Leland Yee Zings Army over Video Game Recruiting Efforts

California State Senator Leland Yee (D) has issued a stinging criticism of a new, online game-based Army recruitment strategy which his press release terms “luring young video gamers.”

Yee, author of California’s contested 2005 video game law, lashed out today at an Army program which will spend $2 million in tax dollars to sponsor the Global Gaming League. According to a report in USA Today, the GGL site gets more than 9 million visitors per month, mostly young men between 17 and 24. Said Yee:

It is disconcerting that the Army has decided to invade these websites with millions of dollars in advertising. While many of these young people are being desensitized to real-life violence through these online violent video games, the Army has decided to sweep in and exploit the situation.  I urge them to reconsider this advertising strategy.

My father like so many others served honorably in the Army and our soldiers today are fighting because they want to give back to this country. Many of today’s violent video games do not portray this service as admirable, but instead glorify violence and promote racist and sexist behavior.  These are not the lessons we should be teaching our young people.  When ads for the armed forces are placed on websites promoting these types of games, it blurs the line between fantasy and real-life violence.

Yee also referenced today’s mixed FTC report, which he saw differently from video game industry officials:

Disappointingly, the industry continues to market these ultra-violent video games to minors. Their own standard is far too limited and according the FTC they are not even living up to that minimal threshold.

Clearly more retailers and parents are aware of violent video games and the effects on kids. While I applaud the industry for making some progress, it is still unacceptable that nearly half of all kids are able to purchase M-rated games.

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  1. 0
    Pixelantes Anonymous ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    How appropriate Mr Yee’s whining about tax dollars misspent is running right next to an ad that says:

    “Politicians consider video games to be as dangerous as guns and narcotics. And they’re spending $90 million to prove it.”

    Oh, the irony of it all.

    Doctor, heal thyself.

  2. 0
    Weatherlght ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Has this guy actually seen/played Americas Army, because it sounds to me like he doesn’t have a clue what the actual game is about.
    You spend more times learning about different jobs and skills then you do actually playing.

  3. 0
    PHOENIXZERO ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    He’s in the pocket of the movie industry (IE: Competition) remember, this is the guy who cares so much about children that he voted against a bill that would ban the use of toxic plastics in baby toys.

  4. 0
    Terminator44 says:

    “the GGL site gets more than 9 million visitors per month, mostly young men between 17 and 24.”

    Isn’t that the age of a legal adult? And isn’t it also outside of the range of Leland Yee’s bill? Why does he keep using the word “desensitized” like he owns it? Is he saying that everyone under 30 is a mindless drone that will be magically brainwashed the second they are exposed to violent images?

    Wow. I used to think this guy was just overprotective of minors, but it seems he’s got something out against ALL young people.

  5. 0
    E. Zachary Knight ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “it is still unacceptable that nearly half of all kids are able to purchase M-rated games.”

    And it is acceptable for nearly 3 quarters of young people to buy R-Rated movies?

    Get lost Yee. You have no idea what you are talking about.

  6. 0
    Konstruct says:

    funny how he didn’t mention the poor results of the movie industry and how the game industry nearly doubled them in preventing under age purchases.

  7. 0
    IanC says:

    “While many of these young people are being desensitized to real-life violence through these online violent video games, “


    “Disappointingly, the industry continues to market these ultra-violent video games to minors.”


    “it is still unacceptable that nearly half of all kids are able to purchase M-rated games.”
    How about the moive industry, eh?

  8. 0
    Gamer81 says:

    Liar Leland Yee is a political “prostitute”. He receives campaign contribution from the movie and music industries, none from the video game industry, and it is the game industry that he attacks while defending the other 2 industries.

