Before You Enlist Video -
Researching Pop Culture and Militarism -
If you have been Harassed by a Military Recruiter -
War: Turning now to Mr. Ralph Waldo Emerson - Christian Science Monitor
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Religion and militarism -
‘A Poison in the System’: Military Sexual Assault - New York Times
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Talk to a Counselor at the GI Rights Hotline
Ask that your child's information is denied to Military Recruiters
And monitor that this request is honored.
Military Recruiters and Programs Target marginalized communities for recruits...
..and the high schools in those same communities

 Militarization of our Schools

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


JROTC Shooting Ranges, San Diego, CA


By Paula Hoffman-Villanueva

A truly monumental victory against militarism in our schools has been achieved! And for this victory to come from the city of San Diego makes it even more amazing. The Education Not Arms Coalition, after a 1½-year campaign, has succeeded in moving the San Diego Board of Education to ban rifle training on 11 high school campuses. At the board meeting on February 10, after 90 minutes of testimony and discussion, the vote was 3-2 in favor of banning JROTC weapons training. More than 200 students and local activists filled the auditorium with their now-familiar, bright orange “No Weapons Training” signs.

In the summer of 2007, the San Diego-based Project on Youth and Non-Military Opportunities (Project YANO) was supporting students and others in a struggle to stop the opening of a Marine JROTC program at Mission Bay High School. At the same time, people were learning that a rifle range was to be part of the newly built Lincoln High School campus. When it was discovered that more high schools in San Diego had shooting ranges as part of JROTC, teachers, community activists, parents and students formed the Education Not Arms Coalition (ENAC). Community organizations that supported the coalition included Project YANO, UJIMA Institute for Civic Responsibility, Association of Raza Educators, MEChA and AFSC, among others.

The Education Not Arms Coalition chose three initial goals:

  • Stop the placing of students in military science (JROTC) classes without their informed consent.
  • Stop schools from telling parents and students that the class will help them qualify for college, when it won’t.
  • Ban weapons training and JROTC gun ranges in San Diego schools.

The campaign achieved the first two goals when they were incorporated into a directive issued to schools by the district superintendent in the fall of 2008. The third goal was achieved by the school board’s action on February 10, 2009.

The shooting range victory on February 10 was made possible by the election of two new board members, Dr. John Lee Evans and Richard Barrera, who had promised during their campaigns that they would vote to remove shooting ranges. They, along with John de Beck (who had already supported the ENAC demands), constituted the three necessary votes.

An hour prior to the February 10 board meeting, a student-led rally was held outside the board meeting auditorium. Over the past 1½ years, the most exciting aspect of the struggle has been the transformation of a group of energized and inspiring young student activists. In their speeches to the board that evening, after patiently waiting through hours of other agenda items, several students calmly took to the podium (this was their fourth or fifth board meeting). They made incredibly powerful statements; for example:

Anay Barajas, Mission Bay High: “You don’t realize the consequences that gun ranges bring to our communities. We are not here as teenagers looking for trouble. We are here as students looking for the education we deserve. We are looking for action from you, the people who are supposed to care about our education!”

Jonathan Flores, Lincoln High: “A school that teaches students to shoot weapons seems clearly ironic. Our books are the ultimate weapon to succeed, not guns. I also expect the board to uphold the idea that no guns in school means no guns in school!” 

After listening, the school board was generous in its praise of a truly amazing show of student activism:

Board Member John de Beck: “This is one of the best experiences I’ve had. I’m really proud of the leadership you guys have shown and your ability to keep coming back and coming back. It’s been a movement that has grown and it’s very peaceful and you’re very clear in what you’re saying.”

Board Member John Lee Evans: “I am extremely impressed by this fine group of young people. I have an immense amount of respect . . . a group of young people who are committed to education, committed to non-violence and who are also committed to the democratic process in terms of organizing themselves in the community and speaking out.”

