The Militarization of U.S. Culture
Militarism destroys our hopes for a sustainable and truly democratic society.
WHAT IS IN THIS KIT?
Basic material useful to educating young people and school personnel about the realities of military enistment
A National High School Intervention
Peaceful Careers Website
Peaceful Career Alternatives is an informational resource for youth with limited life options.

 

Militarization of our Schools

The Pentagon is taking over our poorer public schools.
This is the new reality for our disadvantaged youth.

 

 

What we can do

Corporate/conservative alliances threaten Democracy  .
Progressives have an important role to play.

 

Why does NNOMY matter?

Most are blind or indifferent to the problem.
A few strive to protect our democracy.

  

Before You Enlist (2018)

Straight talk from soldiers, veterans  and their family members tells what is missing  from the sales pitches presented by recruiters  and the military's marketing efforts.

 

Militarism in the Land, the Water and the Schools

Michael Lujan Bevacqua  -
I am constantly surprised at the ways in which people are surprised at things.

I suppose that anywhere, you go, you can find things which are normal there and abnormal or incomprehensible elsewhere. Coming from Guam, a pretty little American territory/colony in the Western Pacific, I find alot of things which "shock" regular Americans, aren't so strange to me.

Often times, when people remark that Guam is so gof gof suette because we don't have to pay Federal income taxes, my response is a very sincere request that our positions be changed then. That this person I am talking to and whatever state they call home, switch its political status so that it becomes like that of Guam. So yes, by all means, take the no Federal income tax rule, but, you simply can't just take this benefit alone, you also have to accept with it, the overall dinimalas of being a colony. You have to take the lack of a voting Congressional representative, and also regardless of your population, no representation in the Senate whatsoever.

What generally shocks people, however and makes them realize the unsavoriness of becoming like Guam, is the fact that, then your state must give up 30% of its area to the United States military to be transformed into Air Force, Navy and soon to be built Marine Corps bases. Most of these people, who think very simplistically about the fortune of being the colony of Guam, never make it to considering this point, and even if they are patriotic, flag waving Americans, who profess a profound love and respect for the troops, this idea of having 1/3 of their states controlled by the military, tends to shake them to their very core.

It is almost as if, they are forced to see past their rhetoric, their illusions, and confront what they truly feel about something. That while the military defends, protects, it is also a fearsome creature, in many ways what Giles Delueze called the war machine (i makinan gera). In addition to protecting life, the military destroys life, and not just the enemies lives, but the lives of those it protects as well. The military sucks away resources, and rarely in very balanced or well managed ways. For instance, in my department, someone has on the door of their office a cartoon that wishes for the day when public schools will be well funded, and the military will have to hold bake sales. This is the sort of illusion that the military actively engineers in order to protect itself, and to keep its image positive.

In high schools for instance in California, JROTC programs are advertised as bringing in income and money to schools. They are advertised as being important programs for getting kids into college as well. Both of these points however are rarely true. In fact, JROTC programs can end up costing schools far more than they bring in, because of the gap in what the Department of Defense reimburses the school, and what they require the school pay in order to set up the program. Furthermore, in the California state college system, military science courses taken through JROTC do not count towards college. As if to make things worse, the money put up to establish JROTC in schools, tends to get taken away from actual college prepatory programs.

In Guam, we have the idea that the United States military is an "environmental steward," or a good and loving caretaker of the environment. While in some ways, we can see this, as certain pet projects such as the eradication of the brown tree snake or the protection of endangered species on Guam become central to the public relations campaigns of the military. We also get this impression of the military as being better at watching out for the environment because of dikike' na kosas, such as the pristine conditions of their lawns, the lack of abandoned cars by the roadsides in their bases, and in an almost ridiculous way, the better paint jobs on their houses.

All of this evidence in favor of the idea that the military is simply mampos kapas gi i umadadahi i tano', i tasi yan i aire, is nonetheless contradicted by the actual poisoning of the earth the military perpetuates in times of war and peace. Agent Orange, Depleted Uranium, Nuclear Fallout, Toxic Waste, Mustard Gas, these are all weapons of mass destruction of chemical warfare which have been brought to Guam and affected the health of its residents, and as some cancer research indicates, has affected our health and environment in catastrophic ways.