    Yee also lied when he claimed to be a believer in the First Amendment, and lied when he says he only wants childrens’ access to “ultra” violent games restricted. Yet he mentions how a site with a demographic in the age range of 17-24 is promoting an Army game. 17 years old is exactly the minimum age required to purchase an M rated game anyway. Plus, Yee allegedly isn’t against all violent games, he’s against the most “atrociously” violent games – a number of games he even admits to be in the single digit range (about 3 or 4 games, he once stated). Why then is he attacking an Army game, ironically after the judge in this case even ruled in his preliminary injuction would not be covered by Leland’s bill, as war type games do not fall under the gratuitous levels of violence defined in his bill?

    Anyway, learn more about Leland’s lies here:


  9. 0
    Dog_Welder ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “the GGL site gets more than 9 million visitors per month, mostly young men between 17 and 24.”

    Lest I’m mistaken, isn’t that the target age for an Army recruiter? And wasn’t there an article on this very site within the past couple of months talking about how many men and women in the armed forces are video gamers?

    As far as the U.S. Government spending money, they need to do this to recruit. They spend millions on TV, radio and internet ads every year. $2 million to pretty much guarantee 9 million target audience exposures PER MONTH is very cheap.

    And I would dare say that some video game skills are actually very much wanted in the armed services. Ever seen the control deck for a Predator Drone?

  10. 0
    Alex says:

    Young men 17 to 24 seems to be pretty much exactly the target market the army is trying to reach. Why would anyone by surprised that a website which has a large audience of that demographic, regardless of content, would be a prime advertising opportunity for the army. The game angle seems entirely beside the point here, the army will go wherever they have to in order to reach the people they are trying to recruit.

  11. 0
    Jabrwock ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “Their own standard is far too limited and according the FTC they are not even living up to that minimal threshold.”

    FTC: Industry is improving. More work is needed.

    Me: *grrrnnnnnnnnnnn – poik!*

    I’m too dizzy, the spin is hurting me…

  12. 0
    ChrowX ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Wait.. “Ultra-violent”?
    Nothing like an ill-informed hyperbole to bolster your argument.

    Does Yee actually know how violent video games are when it comes to current releases? At worst, you get a particle spray of blood, then the person goes ragdoll.
    God forbid a child sees simulated blood!

    If he took the time to look into his own arguments he wouldn’t have anything to say at all. He claims games are being marketed to children, probably ont he assumption that videogames are ONLY for children. He says they’re ultra-violent when more people care about gameplay than gore.

    However! I do believe that spending 2 million in tax payer money is rather ridiculous. It’s a weak gimmick and a waste of money.

  13. 0
    -Jes- says:

    “While many of these young people are being desensitized to real-life violence through these online violent video games”

    I stopped reading after this.

  14. 0
    Zerodash ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Once again, please show us where these games are marketed to minors…seriously.

    As for the rest of Yee’s statements- full of the same old tired generalzations and uninformed judgements. Par for the course Yee.

  15. 0
    gameclucks says:

    Again with the Racist and Sexist jabs. I’m surprised he didn’t accuse the Army of promoting Cannibalism.

    As someone who has hosted, administered, and sought sponsors for gaming tournaments (for numerous console and PC games), I can’t think of a single competitive game that encourages racism or sexism. Even fighting games with scantily clad women or sterotypical ethnic characters still empower those characters with abilities to compete against (and defeat) the (stereotypical) buffed white dude.

    Sandbox games like GTA don’t really have a competitive following anyway, and even though Postal 2 does have a “capture the ho” mode, I really don’t ever see a big league choosing that as a tournament game (especially since the netcode is crap even on LAN). Although in my opinion, capturing the opposing crew’s ho and bringing her back to your base’s bed for a 3some with the team ho makes more sense than going after flags… you can bet that if a game like that were featured, the GGL would lose sponsors faster than Imus. Including the US Army.

    I applaud the Army for sponsoring a gaming league; it has long been my contention that competitive gaming needs to diversify the sponsership sources. For a long time, it was all AMD/Intel/ATI/Nvidia/etc. Sure, we buy hardware and games, but we also buy sandwiches, toothpaste, and vehicles. Bawls Energy drink picked up on this early and they are now the go-to beverage of LAN parties and game tournaments everywhere.