Board Member Richard Barrera: “I feel honored as well. I think this was the best political science class I ever sat in. Knowing the students here from the Education Not Arms Coalition are standing up for something bigger than just individual programs. You’re standing up and saying ‘enough.’ You are teaching us. You are giving us hope that despite everything we do up here, we’re going to have a great country going forward because of what I see here tonight.”

In the days leading up to the February 10 vote, and for many days after, hate mail poured in from National Rifle Association members and from military/JROTC supporters. School board members, Project YANO and ENAC all received hate mail. Visits to the Project YANO Web site went from an average of 175 a day to over 1,000 a day. This only made the victory sweeter, having stood up to powerful pro-military and pro-gun forces, like the NRA, and won!

On February 24, under pressure from the JROTC program, the board of education again discussed the shooting ranges. Two board members, Shelia Jackson and Katherine Nakamura, succeeded in convincing John Lee Evans to vote to postpone the closing of the ranges until June, 2009, based on the argument that students need to complete competition commitments the rest of this school year. Once again, for this discussion, ENAC rallied. Speakers came forward with their usual enthusiasm, eloquence and conviction. And although the closure of the ranges was postponed until June, the ban will happen. Of course, the coalition will remain vigilant and monitor the situation, in case there are attempts to reverse the ban.

The ultimate success of the entire Education Not Arms campaign came only after incredible work by all involved -- petitions, community meetings, speeches, rallies, marches, press reports, interviews, letter-writing and many planning meetings. To enjoy the photos, read up on the history of the coalition, hear the speeches, and share in the feeling of pride, please go to

The above article is excerpted from the April-June 2009 issue of Draft NOtices, published by the Committee Opposed to Militarism & the Draft,

GI Resistance

Lt. Watada

War Resistance Today

In the past few years, tens of thousands of service members have resisted illegal war and occupation in a number of different ways—by going AWOL, seeking conscientious objector status and/or a discharge, asserting the right to speak out against injustice from within the military, and for a relative few, publicly refusing to fight.

According to IVAW, 10,000 soldiers deserted in the first four years of the Iraq war.   According to the Army, the number of deserters has increased every year of the war: 3,301 active-duty soldiers deserted the Army in 2006, compared to 2,543 in 2005, and prosecutions for desertion has likewise increased.  Many of the soldiers speaking out have already served one or more tour in Iraq or Afghanistan and are refusing to return.  This is a crucial moment to build the GI resistance movement to push from within the military for a complete withdrawal of troops from Iraq and change our national priorities away from militarization.

As the the U.S. shifts its focus from the occupation of Iraq to Afghanistan, it is essential that we call into question the conception of Afghanistan as a "just war". The occupation of Afghanistan is just as illegal, traumatizing, and unnecessary as the occupation of Iraq. We must continue to support troops who are forced into active duty in Afghanistan; and most importantly, we must continue to support their acts of resistance.

Source: Washington Peace Center

Here are some recommended links available to better inform you about GI Resistance. This is a work in progress and NNOMY will be adding new documents as they are prepared and as policies change that effect enlistment. Check back periodically.



Articles on the web:

Conscientious Objection


Picaso Conscientous ObjectorThe government has the power to make people fight a war. But many young men and women have serious questions about whether it is right to take part in war. That may mean that they are conscientious objectors. They may not know the term, or that there is such a thing as conscientious objection to war.

Fortunately, there is a long tradition that is getting stronger as people with all kinds of backgrounds share the conviction that war is wrong. The Constitution gives the government the power to raise an army and people can be drafted to fight. But, there is an established right to conscientious objection dating from before the Constitution which has been recognized during the periods that people were forced into the military.

Often the beliefs of these objectors to war are well thought out, showing study and detailed knowledge. Sometimes their convictions are simple and uncomplicated. Many have their beliefs as part of their religion. Others have come to their beliefs on their own.

They all have a right to have these beliefs in opposition to war and should be supported in them. They are conscientious objectors (COs) whether or not the government says so.

Once people hear about conscientious objection, they want to know what is necessary to qualify as a CO with the government. That process is sometimes hard. The rules are fairly specific (but not always fair). However, if COs are properly prepared, NISBCO believes they will be recognized.