I think that when I ask people to imagine what it would be like if 30% of California or Oregon or New York was military bases, it shatters that sort of positive illusion that surrounds the military, and forces these people to think about what the military means in their lives, and to think beyond the platitudes about defense, and also see what other less "patriotic" impacts it can have.

Recently, as I've become involved with the group Project on Youth Alternatives and Non-Military Options or Project YANO, I have found another point which can shock people into rethinking what the military means in daily life.

For instance, when I tell people that in San Diego the JROTC has built and is building firing ranges at San Diego high schools, most people react with almost pure shock. Although these firing ranges aren't using real weapons, but just air powered rifles, the idea that young high school students are being trained to handle weapons, forces people to recognize not just the violent aspects of militarism, but more so the predatory aspects of it, which we see through the recruitment of students at increasingly young ages in order to meet recruitment targets.

In order to build these firing ranges and fund the JROTC programs, money has been taken away from college prep courses such as AVID and Advanced Placement. In addition, in the hopes of giving the impression of enthusiastic student support for JROTC, at Mission Bay and Lincoln High Schools, students were enrolled in JROTC without their or their parents' consent.

For the past few months, The Committee Opposed to Militarism and the Draft has been conducting public meetings in order to gauge community outrage over the firing range issue, and has ciruclated petitions, held protests and built up a diverse coalition, with the hopes of addressing the following issues:

  1. Removing the firing ranges from San Diego high schools (since they violate the no weapons ban in schools)
  2. Stop the violations of California Education Code 51750, which prohibits involuntary enrollment in military science classes.
  3. The inadequate offering of college prep classes and academic electives that students can take instead of JROTC, and require that parents and students be informed that military sciences classes do not count towards college admissions.

On Feb. 12th, San Diego parents, students and teachers held a protest as the city school board met, hoping to receive a full and fair hearing on this issue, and that their concerns be addressed. I'm pasting below photos from the protest:



On Feb. 12th, San Diego parents, students and teachers held a protest as the city school board met, hoping to receive a full and fair hearing on this issue, and that their concerns be addressed. I'm pasting below photos from the protest:

Targeting Youth: What Everyone Should Know About Mulitary Recruiting in Public High Schools

The Billions of dollars spent on advertising could be used for scholarships and other youth programs....

Targeting YouthUnder the supervision of Clinical Professor Penny Venetis, the following students and interns contributed to writing this report: Heidi Alexander, Avi Appel, Erica Askin, Amy Brown, Eric Bueide, Matthew Coleman, Randle DeFalco, Jason Fertakos, Lisa Hansen, Safia Hussain, Michael Isaac, Syrion Jack, Daniel Louis, Devi Shah, Nadia Rollins, and Robert Ulon.

Indeed, under 10 U.S.C.A. § 503, the “Secretary of Defense is required by law to enhance the effectiveness of DOD’s recruitment programs through an aggressive program of advertising and market research targeted at prospective recruits and those who may influence them.”...

The military has conducted extensive research into the psychological and behavioral factors that influence teenagers to enlist in the military....The Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) administers the YATS to students annually so that changes in youth “demographic trends, cultural characteristics, attitudes, and educational attainments” can be tracked by the DOD to formulate recruiting strategies....

The military’s marketing campaigns emphasize patriotic themes and tales of adventure that appeal to teenage sensitivities, while downplaying the actual risks of war....

[I]n teens, the judgment, insight and reasoning power of the frontal cortex is not being brought to bear on the task as it is in adults.

The United States Supreme Court has also recognized the psychological vulnerability of children and teenagers in several landmark decisions. In 2005, in discussing why the execution of juveniles is unconstitutional, the Supreme Court cited “[s]cientific and sociological studies documenting the tendency of adolescents to make “impetuous and ill-considered decisions”; their susceptibility to “negative influences and outside pressures": and the "transitory" nature of their character traits....

Recognizing the psychological vulnerability of children, Congress passed laws prohibiting slick marketing campaigns that glamorize risky behaviors such as smoking and drinking. For similar reasons, as the obesity rate among young people has soared, school officials and legislators have targeted the sale of unhealthy foods on school campuses....

While a broad consensus exists that teenagers lack the decision-making capacity of adults, the military deliberately exploits this immaturity by equating the military with video games and other entertainment....

Often the military prominently displays its promotional materials inside or nearby the school cafeteria, where the entire student population can be exposed to the recruiters’ messages....