    Does Leland Yee simply think that no video gamer could possibly bring honor and glory to the Army? I think it’s time his political opponents started accusing him of “not supporting the troops!” I supspect that if Paramount or MGM decided to sponsor a gaming tournament, Lee would just keep his lie-spewing mouth shut rather than denounce his movie studio ma$ters.

    Hey sometimes it can be fun to spread lies and twist information to suit your agenda. Whee, look at me! Just like a real politician!

  16. 0
    Jabrwock ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “mostly young men between 17 and 24.”

    Wait, isn’t 17 the age you’re allowed to join up anyway? So he’s bitching that they’re advertising to teens WHO ARE OLD ENOUGH TO JOIN UP ANYWAY?????

    *bangs head on desk*

  17. 0
    Sidewinder says:

    @ Weatherlght

    Indeed. America’s Army taught me and a friend how to treat gunshot/other wounds. Is that sutch a horrible thing to know how to do?

    I kind wish Mr Yee would end up in a car accident, just so that a gamer could give him some First Aid.

  18. 0
    LightWarrior ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    SideWinder: “I kind wish Mr Yee would end up in a car accident, just so that a gamer could give him some First Aid. “

    Yee: Oh you saved me I thought I was done for with these wounds I have.

    Gamer: No problem I learned them from a video game.

    Yee: I’m DONE FOR!!!

  19. 0
    BmK ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    The more bile and shit that comes out of this guy’s fucking mouth, the more i depise him. It’s because people like our pal Mr. Nanny-State Government should regulate every aspect of our lives Censorcrat here that i’m now a Libertarian rather then a Democrat. Even if i don’t agree with many of the Libertarian’s economic/fiscal politices.

  20. 0
    bladow says:

    I just have a question: Why is the Army supportive of video games? They seem to think that players will want “to experience the real thing” after playing war-based games, but how many gamers want to do that? ONE of the appeals of war games, FPS’s, RTS’s, etc. is that you can shoot, kill, and strategize, all in a fake world. All fun, without any of the horrors of war or any of the strenous training and discipline and OCD bed-making. I would argue that games like these actually work against recruiters. Why enter a real war where I can get killed when I can enter a virtual one where I just keep respawning? I want to think that the Army knows this, and is supportive of video games for another reason. Because they realize that it could be the future of warfare. No more human infantry, instead drones controlled by our finest Halo players or whatever. Of course that sounds ridiculous now, but maybe not in 20 years or so.

  21. 0
    J-Guy says:

    “Yee, author of California’s contested 2005 video game law, lashed out today at an Army program which will spend $2 million in tax dollars to sponsor the Global Gaming League.”

    Political Lesson #1:
    -NEVER, EVER go against a government program that uses tax dollars to fund it when you yourself have used tax dollars to fund a bill that goes against the Constitution.

  22. 0
    Brer says:


    I’m afraid you’re wrong about that. Despite all the work that’s gone into UAVs and UGVs, not only are there no plans to replace the man on the ground with drones in the immediate future, there aren’t even any plans in the -conceivable- futures being drafted by the “futurist” types at places like DARPA or over at Natick SSCEN.

    The United States has the most technologically advanced military in the world, with one of our most -dramatic- advances being our airpower and the ability to deliver precision munitions in support of ground operations. In terms of -conventional- warfare (that is, force-on-force scenarios with another normal military) it’s increasingly true that our Infantry and even Armored forces no longer have to bear the brunt of the battle and can instead be used to A) secure strategic objectives (eg MEUs taking harbors and beach-heads, Rangers and Airborne units used to secure forward airfields, etc) and B) mop-up anything our combined artillery and airpower haven’t taken off the board.

