruiters are not armed, then I would support them staying.
    But I would maybe suggest that they maybe at a range get a safety class on safety procedures just to make sure everyone is up to date.

  • Daniel

    We as military personal that have trained and served can protect our selfs. We don’t need civilian personnel getting involved.

  • S.Perkins

    Not just no but Hell No.

  • William


    U.S. Army Retired

  • Disappointed

    want to do some good? Enlist and join the fight. Other than that everything else is just smoke up the kester

  • Charles Petty

    As a retired Army officer,I believe our service personnel should be able to carry concealed weapons no matter where they are. In my State it is easy for them to be licensed.

  • Rose Murray

    It is great that there are citizens who are willing to spend their time to protect the recruiting stations. However, the military should be able to protect themselves; what is this world coming to. Where is the National Guard and the local police. Citizens can not take matters into their own hands, and the Mayor and Govenor should not allow it.

  • Zspoiler

    This is what happens when you let “political correctness ” prevail.We let our military recruiters carry side arms and shotguns.along with Police style body amour. That can be worn under their uniform. The recruiting stations should be upgraded with bullet proof glass and the walls should have armour plate. The military seems to forget that we are at War. And the Terrorist seem to only go after “soft” targets they to much of a coward to do otherwise.

  • jake

    The services has the weapons and the soldiers to protect their own recruiting stations.

  • WOW!

    Quite an array of answers and opinions wouldn’t you say? There are thoughtful responses, rediculous responses, as well as emotional responses listed above. Some very valid points made from both sides. Perhaps we can all see how difficult a decision it will be to satisfy a majority. Mostly what I see here are a group of men and women that love our country, and have a great deal of respect and appreciation for our military personel. You should all be grateful this is one thing you each share. Thank you, all of you. I am proud to be a United States citizen.

  • Tanya

    I think the bigger question that needs to be asked here, is why it was decided that uniformed service members are not allowed to carry weapons stateside?

    Im sorry, but saying that not having weapons around potential military recruits makes them feel more welcome, is the weakest argument I have ever heard in my life. If someone is going to a recruitment office because they are interested in joining the military, Im pretty sure that they know its apart of the job description to carry a weapon, and also expected to use it, if the need arises.

    Its also a contradiction to say trained military professionals, who are expected to carry weapons as their job, would make a possible recruitment not feel welcome or comfortable to join said military branch, but then expect that same person to train and use said weapons. If they are uncomfortable being around people carrying weapons, what makes you think they are going to feel comfortable when you place a gun in their hand, teach them to use it, and expect them to use deadly force if necessary? That ridiculous.

    If anything, wouldn’t it be more reasonable to say that you would feel more at ease and more comfortable, knowing there is an armed, trained, military professional around, just in case it all hits the fan? I would think so! The same reasoning applies for police officers.

    To say that you trust a service member overseas with every type of weapon to their advantage, but then say you don’t trust them to have that same liberty here, contradicts every lesson a serviceman has learned. Im sorry, but you cant drill into somebody’s head that they are a country’s defender and then change your mind, because someone would be offended. People know what a soldier is, and does, and they expect for them to do that overseas, yet say those rules don’t apply in the same country they are defending because they don’t like it. That’s hypocritical.

    People need to get with the program and stop trying to grasp straws and soothsaying, in order to paint themselves in a better light. This isn’t a popularity contest. Peoples lives are at stake. I guarantee you the terrorist doesn’t care. Instead of aiming at political correctness , we need to allow are military to carry, so they can do their jobs.

  • Ret Military

    Yes of course. Perhaps it’s a wake up to the military. I don’t know what the big deal is. Give recruiters a .45 problem solved

  • 45k20

    Fine line to walk. Like everything there are two sides to view. Generally I think carrying a long gun in public is a bad idea. Too much can go wrong. If someone wants to guard….do so while conceal carrying. No one needs to know you are armed. I know here in Texas there were some vets “guarding” the recruiting centers. In reality they stayed in their vehicles out in the parking lot, and just kept watch on the area. To me that is the way to do it.

  • artyopschief

    I was shot at a couple of times while working in Oakland. Although these were not acts of terror, but rather gang related acts, it is still evidence that a threat exists specifically for service members. I don’t agree that we should have an armed militia outside of the recruiting offices because it would create a hostile environment for those applicants who visit an office. Most of the time a recruiter is not even in there if they are doing their job correctly anyway. I do however think that we need to take some security measures to protect not only our troops but our applicants. Parents must be scared to death of their son or daughter going to the recruiting station right now. These are highly visible uniforms walking around in the community. They will continue to be targets as they are easily identifiable and easily hit. For me, the biggest concern was the lack of concern for these safety issues while I was a recruiter. Every time I saw a safety mishap the focus was on the asset rather than the recruiter. The first time I was shot at the only thing that the command cared about was whether or not the car had damage to it. These examples are indicative of why we don’t allow our service men and women to be protected on this duty. This is a potentially dangerous duty and we need to find a solution, both for our service members and our applicants. I agree with mecarnico in this post but am not sure of the solution.

