Seventeen-year-old high school journalist and honor student David McSwane is just what Army recruiters are looking for, but he suspected they might be lowering their standards, reports Rick Sallinger of CBS News Denver affiliate KCNC.
"I wanted to see how far the army would go during a war to get one more soldier," McSwane said.
So he showed up at a Golden Colorado recruiting office saying he was a dropout.
No problem, the recruiter said — and told McSwane in a phone call he recorded — to create a fake diploma from a non-existent school.
"It can be like Faith Hill Baptist School or something — whatever you choose," the recruiter said.
So McSwane went on-line, got a phony grade transcript and a diploma with the name of the school the recruiter suggested and turned it in.
"I was shocked. I'm sitting there looking at a poster that says 'Integrity, Honor, Respect,' and he is telling me to lie," McSwane said.
Then the high school senior told the recruiter:
"I have a problem with drugs. I can't kick the habit — just marijuana."
The recruiter suggested purchasing a detoxification kit.
"The two times I had the guys use it — it's worked both times. We didn't have to worry about anything," the recruiter said.
McSwane had a friend take a video as another recruiter, Sgt. Tim Pickel, took him to buy the so-called detox kit.