    But that still leaves two important areas where ground units are -Essential-: Taking and securing territory, which is the sine qua non of successful military operations, and fighting in unconventional/low-intensity conflicts and urban areas where options like armor, air support, and artillery are of limited use. Both of these uses have been clearly demonstrated by developments in Iraq and in the disparity between the original OPLAN (calling for 500,000+ troops on the ground) and the one later drawn up. There is simply no substitute for the immediacy, flexibility, and response time given by having enough boots on the ground.

  23. 0
    Jer ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Actually it is more than just the Air force, unfortunately I am not qualified to mention the other clients, both for fear of confidentiality and just lack of knowledge of all our ‘clients.’ For the UAV there are also the Pred A, Pred B, Altair, and the ER/MP that is being developed for the Army. These UAVs are made by GA-ASI. Hunter is made by Northrop Grumman.

  24. 0
    nightwng2000 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Let’s see….

    ROTC courses in high schools.
    Military boarding schools.
    Ads that offer college financial assistance for joining.
    Ads showing how much of an education one can get being in the military.

    Yeah, the military only uses video games to “lure” young people into the military.

    Leland Yee, you’re the one having trouble telling the difference between fantasy and reality.

    NW2K Software

  25. 0
    Brer says:

    Well, sponsorship is hardly equivalent to active “recruiting”, which to me means a specific program of information designed to convince someone to join the army, which is something just slapping a brand-name on a banner or “sponsored by” blurb. You’ve had similar efforts on the part of the Army and other branches on NASCAR cars, for example. As for the GGL being an inappropriate venue, as other people have pointed out that’s rather silly since it’s the 17-24 demographic that the Army is actively seeking for enlisted recruits. With that said, I’ve a few side comments relating to the relationship between technology and the military in general.


    Actually Predator is Air Force, not Army, and last I checked still requires a qualified aviator and commissioned officer for the fl. The Army primarily uses the RQ-7 Shadow TUAV, with a few units still flying the RQ-5 Hunter. In fact, that’s what I was doing in Iraq. However, video game skills really don’t carry over, unless you’re a big fan of realistic flight sims and have maybe gone through FAA Ground School.

    However, with that said technological savvy in -general- can be very important even if you’re Infantry or Armor (FBCB2 is one example of a computer system in use), and will become more and more important over time as electronics systems get smaller and more portable. To use UAVs as an example, the RQ-5 Hunter requires a relatively long runway, a trained External Pilot (EP), a Ground Data terminal that requires its own trailer, a five ton truck to haul the disassembled birds about on, etc…

    The shadow system on the other hand can fit its AVs into the back of a shelter carrier HMMWV, no EPs are required, you can launch it anyplace where the launcher has a clear flight path, the GDT fits into two mid-size boxes, etc, etc. And we’re already starting to field and experiment with UAVs that are hand-launched and man-portable, bringing the resource down from the theatre level (which is still how systems like Predator are used) all the way down to the battalion or even company-level, and by extension making “UAV Operator” (96U in the Army, I don’t know the designators for the other branches) a more “tactical” MOS.

    In short, however, my point is that while video gaming does not necessarily make you a better candidate for a good soldier, tech savviness and the ability to learn new computer and electronic systems -can- when coupled with other skills (I’ll curtail my rant about the stereotype of “stupid grunts” for some other time, but suffice it to say that anyone who thinks any idiot can pick up a rifle and be infantry has obviously never studied modern battle drills) DOES, and in general long-time gamers are good at learning new electronic devices fairly quickly.

  26. 0
    gs2005 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    If the ECA ever asked me to write this misguided individual a letter, it would go something like this:

    Dear Leland Yee,

    Just because you have a Ph.D and you are a California state senator does not mean you are more insightful than the average consumer. You are a politician who is abusing your power to fit your hard core liberal-like agenda of, “…government’s job is to do everything.” The good deeds you do in other areas, are negated by the blatantly unconstitutional legislation you created and convinced our flip-flopping governor, Arnold Schwarzengger to pass.