What Does the Government Say?

"Nothing contained in this title shall be construed to require any person to he subject to combatant training and service in the armed forces of the United Slates who, by reason of religious training and belief, is conscientiously opposed to participation in wsr in any form. . . the term `religious training and belief' does not include essentially politicsl, sociologicsl, or philosophicxl views, or a merely personal moral code. Any person. . . whose claim is sustained by the local board shall, if he is inducted into the xrmed forces. . . be assigned to noncombatant service. . . or shall, if he is found to be conscientiously opposed to participation in such noncombatant service. . .perform ... civilian work contributing to the maintenance of the nxtional health, safety, or interest. . . "-Section 6(j) of the Military Selective Service Act.


What Does That Mean? "Religious"

The statute (above) says that no person "who by religious training and belief is conscientiously opposed to participation in war in any form" can be required to kill or train to kill in the military. CO provisions like this have been a part of American law since the time of the colonies.

United States courts have interpreted the meaning of religion according to the first amendment of the Constitution. That amendment guarantees the right to practice one's religion and guards against the government favoring a particular religion over another.

For a few years the legal recognition of conscientious objection was limited to those who belonged to religions that believed in a "supreme being." This wording favored certain religions over others.

Earlier, during World War I, the government would only give CO status to people who were members of "peace churches," such as the Society of Friends (Quakers), Mennonites or Brethren. But, this has changed.

In 1965 and in 1970 the Supreme Court ruled that the words "religious training and belief" must now be interpreted to include moral and ethical beliefs that have the same force in people's lives as traditional religious beliefs.

So, the word "religious" here refers to the nature of a person's training and beliefs. That means that the law considers many sincere beliefs "religious" even if they are not a part of what most people call a "religion."

Now, you don't have to belong to any particular religion to qualify as a CO. In fact, you don't have to belong to any religion at all.

Almost all Christian religions, Judaism, Buddhism, Jainism, and many other religions have teachings that support the CO position. If you follow the teachings of a religion, you can use that fact to help show that you qualify for a CO classification. But, remember, mere membership in a religious body does not qualify; a CO claimant must show that he or she personally and truly holds the beliefs.

If you do not follow the teachings of a formal religion you must show the government that your beliefs are like a religion to you and that you hold them sincerely.

To summarize: CO claimants with the Selective Service System and in the armed forces will have to "demonstrate" their moral, ethical, or religious belief in opposition to "personal participation in war." They must also show that their beliefs are sincerely held.


"Training and Belief"

"Training and belief" refers to the source of conviction in a CO. It can include any experience and reflection which leads someone to be against "participation in war." For some COs, their "training and belief" is a lifetime of being part of an organized religion that teaches non-resistance to evil, non-violence, active love for the enemy, or "pacifism."

COs can show the government what their training and belief is by writing down the teachings of their religion, what their family taught them, and what they have done in their life that shows that they agree with those teachings.

For others, "training and belief" can be a significant event or sudden realization of the meaning of their decisions about life. "Training and befief" can refer to books, movies, TV shows, teachers, or speakers which have made you think about whether or not you could fight in a war. It can also be activities that you have taken part in that have had an effect on your feelings about war.

Most COs seem to come to their convictions over time. They reflect on their learning and experience and form a strong commitment to peaceful ways. They grow to hold these beliefs as a central part of their life. They develop an outlook and approach to life that shows other people that they have those beliefs and values.


"Essentially Political Sociological, or Philosophical Views"

The statute states that "religious" as used here does not include essentially political, sociological, or philosophical views, or a merely personal moral code." The Supreme Court, however, has made it clear that beliefs that otherwise qualify as "religious" may include these considerations, also.

Essentially political, sociological, or philosophical views cannot be the sole basis for your conscientious objection. They may well be the result of your deep religious or moral convictions against war.

For example, if your only objection to participation in war is that war is an inefficient and expensive way to solve problems, your local claims board could deny your claim because it is "essentially political or sociological."

