What does it mean to be a Guidance Counselor for Peace?
A School Guidance Counselor for Peace is first and foremost an ally for students who sees the importance of properly informing students regarding the risks involved in military careers as a priority. It is also important that they point students towards future paths properly suited to their abilities, situation, and possibilities, that way offering them a sincere evaluation of their professional options.
That can mean passing out brochures that provide a counter narrative to those recruitment materials that military recruiters often provide to school counselors to encourage military recruitment. Letting men and especially women know about the problems with racism, white supremacy gang violence, and sexual intimidation and abuse that has been so prevalent in the military, and health risks from base contamination.
What is Militarism?
We understand militarism as the imposition of values and dynamics inherent in military structures upon civil society, as well as their influence on state policy. It is a process that promotes hierarchy, as well as the use (and abuse) of power. Its propagation can use many compelling arguments, among them the need to instill military values on civilian society. Militarism carries with it consequences such as the loss of civil rights and the prioritization of expenditure on military projects over social ones, which hastens the deterioration of social services.
Why do we reject school militarization?
Through youth militarization and recruitment, the culture of war and violence is fostered in our schools; children and young people deserve a peaceful future, in which their options amount to much more than surviving armed conflicts that are fought for the economic interests of the few. We want to work towards a world free from war, which we believe possible if our efforts with the upcoming generations of citizens include a peace education and to provide directions to build their lives on positive and cooperative outcomes that do not cause harm to others or themselves.
The Importance of Directing Youth to Peaceful Career Alternatives
Many of those youth who seek out community service alternatives to the military will be serving inside their own communities and regions where there exists a great need for humanitarian assistance to aid in environmental and social crises that require our direct intervention. Those youth who can connect the dots of what real community service means for establishing a sustainable economy will be the real heroes challenging the future quality of all of our lives. We need to begin to send the message that the waste of military spending needs to be redirected from war profiteering to enlivening the communities where we live and to invest in renewable energy and away from extractive resources which are the source of much of our war-making.
The Peaceful Career Alternatives website has been developed with the support of multiple national, regional, and local peace and religious organizations to provide young people deciding how to begin their productive working lives with alternative ideas and options without entering military service.
We encourage school counselors, parents, teachers, and most of all our youth, to utilize this resource before recommending or deciding on a military career and to network this resource to those considering enlistment
- Before You Enlist - The Real Deal on Joining the Military / NNOMY -Telequest / 2018
- ¡Antes de alistarse! - La verdad de unirse a las fuerzas armadas / NNOMY -Telequest / 2020
- What Everyone Should Know Before Joining the Military / Lo que deberías saber entres de enrolarte en las Fuerzas Armadas (FF.AA.) / NNOMY / 2018
Documents to Distribute
- What Every Young Woman Should Know About the Military / NNOMY = War Resisters League / 2022
- Questions to Consider Palmcard / War Resisters' League / 2018
- The Military is Not Just a Job / Project on Youth & Non-military Opportunities / 2016
- Parents, Teachers, Students, Make the Right Choice! / Safe Passage Network / 2011
- Información para padres - En español / Project on Youth and Non-Military Opportunities (Project YANO) / 2008
- Do You Know Enough to Enlist? / American Friends Service Committee / 2007
Sexual Assault in the Military
- ‘A Poison in the System’: The Epidemic of Military Sexual Assault / New York Times / Oct. 11, 2021
- Sexual Assault in the U.S. Military / Council on Foreign Relations / September 30, 2021
Racism in the Military
- Pentagon report warns of threat from white supremacists inside the military / NBC News / Feb. 25, 2021
- 1 in 5 Patriot Front applicants say they have ties to the military / National Public Radio / February 9, 2022
Military Health Risks Due to Base Contamination
- Service members and families affected by toxic water at Marine base still seeking justice decades later / CBS News / January 10, 2022
- “It’s Scary as Hell”—PFAS Exposure a “Widespread” Problem for Troops, Families Nationwide / War Horse News / June 30, 2022
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And our work to demilitarize our schools and youth.