    As been proven multiple times with multiple Federal judges, the first amendment covers video games, no matter how much you try to ignore it. Those are the facts, which contradict your endless fear-based public relations statements regarding this topic. College editorials are also covered by the first amendment, but your misguided continued attempts to categorize video games as something other than protected speech speech shows your deep lack of understanding on this fundamental constitutional concept.

    Finally, there is a small but growing number of video game consumers who also happen to be active voters who are watching your bad behavior very carefully, and remembering. Immediately resigning from your position would be the right thing to do, but you have already demonstrated in the past, you do not always do the right thing.


    A voter who is not in your district, who is a part time teacher that does not have any ties to the video game industry.

  27. 0
    Brer says:


    I never claimed that Predator is “just” air force. I said the Army doesn’t fly it, and if it does after Feb. 2005 or so I somehow missed hearing about it. As for Hunter, I flew the system for two years before the switchover to Shadow hit our unit, so I’m fairly familiar with both it and the contractors who helped the Army deploy it. TRW and IAI did the initial design, so when you reference Northrop Grumman I assume you mean the E-Hunter upgade program? I’ll freely admit I don’t know much about that aside from the general goals, since I was flying Shadow in Iraq by the time that really got rolling.

    Of course, since then I’ve gotten out of the Army to return to college, while several of my former cohorts have gone to the contractor side of the force, as it were. At least one is involved in the deployment of Hunter for the Border Patrol the last I heard, another’s working as an Instructor Pilot with a Boeing program he can’t go into details on, another working at the schoolhouse at Huachuca, a few more staying on with my old unit, etc, etc.

    The UAV community is a wierdly incestuous one, I’ll freely admit. Wouldn’t surprise me if we have mutual acquaintances.

  28. 0
    hayabusa75 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    If I were Yee, I’d be more concerned with the status of my own stupid law that has apparently been cryogenically frozen until the next century before I start telling other people (ESRB/Army) how to do their jobs.

    He’d also do well to remember that his opinion of the ESRB standards is just that, an opinion, just like his own definition of “ultra-violent”.

  29. 0
    Benji says:

    Can any of the military types here actually attest to the fraction of military entrants that actually ever are directly involved in violence? As opposed to simply supporting the front lines? I ask because I don’t think it’s that large of a fraction; even in the Army there’s a large number of technicians, mechanics, engineers, etc.
    I ask because this talk of violent video games and violent army recruiting is a political shell game. Even if it were provable that violent games affect people somehow, I don’t think that makes those persons more desirable to the army. Not all the Army’s jobs revolve around killing; I imagine they’re more interested in people who want to serve their country. I even thought that the Army worries about people who like fighting because they enjoy killing. It’s indicative of an unbalanced mind, and we don’t need the government handing rifles to people with unbalanced minds.
    No, no, it’s simple business sense. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that the vast, vast majority of recruits are young males in their late teens or early 20’s. The army advertises so it can get interest, so it’s going to advertise in media that hits that demographic. Sports magazines and TV channels I think are a favorite venue of theirs. High schools – the service is a nice job opportunity for recent grads. And now video game related media. It’s simple business – I’m going to go out on another limb and wager that you don’t see many army ads in Vogue, or on the Home Shopping Network.
    The Army isn’t advertising with GGA because gamers have any particular skill that makes them better soldiers. It’s just the same demographic. Young males have habits of both gaming and joining the army, apparently. So, yeah, bad on Yee for twisting a perfectly legitimate business decision by the Army into some demented scheme to take advantage of the corrupted youth.

  30. 0
    Berg ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    He says that games do not show military service as admirable, which I think is completely incorrect. And in the same breath talks about games that promote racism and sexism?
    Can anyone name a game with soldiers in it (90% of which are probably WW2 games) which is sexist and racist?

  31. 0
    ZippyDSMlee ( User Karma: -1 ) says:

    The army is ahell of allot more admirable than politics….