A philosophical view, here, is a disinterested view to which you have no strong moral or religious commitment. This does not mean that a claimant cannot hold a central "philosophy of life" which can be thought of as "religious." It means that your objection must be so important to you that it really affects the way you live your life.


"Merely Personal Moral Code"

The law does not accept "a merely personal moral code" as the basis for a CO classification. This is intended to exclude from CO status persons who have nothing but a private, personal preference against participating in war, and who do not feel so strongly about war that it can be said they have a genuine moral or religious basis to the objection.

A person who wants to get out of military service because it is inconvenient or for reasons of "personal expediency" ("it interferes with my school, job, or family plans, etc.") cannot expect to be classified as a CO.


"War in Any Form"

Many, perhaps most people, believe that they should only fight in a war for a just cause. Those who insist that they be allowed to refuse to fight wars that they think are wrong are often called "selective conscientious objectors."

"Selective conscientious objection " uses the "just war" moral teaching and international law to justify some wars and rule out others. Selective conscientious objection is not permitted in the United States.

The current statute says that CO claimants must object to "participation in war in any form." This means that in order to qualify as a CO you must be prepared to say honestly that you would refuse to participate in any war in which you would reasonably be expected to fight.

You cannot say that you could participate in a particular war, but not others. Some COs do think that other people, who do not share their beliefs, should be allowed to follow the orders of the government and participate in war. But no one can qualify who picks and chooses among the contemporary wars they would fight.

Some selective COs believe that the conditions for a "just war" can no longer be met today. By a process of elimination they might qualify as COs under current law by showing that they believe a "just war" is impossible in our time.

Some local boards have tried to trick claimants into seeming to be selective COs by asking them what they would have done if they had been alive during World War II, or other situations.

The courts have stressed that you don't have to know what you would have done in a past war or in some hard-to-imagine future circumstance. If you had been living during World War II, the decision to fight Hitler might have been yours. Or, if you are a Jehovah's Witness you may believe you could be called upon to fight in the final war against Evil.

Neither situation disqualifies someone from being classified a CO. Claimants who are challenged to answer questions about past wars should politely refuse to speculate on what they might have done.

The only conflicts you must refuse to fight are those organized wars in which you might reasonably be called upon to fight in today's world.


Must a CO be Nonviolent?

Although many COs hold absolutely to the principle of nonviolence, to qualify as a CO you don't have to be committed to nonviolence or nonresistance in every situation. The law does not require a conscientious objector to be opposed to all forms of violence, the use of force, police powers, or even to all taking of human life.

It requires only that a person be conscientiously opposed to the planned and organized killing that takes place in warfare. Willingness to use violence against another individual in order to protect yourself or your friends is not grounds for denial of a CO claim.

Alternative Service or Noncombatant Service

Even though conscientious objectors are not drafted to kill in the Army they still must serve the country.

The law provides for two different forms of conscientious objector service. The difference depends on whether or not COs are willing to accept service in the Army that does not require them to carry weapons.

Noncombatants (classified 1-A-O) serve in the Army without using weapons or handling ammunition. They are not trained to use weapons. Noncombatants have usually served in the medical corps.

COs who are opposed to any military service are classified 1-O. When they are ordered to alternative service they are reclassified 1-W. Alternative service workers (ASWs) do "civilian work contributing to the maintenance of the national health, safety, or interest.

Many of these alternative service workers find their own jobs for approval by the Selective Service System. In the past, many COs worked in hospitals and in programs operated by religious organizations.

Persons requesting CO status while in the military must request either discharge or transfer to noncombatant duty. Upon discharge, if they are subject to the draft, they will be classified 1-O-S. Those who have not completed their service obligation may be liable to alternative service for the uncompleted portion of military service only if they are drafted at a later time.


Other Types of COs


Nuclear Pacifists

: There is a growing number of people whose consciences would not permit them to participate in a nuclear war, or what they believe would become a nuclear war. Some nuclear pacifists become opposed to all war because, according to their belief, all wars fought by the major powers could lead to the use of nuclear weapons.