  • Howard Karlsberg

    HELL, NO. Use military guards. The cost for civilians is totaly wrong. National Guard troops and/or nearby military bases are the PROPER sourse. Good Training and lw cost. The military has gone soft on them. They do not even have KP. This too costly also. Why pay civilians at exorbitant cost, when military, for all intents and purposes is free.

  • Rob

    As a veteran who has lots of guns and ammo, licensed to carry concealed.
    No we do not need to guard the recruiters, local police/ sheriff and state police do an above average job of this!

  • Tim

    I think the right answer is three-fold: (1) upgrade all windows so they’re bullet-resistant; (2) Hire armend contract security officers until civil service “DoD Police” (as they’ve been called on some installations) can be hired (unless DoD ‘contracts’ with DHS’ Federal Protective Service – they provided the security for HQMC when it was in the Arlington Annex since GSA, not DoD owned the building); and (3) install metal detectors at the entrances. A sad commentary on the “new normal,” but we do it for other government facilities, including the Pentagon as I recall. The remaining question which hasn’t been addressed yet (that I’ve seen) is whether the recruiters need to be armed when they go off-site while on duty.

  • Gee

    Absolutely! provided they have been properly trained (as the military for example).

  • polaris

    Military security can best be accomplished by military personnel being given the proper weapons training and allowing them to be armed while performing duties in off-post locations such as recruitment stations, military offices and places where military functions are performed.

  • civilians guarding recruiting stations so such a bad idea. Some may be trained, some may be office duty police but the majority is just a wanna be vigilantly. The story said “automatic weapons” lol I would except could at least get that right.

  • spstr883r

    First of all, the Govt has already proved in Ft. Hood and now the recent terrorist attacks on our recruiters in Chattanooga that they do not care about protecting service members and refuse to call a spade a spade as terrorists around the world are targeting military personnel in and out of uniform.
    Sooooooo, let’s welcome the Veterans who want to honor their fellow Brothers by doing something the lousy bureaucrats and higher ups won’t bother doing.
    Also the writer of this article should fact check a little harder and know that civilians can’t arm themselves with ” automatic weapons ” like the military can. Let’s use correct terminology and quit appeasing the leftist anti gunners.

  • sAM


    • Tim

      If they stayed in that foxhole, I might be tempted to agree, but their duties often involve leaving the office ; I’m not sure if we’d be able to get them permission to carry their sidearm with them, which brings up the question about who carries the “duty weapon.” Maybe each day one recruiter is assigned to stay in the office and man the security screening station at the front door? Does each Service get its own weapon, so you could have up to four armed recruiters in each recruiting station (excuse me, “career center”)? As I recommended above, I think the more effective and efficient answer is to assign civilian security officers (either contract or civil service) who man a metal detector at the front door. Sad, but welcome to the “new normal”… .

  • Mike – USN Retired

    I am sorry and feel sorry about those esp. military that feel that way about civilians. As a retired military member myself, I have seen more negligent, never should have been called accidental, discharges from “trained” military soldiers and marines than I have since being in the civilian community and I have conducted 100’s of range time hours as a civilian and only seen one ND (Negligent discharge). How many stories do we hear about police getting complacent with their firearms and killing or wounding themselves or someone else.
    You folks need to get off your holier than though high horse and not under estimate the “civilian population” when they are protecting you folks that are supposed to be protecting us when you are not allowed to protect yourself.
    Most of that “civilian population” protecting the recruiters are highly trained military and law enforcement that still continue their training. Yes, some may not but most are.
    Are far as identifying them, how about you concerned law enforcement work with them and get to know them and work out a way to ID them. As far as ID’ing them goes, what no one can get a fake military or police uniform and parade around as imposters attacking as such.
    The answer is communication, basic military training, which seems to fail so much in todays world. Huh, try working together and pooling your resources instead of putting those trying to help down to make yourself feel better about your failures.
    I did not read all of the posts but those military members that responded here degrading those folks trying to keep your recruiters alive should be ashamed of yourselves. And last I checked, J. Abbott USMCR, protecting each other and members of our Active Duty military is VERY MUCH the business of every American Citizen.
    I am getting off this soapbox, Remember your history though, the mostly farmers that made of the American Revolutionary Army defeated a highly trained English Army.