The Army also plans to use cell phone text messages, helicopter simulators in the back of eighteen wheelers, and visits to NASCAR and rodeo races. “[R]ecruiters will visit schools and malls a few days before an event, offering free tickets and the chance to meet famous drivers or bull riders.”

Military recruiters create a customized “pitch” for each individual student based in part on personal information gathered from the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test (ASVAB)....

Military recruiters are instructed to “read yearbooks to ‘mysteriously’ know something about a prospect to spark the student’s curiosity.”...

"[C]hallenge his ego by suggesting that basic training may be too difficult for him and he might not be able to pass it."...

Recruiters view each teenager as a potential sale, rather than an individual who is trying to navigate the difficult years of adolescence. Indeed, the Secretary of Defense’s Director of Recruiting Policy stated that the military concentrates on schools most likely to “maximize returns on the recruiting dollar [because] the advertising and marketing research people tell us to go where the low-hanging fruit is. In other words, we fish where the fish are.”...

[T]he military’s School Recruitment Program Handbook (“SRP Handbook”), instructs them to “penetrate the school market” and achieve “school ownership.”... High schools are referred to as “markets” where recruiters make “sales presentations” to students....

[R]ecruiters are becoming fixtures in the public school system....

Recruiters are told to give out free mugs, calendars and office supplies with the Army logo on them to school employees...

The SRP Handbook refers to educators as “tools” to further implement the military’s goals....

To facilitate this “ownership,” recruiters are instructed to approach youths as early and as often as possible and to seek help from school administrators and popular students, or “centers of influence,” (“COIs”) in the recruiting process....

"If you wait until they’re seniors, it’s probably too late." ...

[T]he SRP Handbook encourages military recruiters to “[g]et involved with local Boy Scout troops,” because “ scoutmasters are typically happy to get any assistance you can offer.” ... the actual age range for the Boy Scouts is ten to eighteen years old. This means that military recruiters not only target younger high school students, but have access to boys as young as ten years of age, without any parental knowledge or permission....

"Some influential students such as the student president or the captain of the football team may not enlist; however, they can and will provide you with referrals who will enlist."...

"Know [their] student influencers. Students such as class officers, newspaper and yearbook editors, and athletes can help build interest in the Army among the student body. Keep them informed."...

"Be indispensable to school administrators, counselors, faculty, and students. Be so helpful and so much a part of the school scene that you are in constant demand ... Cultivate coaches, librarians, administrative staff, and teachers"...

Military recruiters are instructed to “eat lunch in the school cafeteria" ... The Army’s “Calendar of School Activities” urges military recruiters to "wear [their] dress blues" to school events commemorating Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday and to participate in activities during Black History Month and Hispanic Heritage Month. There is no mention, however, of similar events such as Columbus Day and Saint Patrick’s Day, which are days of ethnic pride for Irish and Italian-Americans....

[T]he Navy created a Web site, called El Navy, which is designed to better communicate with the Hispanic market,” and “the Army has specifically tailored radio advertisements to reach the African-American market.”...

"Obtain a copy of the HS fall sports and activity calendars [and] arrange to have the schedules copied with the RS [Recruiting Station] address prominently displayed. Post them throughout the RS area, including restaurants, arcades, and anywhere else students congregate"...

"Contact the school’s student government ... to discuss what the Army and you can do to assist them in the upcoming SY ... The football team usually starts practicing in August. Contact the coach and volunteer to assist in leading calisthenics or calling cadence during team runs"...

"Attend athletic events at the HS ... Get involved with the parent-teacher association ... Obtain a tactical vehicle from a local USAR [“US Army Recruiting”] troop program unit and drive it in the parade with your future Soldiers riding along.... Deliver donuts and coffee for the faculty once a month.... Hispanic Heritage Month. Participate in events as available"...

"Offer to be a chaperone or escort for homecoming activities and coronations."...

"Assemble and offer a color guard for the opening home game... Prior to Thanksgiving, many student organizations gather food baskets for needy citizens. Offer your assistance and get involved."...

"Contact college students who are home during the holidays." ...

"Turn up the tempo on contacting your juniors." ...

"[A]rrange for an exhibition basketball game between the faculty and Army recruiters." ...

"Prepare certificates for those faculty and staff members who have aided you in your HS recruiting efforts.... present these certificates at a COI [Center of Influence] event.... Continue to advertise in school newspapers and conduct class presentations."...