    Updated zippyisim

    Politics:A game of the elite to pull the wool over sheeples eyes by letting them bet in a form of a vote….

  32. 0
    Brer says:


    I couldn’t even begin to give numbers about what “fraction” of troops who serve on active duty status actually engage in combat due to factors included but not limited to the following:

    1) it varies widely on the time in which you serve. For example, -Most- of the Army between the end of the Vietnam War and the beginning of the Gulf War never saw combat, despite regular small and mid-sized deployments on a variety of missions. Some units like SF, Rangers, 82nd Airborne and some of the support units that regularly assist them deploy almost every time we have ANY sort of military mission. On the other hand, I and the other soldiers in my Brigade were, as far as any of us could tell from a check of our unit history, the first soldiers to wear a 2nd Infantry Division (Indian Head) combat patch since the end of the Korean War.

    2) In the current conflict and most forseeable unconventional engagements there’s really no such thing as REMF (Rear Echelon Mother*$&@er) unless they’re serving in supporting areas completely outside the AO (for example, the troops manning Camp Doha in Kuwait, or the ones in Qatar). Even “FOBbits” who spend most of their time on secure bases in the AO can be subject to attack by indirect fire and VBIED attacks, and run the chance of firefights and engagements during convoys. An infantry unit may be able to depend ON seeing enemy action, but no unit in a modern urban conflict can depend on NOT seeing action.

    With those provisos, I can tell you that according to the Army’s own force estimates about 37.2% of the Army’s personnel strength (to include ARNG and USAR, not just RA) serves in a line unit (Infantry Division, SFG, Ranger Bat, Armored and Armored Cav Division, etc). In other words, almost 2 of every 3 soldiers is actually someplace like TRADOC (the command in charge of all initial entry training and continuing training in the Army), AMC (Army Material Command), and so on. However, even that 37.2% is not all warfighters because those line units have their own support personnel. To use a very rough example from the old TOE of a single type of line unit (one of the newer Stryker Brigade Combat Teams. But remember, a SBCT is not an Armor Brigade, is not a Brigade from the 82nd or 101st, is not one of our combat aviation brigades, and so on), about 75% of the personnel are attached to actual combat arms (infantry, armor, and cav) units. Even then I could go and try to remove some of the HHC personnel, the unit supply clerks, and so on, but you get the drift.

  33. 0
    Rockwell says:

    He had to go and ruin a perfectly good and interesting criticism on American military advertising with gratuitous, completely incorrect claims of sexism and racism in video games. Along with the usual comment about the mythical “effects on kids” that these games have.

  34. 0
    Tye The Czar says:

    You call yourself a Democrat, oy?! At least Hillary realized the hell she was getting into and backed out of it, oy. What did they ever do to you?! Let’s call these guys “False Democrats” oy. They don’t seem to understand what free speech is, oy. We have to fight back…
    Just like they did for their town in the awesome and implied-gruesome anime When They Cry: The Higurashi, oy.

  35. 0
    Matthew ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    The army can frankly do whatever it wants to bring in recruits. If you’re mature enough to join the army then you’re fine to play Chainsaw Succubi, and if you’re too young for the games then you’re too young to sign up.

  36. 0
    Jer ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    [And I would dare say that some video game skills are actually very much wanted in the armed services. Ever seen the control deck for a Predator Drone?]

    Yes I have; I see them every day. Just to get the terminology, it is not control deck, it is known as Ground Control Station.

    It does not feel like a video game though, when you have all this data to keep track of, and just the fact that you know you’re controlling one of these REAL machines that cost REAL money.

    SO not video game skills, but, programming skills, flight skills, among others, is what is looked for here.
    But Video games do spark interest in these skills.

  37. 0
    Khyris says:

    Yes, I have an intimate familiarity with the SSED Waverider that’s in a few of those “new” releases, the nature of such familiarity I must abstain from comment. But, there is an important word both in your writing and on the very first page of your budget draft: “unclassified.” You are obviously bright and well informed, and Kudos to you for being so, but I’m wording this very carefully:
    It is a logically faulty argument, in general, to claim omniscience concerning the existence of ALL projects as public domain because you’ve seen SOME that are.

