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The US Military’s JROTC Program Is Even Worse Than You Thought

  Army JROTC cadets participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery on June 21, 2022, in Arlington, Virginia. (US Army Cadet Command / Flickr)August 23 2022 / Steve Early / Suzanne Gordon / Jacobin - We’ve long known that the US armed forces target poor and working-class students to meet their enlistment goals. But according to a recent report, the military’s JROTC program is also rife with sexual misconduct and outright abuse of young women.

Fifty years ago, no symbol of university complicity with the military angered more students than the on-campus presence of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). The manpower requirements of the Vietnam era could not be met by conscription, draft-driven enlistments, and the graduating classes of military service academies alone. The Department of Defense also needed commissioned officers trained in DOD-funded military science departments at private and state universities.

Anti-ROTC campaigning became a major focus of the campus-based movement against the Vietnam War. Critics demanded everything from stripping ROTC courses of academic credit to, more popularly, kicking the program off campus. Foot-dragging by college trustees, administrators, and faculty members reluctant to cut ties with the military sparked an escalation of protest activity, from peaceful picketing to more aggressive action. ROTC buildings were trashed, bombed, or set on fire — most famously at Kent State University. There, a May 1970 arson attempt triggered a National Guard occupation that led to the fatal shooting of four students (one of them a ROTC cadet) and then the largest student strike in US history.

Sexual Abuse of Teens in the Military’s J.R.O.T.C. Program

Former students say military veterans who led J.R.O.T.C. classes in U.S. high schools fashioned themselves as mentors, then used their power to manipulate and abuse.

Congress is again considering proposals to end, or to expand, Selective Service


Sunday, 10 July 2022 / Edward Hasbrouck / Edward Hasbrouck's blog - Once again in 2022, sooner than we expected, Congress is considering proposals either to finally end the widely disregarded, unenforced, and unenforceable requirement for men ages 18-26 to register and report changes of address to the Selective Service System for use in a future military draft — or to try to expand draft registration to young women as well as young men.

Expanding draft registration to women is a bad idea that won’t go away until Congress ends draft registration entirely.

It has become increasingly obvious over the decades since 1980 that requiring men but not women to register for the draft is so patently sexist as to be of dubious Constitutionality. This has created pressure on Congress to resolve a longstanding stalemate: The attempt to get young men to register and report address changes has been a failure since its resumption, after a five-year hiatus, in 1980. But there has been no face-saving way for Congress to repeal the registration requirement without admitting to an embarrassing failure in the face of popular direct action, which would empower and encourage young people to further defiance of government orders.

For the last five years, Congress (and, for part of that time, a national commission appointed by Congress and President Obama) have been considering what to do about the Selective Service System, in light of this situation. If the sexist status quo is no longer tenable, the options are either to end draft registration entirely (the only realistic choice) or to double down on its failure (and its sexism) by trying to expand it to women.

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