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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.

 

Before You Enlist! (2018) from Telequest, Inc. on Vimeo.

  ¡Antes de alistarse! (2018)

¡Antes de alistarse! (2018) from Telequest, Inc. on Vimeo.

 
Las palabras directas de los soldados, veteranos y sus familiares dicen todo lo que falta y se oculta
en los argumentos promocionales presentados por los reclutadores y en los esfuerzos de marketing de los militares.

 

Why We Still Need a Movement to Keep Youth From Joining the Military

Elizabeth King, In These Times - Eighteen is the youngest age at which someone can join the U.S. military without their parents’ permission, yet the military markets itself to—which is to say recruits—children at much younger ages. This is in part accomplished by military recruiters who visit high schools around the country, recruiting children during career fairs and often setting up recruitment tables in cafeteri­as and hallways. As a result, most students in the U.S. will meet a military recruiter for the first time at just 17 years old, and children are getting exposed to military propaganda younger and younger.

The recruitment of young people to the military is as old as the military itself, and has become more and more normalized along with the general militarization of schools. According to the Urban Institute, more than two-thirds of public high school students attend schools where there are “school resource officers,” a name for school-based police. This police presences comes on top of the role of military recruiters on campuses, or at college and career fairs.

Counter-recruitment surged in popularity during George W. Bush’s Iraq War, when the U.S. military ratcheted up recruitment for the war. But these days you don’t hear much about this movement, despite the fact that the U.S. is still engaged in brutal wars, from Yemen to Afghanistan, and the Trump administration has been threatening war with Iran. Out of the spotlight, dedicated counter-recruiters around the country are steadfast in their organizing to cut off the human supply chain to the U.S. military. U.S. wars have caused innumerable deaths, created long-term hardships in occupied nations, and cost trillions of dollars. Counter-recruitment, then, is about starving the military of the labor it needs to accomplish these destructive missions. When working with students, parents and school leadership, counter-recruiters focus on a variety of issues, including the negative personal consequences that come with being a soldier and broader problems like racism and U.S. imperialism.

The Military Targets Youth for Recruitment, Especially at Poor Schools

“As students were coming out of classrooms, [recruiters] would be by the door waiting for them."

Danielle Corcione - Teen Vogue

A Joint JROTC Honor Guard prepares to post the colorsSince its inception, the United States military has recruited teenagers to enlist. During the Revolutionary War, when the military was formally established, young men were encouraged to fight for their country voluntarily. During the Civil War, conscription — essentially mandatory military enrollment for men of a certain age — was implemented, initially targeting men age 21 to 30. The draft was later expanded to include men as young as 18, according to Encyclopedia Britannica, and continued over centuries as a way to maintain a base of military servicepeople. In a statement to Teen Vogue, Lisa M. Ferguson, media relations chief for the U.S. Army Recruiting Command, said, “The Army seeks qualified individuals 17 [to] 34 years old.”

Since the draft ended in 1973, the military has relied on an all-volunteer service and has targeted young people, using strategies that include placing recruiters in schools. This is allowed because the No Child Left Behind Act, signed by President George W. Bush in 2002, requires military recruiters be granted the same access in schools as college recruiters.

The military markets to teenagers, particularly those in poorer school districts, because the armed services need a large population, and the sooner young people join, the more likely they are to stay and build a career. (According to the government, “184,000 personnel must be recruited into the Armed Forces each year to replace those who complete their commitment or retire.”) Modern-day recruiters sell the idea of an experience that often resonates more with poorer students because, for many, service with an honorable discharge can mean a free ride to college, or potentially a path to citizenship. (Only the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Dept. can grant citizenship, but the military can only accelerate the process. If a person doesn't qualify for citizenship, they would still have to complete their service years in the military.)

Report from the National Counter-recruitment and School Demilitarization Strategy Summit

Rick  Jahnkow - The Committee Opposed to Militarism and the Draft

During the weekend of June 23-24, 2018, a group of 28 activists gathered in Chicago to share the knowledge and lessons they have learned from organizing to counter the militarization of schools and military recruitment of young people. They came from various regions of the U.S. and met at the Cenacle Retreat and Conference Center.

Sponsored by the National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth (www.nnomy.org), the gathering provided an opportunity for organizers to assess the context for their work under the Trump/Pence administration, identify individual and collective challenges they face, and evaluate possible strategies and best practices for increasing their impact.

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