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February 20, 2013

Mall, Marines want to move forward following Facebook backlash

Recruiters claim they were notified they were violating no-solicitation policy

CLARKSVILLE — An encounter between Green Tree Mall security and U.S. Marine Corps recruiting officers that took place around the first of the year set the social media website Facebook abuzz in recent days.

While no one has been able to determine the exact date of the occurrence, in late December or early January, mall security approached two to three Marines in the food court to inform them they had violated the facility’s no-solicitation policy, according to marketing and public affairs representative Sgt. Daniel Angel.

Angel said the Marine recruiting officers informed him that they were asked to leave the facility by Green Tree Mall security.

He said the recruiting officers were speaking with several potential applicants in the dining center, but he wasn’t sure if the Marines approached the applicants, or vice-versa. 

Mall officials said that is not the case.

Green Tree Mall Marketing Manager Heather Edge said no Marine recruiting officers were asked to leave the mall.

Edge said she was not even aware that the exchange took place until Tuesday, Feb. 19, about the time the topic took off on the mall’s ShopGreenTreeMall Facebook page, where several people posted their outrage at the idea that the mall would ask servicemen to leave the building.

“The stuff on Facebook is not true,” said Edge, who called the controversy “a huge misunderstanding.”

She said that military recruitment officers are welcome in the mall, but are required to conduct recruitment in a structured manner.

“We do ask that they coordinate through the mall management office,” Edge said.

Green Tree Mall added its own comment to the conversation on Facebook.

“Green Tree Mall fully supports all military, active and retired, and welcome them as guests to our property anytime. We are working with our local recruiting office on opportunities to recruit future military personnel,” read a comment posted about noon.

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