At this time the law does not recognize nuclear pacifists (a form of selective objection) as conscientious objectors. Some nuclear pacifists might qualify on the ground of their opposition to all war. Current policy in the armed forces is to reassign persons who have moral reservations about handling or firing nuclear weapons.



: Some people will not cooperate with the conscription system. They are conscientiously opposed to participation in war and they conclude that the conscription system furthers war.

Many of them refuse to register for the draft. Others, having already registered, have stopped complying with the requirement to keep Selective Service informed of a change of address. (There is no legal process for "unregistering")

The Selective Service System does not recognize conscientious objection to participation in the conscription system, even though the draft, itself, serves the purposes of war.

Registration for the draft was begun in 1980 to "send a message" to the Russians. The Director of Selective Service called it a "weapon in our arsenal like a bomber or missile;" Others have valued it because they believe it helps "deter" the enemy from attacking us.

Conscientious objection is not acknowledged by the government at registration. Nor are COs allowed to decide not to register.

In previous periods of conscription, too, many refused to cooperate. During World War II over 5,000 went to prison for their beliefs.

In the first six years of the current draft registration hundreds of thousands of people did not register, but only twenty nonregistrants were brought to court. All but one of them had been open about their nonregistration and many of them wrote to Selective Service explaining their beliefs.

The maximum possible sentence for draft violators is now five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Of those finally convicted for nonregistration, most have served short sentences, been ordered to do community service, been put on probation, and/or paid fines of $10,000 or less.

Nonregistrants are denied federal aid for education and job training, and are barred from most employment with the federal government. Some states have enacted similar provisions. A few colleges and religious bodies have arranged to provide assistance to make up for these penalties. A national Fund for Education and Training (FEAT) has been initiated to supplement these programs or provide them where they are not available to individuals. Write to Center on Conscience and War (CCW) for information about the fund.



Here are some recommended links available to better inform you about conscientious objection to war. This is a work in progress and NNOMY will be adding new documents as they are prepared and as policies change that effect enlistment. Check back periodically.






Conscientious Objection Currículums and Online Workshops



  • Conscientious Objection: Resisting Militarized Society, Edited by Çinar, Özgür Heval, Üsterci, Coskun, Zed Books, 2009, 268 pages, $34.92 on Amazon as of 5/15/2022





Revised 5/15/2022


Statewide ASVAB campaign



A tutorial

This step-by-step guide is meant to aid activists in their legislative campaigns to prohibit the automatic release of test results to military recruiters gathered through the administration of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) in the public high schools.

The steps outlined here, largely drawn from our experience in Maryland, can be used as a general template for counter-recruitment activists across the country.

We recommend you study everything on this site pertaining to the ASVAB (including a cursory examination of military documents) and read through the entire contents of this comprehensive website: before proceeding.  Study is critical because much of this campaign revolves around educating school officials, political allies, and legislators.  The military, for its part, has embarked on a very clever and persuasive misinformation campaign.  See the "ASVAB in the News" section of the website for more on DoD attempts to obfuscate the true nature of the ASVAB program in the public schools.
(Update: Not the case in September 2022: See ASVAB Enlistment Testing Program)

The first step is to form a loose-knit coalition of allies and give it a name that has something to do with protecting the privacy of children;  like, "The ________ Coalition to Protect Student Privacy."  "Peace" and "Justice" are polarizing words in statehouses across the country so you'll want to be careful not to associate your campaign with activist groups that might insist on asserting an anti-military or left-wing agenda.

You'll run across school officials and legislators who are convinced the ASVAB is an excellent career exploration tool that has its place in the public schools.  Concede the point.  You can allow that the program might help young people negotiate career paths.  You're not against the ASVAB; however, you feel strongly that test results should not be automatically forwarded to military recruiters.