    That said, I sincerely applaud your self-informedness, and present you with a riddle which may truly exercise your information gathering techniques:
    Why does a seawolf have wheels?

  38. 0
    Khyris says:

    [there aren’t even any plans in the -conceivable- futures being drafted by the “futurist” types at places like DARPA or over at Natick SSCEN.]

    LMAO! Since when does DARPA make press releases about what they are or are not researching or building? DARPA will neither confirm nor deny that they are working on an orbital laser system which transmogrifies any human with the middle name “Steve” into a canteloupe. You have a lot of valuable information in your posts… don’t shoot your credibility in the foot!

    To clear up a common misconception about America’s Army, the original intention behind development was not to encourage enlistment, but as a DETERRENT. Boot camp and training is a very expensive process that is often “wasted” on recruits that drop out or are deemed “unfit.” The game was designed with this in mind. For example, if you are the kind of person who can’t handle several minutes of game time in the brig for breaking discipline, chances are you’d fare much worse at boot camp being in there for a few DAYS. The idea is to give people a taste, and if they don’t like the taste, then don’t waste the meal on them.

  39. 0
    Brer says:


    Since when does DARPA make press releases? Well, how about here?


    or here? http://www.darpa.mil/body/news/current/yfa.pdf

    or here? http://www.darpa.mil/body/news/2005/hyfly_test.pdf

    Or maybe here? http://www.darpa.mil/body/news/2005/ttnt_05_demo.pdf

    Or how about here?


    Then there are the project briefings available on their websites and on the websites of the universities and corporations that they partner with:


    And THEN there’s their budget, which is available IN IT’S ENTIRETY, broken out BY PROJECT with a general description of each one. The technical details of the projects are generally classified, but what we are and are not interested in and the thrust of current and future R&D and its strategic and tactical implications for our military is all unclassified and widely available:


    NOTE: All page numbers refer to the .PDF file pages, not to the numbers on the page corners.

    Most of the REALLY interesting stuff is a bit on the technical side (I’m most interested in the Biofabrication and Bioinspired/Bioderived materials projects on pages 198-202, for example), but Cyberpunk afficionados may want to look at page 22 for DARPA’s work on creating real-world “datajacks”. Weapons junkies might find the idea of replacing explosively-formed penetrators with those formed by magnetohydrodynamics interesting (page 140), or the various projects aimed at making high energy laser weapons practical (pages 150, 158, 159, etc).

    There simply too much AI and Expert System work going on at DARPA to summarize (you’ll find it spread throughout the entire budget), but for an example of how this is meant to SUPPLEMENT but not to REPLACE the warfighter, take a look at the entry on Automated Battle Management on page 177.

    Even during the Cold War we were never much shakes at concealing military information, Khyris (speaking as a former member of the Military Intelligence Community and someone with an interest in the value of preserving classification of valuable information as well as day-to-day military OpSec). And these days the entire TOE and ORBAT for any unit you care to mention is available for the asking online, and not from random people piecing it together through news clippings but right from DoD briefing materials. They’re rarely 100% accurate (heck, when have you seen a unit that perfectly matched its MTOE, and how long did it stay that way?), but they’re good enough to give anyone interested in our capabilities a HUGE leg up.

    However, with that said you’re dead right about wasting money on recruits. That’s why it’s far easier to get your discharge in Basic/Boot than in later individual/technical training (AIT, the later stages of OSUT, etc) and harder still once you get to active duty (where the money has already been invested). I’m most familiar with Army IET, where the average cost per soldier was $35,000 in 1999 (http://armed-services.senate.gov/statemnt/1999/990324ph.pdf) …and that’s BEFORE AIT, which can mean months or (in a few cases) over a year of technical education…

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