Winner 2005

How Far Will the Army Go?


The KCNC-TV Investigation Team’s startling news story How Far Will the Army Go? began when David McSwane, a 17-year-old honor student and reporter for his high school paper, contacted them about his undercover reporting. McSwane, posing as a high school dropout and habitual marijuana smoker, met with a U.S. Army recruitment officer to discuss enlistment. Although his admitted drug use and dropout status required the recruiting officer to turn him away, he was instead given instructions on how to create a fake high school diploma and phony grade report on the internet. The recruiter also recommended a product that would yield clean drug test results. Upon breaking this series of stories, the KCNC team, comprised of reporter Rick Sallinger, producer Carisa Scott, and photographer/editor Kevin Hartfield, was contacted by individuals across the country eager to report similar practices at their own local recruiting offices. An investigation by the Denver office ensued, and both the Army and the Navy requested copies of KCNC’s story to incorporate into their training programs. The final result was a full-day, nationwide “stand down” by the Army to reevaluate its recruiter training methods. For revealing desperate wartime enlistment tactics that forced policy changes in Army recruitment practices across the country, How Far Will the Army Go? receives a Peabody Award.


Producer: Carisa Scott. Editor: Kevin Hartfield. Reporter: Rick Sallinger. Photographer: Kevin Hartfield.