Once you've formed your "coalition," which may start out as a couple of activists in town (or just yourself), you'll need to begin building your coalition by contacting your natural allies in this struggle. Call your local ACLU affiliate and ask them for advice.  See if they can help you craft legislation.  Ask them who they think might be willing to introduce the bill in your state's House and Senate. Send them the excellent letter written by the ACLU-MD in support of Maryland's legislation.  You should also send them Maryland's new law.

Your state is likely to have some sort of institutionalized progressive political entity like a progressive Democratic caucus.  Contact them and see if they can help.  They're likely to be in a position to know which legislators are the best candidates to carry the water.  Be careful not to fall into the trap of agreeing to have the legislature's most progressive member, the token radical, be the lead sponsor.  You're going to need conservative Democratic votes and even a few Republican votes.

In your conversations with these folks, try to determine the likely path your legislation will have to travel to make it to the governor's desk. Identify the specific committees and subcommittees you'll most likely be dealing with and examine the voting records of members before approaching them or having others approach them.   It's very helpful to have co-sponsors sit on crucial committees.  It's a real coup to have a committee chairperson agree to sponsor or co-sponsor the bill!  Committee chairs are often incredibly powerful and it's tough (though not impossible) getting legislation to the floor if they're strongly opposed.

Call your local NAACP Unit (archived) and ask them for their advice and support.  Do a cursory evaluation of the ASVAB Database of high schools that administer the test in your state. Try to ascertain the racial make-up of schools that administer the ASVAB.  The ASVAB is more likely to be administered in communities of color than in predominately white areas.  Share the testimony of the NAACP-MD urging parental involvement in decisions relating to the release of student information to the Pentagon.

You should call your state affiliate of the National PTA.  In Maryland, the PTA came through in a big way.  During the PTA testimony in the General Assembly, a PTA spokesperson argued that parents, rather than the Pentagon, should be empowered to make decisions regarding the release of student information to recruiters. In contrast, the Army's top recruiter argued that the Pentagon should make these decisions, rather than "influencers," DoD talk for parents.

You should also contact your NEA state affiliate (archived) to see if they'd be willing to support your legislation. The National Education Association has not taken a position on the ASVAB, although a piece in the publication NEA Today describes the controversy and explains Options 1 through 8.  NEA leadership has explained that the issue is not specifically related to the NEA's purview.

It is advisable to send a letter to your state superintendent of schools asking that she immediately select Option 8 for all students across the state who take the ASVAB. See the Template Letter to State Superintendents.  It is unlikely that your state superintendent will act to mandate this change because these types of decisions are typically left to local education agencies. It is important, however, to know where this office stands in relation to your legislation.  Your legislature will be reluctant to enact legislation if it is opposed by the state superintendent.  If your superintendent takes no position on your bill, it may be viewed as a green light in some quarters.

Getting a bill introduced

Throughout this process, you should be seriously considering whom you'd like to ask to submit legislation.  It may be helpful to have a constituent of a legislator make an appointment and have you attend the meeting. Legislators are much more willing to act on behalf of people who live in their districts.  Once you've settled on lawmakers in both houses to sponsor your legislation, it's advisable to hold a strategy session to formulate a plan of action.  Your legislator is likely to ask you to help her find co-sponsors for the legislation.  For instance, see Maryland's House Bill 176 and view the delegates who were willing to sign on to the bill before it was introduced.

Once your bill is introduced, there may be a window of time when you're still able to add additional co-sponsors.  It is best not to have too many legislators from one or two extremely liberal jurisdictions co-sponsor the bill because it may be viewed by moderates to signify a left-wing proposal.  If possible, try to find a few Republicans to sign on.

Leave the press out of it. There's no point in giving your opposition a heads up.

Your bill will be assigned to committees in each house that will schedule hearings.  Obtain a list of committee members and send them each a letter similar to the letter sent to the superintendent of schools.  Include in the letter the names of all of the public schools in the legislative district that administer the ASVAB, along with the Recruiter Release Options selected. Most likely, the vast majority of students who took the test in the particular jurisdiction had their test results automatically forwarded to recruiters. Note that you're only concerned with public schools that administer the test.  You'll have to create a spreadsheet of all the schools in your state that give the test and remove the private schools before sorting them into legislative districts to generate letters to individual lawmakers. You should deliver your letter by regular mail, by email, and you should hand carry it to the office of each committee member.