"Basketball season starts. Offer assistance to the coach." ...

"[S]end thank you notes to those staff and faculty members who have been helpful ... Secure and present USAR Scholar/Athlete Awards at HS graduation or award ceremonies ... Assist in arranging a color guard for the graduation ceremony ... Coordinate with school officials to determine if they can use your assistance during summer school.” ...

All four branches of the armed forces host all-expense paid workshops for educators....

Allen Kanner, a clinical psychologist and researcher on military recruiting, calls the use of teachers “a very clever marketing technique,” and explains: “Teachers are role models, and if they approve of something, then the students believe the whole school system approves of it.” ...

In 2008, to increase enlistment, the military increased its bonus allowance from $1,000.91 to $2,000.92 to members of the Army, National Guard, Army Reserve, retired service-members, and civilian Army employees who refer potential enlistees to recruiters. Authorized by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, active service members or veterans who convince someone to enlist receives $1,000 when the referred enlistee commences basic training, and another $2,000 when the referred enlistee completes basic training and individual advanced training. Under this program, essentially every service-member acts as a recruiter. The program encourages deceptive recruiting practices. Service members have a financial incentive to glorify the war and to minimize negative experiences.

***

Students who object to military presence in their high schools can be ostracized. For example, at one high school in Southern New Jersey, a student was reprimanded and ostracized for refusing to participate in a recruiter-led gym class that simulated military training. During the gym class, students were told to respond “yes sergeant” to the recruiter’s orders. The penalty for failing to respond was 20 push-ups. One student who refused to participate was removed from gym class for the day and initially given a “0” grade.

The student was later harassed by students and members of the school’s staff. Students called him “un-American” and a “Communist.” One student openly confronted him about the incident, sparking a public argument. A teacher chastised the student for refusing to participate in the military exercise. While doing so, the teacher referenced his grandparents who were holocaust survivors.

***

The irony is that DHS students and real Marines actually do share much in common. Both groups are largely poor. Enlisting in the Marines would not provide the average DHS student a way to escape their unpromising life. It will only change the scenery from Southern Texas to Iraq or Afghanistan, and add the risks of snipers, roadside bombs and firefights.

***

[A] Department of Defense policy change highlights that rape is pervasive.

***

Advantages to Enlisting During College: (1) Higher Sign-On Bonuses,  (2) Those with Associates Degrees and college credits also qualify for higher sign-on bonuses, (3) Better Pay, (4) Those with Associates Degrees and college credits qualify for higher pay than enlistees who are only high school graduates, (5) More Elite Jobs....

In addition to receiving the benefits listed directly above, college graduates who enlist may reap additional benefits. The military has student loan repayment programs which can help enlistees repay existing student loans. Additionally, college graduates may be eligible to enlist directly into the officer candidate schools of the various military branches. This puts them on a fast-track to interesting careers with better pay and benefits.

***

E/COI tours are designed to be professionally enriching experiences for key influencers. They are not junkets or rewards for cooperation with recruiters. Tours are resources that must focus on those areas (access, ASVAB testing, and release of directory information) that need special attention. Tours provide E/COIs the opportunity to view Soldiers in a training environment. Many participants become informed supporters who publicize and promote Army opportunities with students, graduates, and other key influencers.

-- Targeting Youth: What Everyone Should Know About Military Recruiting in Public High Schools

Source: http://www.american-buddha.com/rep.targetingyouthrutgers.htm


Document: TARGETING YOUTH: WHAT EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT MILITARY RECRUITING IN PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOLS, a Report Prepared by The Constitutional Litigation Clinic, Rutgers School of Law-Newark, November 2007

###

No Child Left Behind Act - Overview

UNCLE SAM WANTS...
Your Child's Name, Phone Number, and Address

The passage of recent "school reform" legislation intended to improve upon the nation's school systems also allows the military access to private student information.

The No Child Left Behind Act, signed into law by President George Bush on January 8, 2002, is touted by many as a federal bipartisan success story designed to impact the way children learn in school and how schools and states are held accountable to students, parents and educational communities. It is an elaborate reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 that, among other things, initially offered grants to low income school areas and established the federal lunch and milk programs. In spite of the new act’s overwhelming support by Washington legislators and policy makers, it is starting to come under fire for a well-hidden section entitled Sec. 9528. Armed Forces Recruiter Access to Students and Student Recruiting Information.

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