German TV documents how America recruits its Army
July 15, 2010
- German TV interested in how America recruits its Army
- Filming took place at the Harrisburg Opportunity Center
- Interviews were conducted with recruiters and Future Soldiers
- Program aired July 9 on Germany's international network
HARRISBURG, PA - German Television Reporter Stephan Bachenheimer heard something he liked June 24 at the Harrisburg Opportunity Center in Harrisburg, Pa. "Do you think you can get that 'swoosh' sound again," he asked the Harrisburg Opportunity Center Assistant Commander Staff Sgt. James Slough, who at the time was operating the center's new Career Navigator, an interactive video system that shows more than 150 job opportunities in the Army. Bachenheimer was shooting a segment on how America recruits its Army for a television program about the way the U.S. operates with an all-volunteer force. It aired July 9 on Deutsche Welle TV, Germany's international network. "The story that I am doing is how does it look with a professional Army." Bachenheimer said, "In Germany...we have a draft service." The program compared the German draft service with America's all-volunteer force, said Bachenheimer, who has been based out of Washington D.C. for seven years. The station's reporters in Berlin interviewed members of the German Army or Bundeswehr on the same or similar topics that Bachenheimer conducted with the American military. How this comparison was done, explained Bachenheimer while he was still at the Harrisburg center, was by in-depth segments on how each country's military force addresses certain topics such as career opportunities. "We are not trying to convince anybody. The style of the station is to analyze what is the situation," said Bachenheimer. "We are just saying, 'okay what we know as common opinion or knowledge - is it actually true or not'' We are just trying to investigate and question." As an example, Bachenheimer cited, "The argument you hear very often in Germany is that a professional Army is self-selected - only one type of people (join) - they are all Gung ho, and it's something crazy that we all do not want." Researching whether or not this argument and a few others were true, Bachenheimer interviewed recruiters and Future Soldier Nick Fiaschetti, 23, who enlisted in the Army March 2. "Why did you choose the Army," asked Bachenheimer at the start of the interview. "The Army seemed the best fit - a great opportunity to better myself." Fiaschetti paused before adding, "The Army presented an opportunity for me to be a leader - to lead Soldiers." Looking at it from another angle, Bachenheimer asked the Harrisburg Recruiting Company Commander Capt. Eric Sutton, "Why do you think people join the Army' Is it the education, training or adventure'" Without hesitating, Sutton replied, "I think it's the current logo - 'Army Strong.' It just entices you. You just feel that you can be strong in whatever job (in the Army) you decide to do. It's a great draw for people." Besides the interviews and footage shot at the Harrisburg center, Bachenheimer covered Marine Corps training at the Marine Corps Base in Quantico, Va., and a naturalization ceremony at the White Oak Armory in Silver Spring, Md., for his segments in the program. Germany's international network DW-TV broadcasts throughout the world, except - interestingly enough - Germany. "We are a foreign station - an international broadcasting corporation - so by law, we cannot broadcast in Germany; we can only broadcast abroad - just like BBC World Service," Bachenheimer said. A satellite television service, DW-TV broadcasts in both German and English, and has an online news site. Both offer news, background information and magazine features with a European perspective. The American military portion of the program can be found by clicking on "US Armee" at the lower right side of http://www.dw-world.de/amerika. This segment is in German.