It is also advisable to create succinct bullet points and distribute them to lawmakers on several occasions. You can never overdo it.  Educating lawmakers is your key to success.

At this point, you should schedule appointments to meet with all committee members. This part is time consuming, but it is possible to meet with as many as 10 to 15 legislators in a day.  You'll only need about 20 minutes of their time.  Go over the bullet points with the legislators and discuss how the test is given at such-and-such high school in the particular district.   See if you can find folks from various peace and justice groups or through your contacts with the organizations listed above who would be willing to accompany you in the meetings. Again, it helps, although it is not necessary, to have constituents make the appointments and accompany you to the meetings.

Legislation is made in committees and it is rare for a bill to receive a favorable report in committee and be voted down on the floor.

Lobbying for the bill

We strongly encourage you set up an automated system that allows constituents across your state to click on a link that brings them to a page that briefly explains the issue and guides them through a simple process that generates letters of support to their legislators. Activists in Maryland were able to generate close to a thousand emails, with many directed to committee members whose votes were crucial. Your political allies may be willing to share contact information with some of their membership.  Phone calls from constituents to committee members are invaluable in this process. It helps to regularly send messages to list-serves, blogs, websites, and Facebook, sending people the link to the automated system to generate emails to lawmakers.

When a bill is heard in committee, those in favor and those opposed are invited to provide written and spoken testimony.  Speakers are usually limited to a few minutes. It is possible that the militarists will not be present to oppose the legislation, especially if the measure has stayed out of the press. It's possible your bill may attract a letter from the commanding officer of your local Military Entrance Processing Station, as it did in Maryland. This could be helpful because the military is arguing that the Pentagon, rather than parents, should ultimately determine the release of student information.  Activists in Maryland circulated the letters written by the Maryland PTA, which argued in favor of allowing parents to make decisions regarding the release of information pertaining to their children, and the Lt. Colonel in charge of recruiting, who didn't think that was such a good idea.  Most legislators were convinced the measure was necessary and the law passed.

A good lineup of people testifying in committees hearing the bill would consist of an official from a school or a school system that has selected Option 8 and representatives from the NAACP, ACLU, PTA, your local teacher's union, your state's progressive political entity, a student who has taken the ASVAB without realizing its tie-in with recruiting, and an unhappy parent.  You should lead the parade.

As soon as a committee in one of the houses approves the measure, you ought to distribute a brief statement to all legislators in both houses that includes a mention of the victory along with a few of the most pertinent bullet points.

At this point, the Pentagon and its allies in the legislature may be expected to engage in a behind-the-scenes public misinformation campaign aimed at questioning the necessity of the Option 8 bill.

They may argue that Section 9528 of the No Child Left Behind Act gives parents and students the ability to withhold ASVAB test results from military recruiters. It does not.

The militarists may argue the ASVAB program is completely voluntary and that students who take the test can sign a form that precludes their results from reaching recruiters.

The test may, in fact, be required in some schools and/or strongly encouraged in others, but, in either case, results are being automatically shipped to recruiters.  Also, the bogus Privacy Act Statement found on the ASVAB Answer Sheet in use in schools throughout the country informs students they must sign the form for their test to be graded. Legal experts claim this aspect of the testing regime runs counter to both federal and state laws designed to protect the privacy of students.  Students who take the ASVAB do not select release options — only school officials can do that.

Once the legislation passes its assigned committees and is sent to the floor for a vote, it is crucial to continue sending all members relatively brief items that address the legislation. If there are any new letters in opposition, they should be widely distributed and all misstatements should be identified.  Similarly, erroneous reporting in the press should be immediately challenged with letters to the editor that are shared with legislators.

During this fragile time period, it's important to be working closely with those who've sponsored your legislation. Sometimes they'll ask you to refrain from contacting a particular member or to refrain from sending literature. Generally, you should defer to their wishes.  They know the legislature.  You know the ASVAB.

As soon as the legislation is introduced, you should make an appointment to meet with the governor's legislative assistant to explain the rationale behind the bill and to ask for the governor's support.  When the legislation passes both houses, it is wise to make a second appointment with the governor's office.  If the governor appears to be wavering in her support, you should generate hundreds of letter in support of the legislation.

At any time you may consult with NNOMY for advice.  This is a winnable campaign!


Revised: 09-21-2022


NNOMY Presents at the USSF in Detroit Workshops in Counter-recruitment.

Join NNOMY at the US Social Forum!

The 2010 US Social Forum will take place June 22-26 in downtown Detroit. The USSF will convene social movements from across the United States and globally.

This year's USSF is THE place to be - there will be nearly 1,500 organizations represented, over 1,000 workshops, nearly 50 People's Movement Assemblies (4 hour sessions designed to move forward common ground on an issue), and thousands of people converging in Detroit by car, plane, train, bus, and bicycle!

USSF 2010What is the US Social Forum?

The US Social Forum (USSF) is a movement building process. It is not a conference but it is a space to come up with the peoples’ solutions to the economic and ecological crisis. The USSF is the next most important step in our? struggle to build a powerful multi-racial, multi-sectoral, inter-generational, diverse, inclusive, internationalist movement that transforms this country and changes history.

We must declare what we want our world to look like and we must start planning the path to get there. The USSF provides spaces to learn from each other’s experiences and struggles, share our analysis of the problems our communities face, build relationships, and align with our international brothers and sisters to strategize how to reclaim our world.


Sponsors and Endorsers


NNOMY (Original) Sponsoring Organizations:



NNOMY (Original) Endorsing Organizations:



Member Caucuses:


  • Latino Caucus
  • People of Color
  • Women and the Military
  • Youth Caucus
  • Youth of Color


Revised: 07-10-2021


The NNOMY Opinion section is a new feature of our articles section. Writing on youth demilitarization issues is quite rare but we have discovered the beginning articles and notes being offered on this subject so we have decided to present them under an opinion category.  The articles presented do not necessarily reflect the views of the NNOMY Steering Committee.


Activists Demilitarizing Our Public Schools

The NNOMY CAMPUS page is a resource for activists wishing to understand how to more effectively intervene in our public schools against the increasing influence of Pentagon programs to indoctrinate our youth for war. A series of webinars are being planned on different successful strategies to effect policy changes in school districts that better protect student privacy from military recruiters, to organize access to counter-recruit on campus, and to monitor the activities of military personnel on public school campuses. Topics are listed by series and subject. NNOMY webinar based workshops are a more effective method to instruct how to proceed with curbing the number of youth that make the choice to join into military service, or do so with a more informed picture of what this service will entail.  This page will be updated periodically as additional webinars are conducted and new materials are produced to support these trainings. NNOMY will maintain these educational resources with the most up-to-date information and informed opinions as possible in order to keep the practice of national counter'recruitment efforts viable into the future.


Available Webinars:    

Pat RobertsonThe warning, given to me 25 years ago, came at the moment Pat Robertson and other radio and televangelists began speaking about a new political religion that would direct its efforts at taking control of all institutions, including mainstream denominations and the government. Its stated goal was to use the United States to create a global, Christian empire. It was hard, at the time, to take such fantastic rhetoric seriously, especially given the buffoonish quality of those who expounded it. But Adams warned us against the blindness caused by intellectual snobbery. The Nazis, he said, were not going to return with swastikas and brown shirts. Their ideological inheritors had found a mask for fascism in the pages of the Bible. - Chris Hedges (From his article: The Christian Right and the Rise of American Fascism, 2011)

Revised 04/17/2016


Vice President Kamala Harris delivers remarks to Department of Defense personnel, with President Joe Biden and Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., Feb. 10, 2021. (DoD photo by Lisa Ferdinando)

Though the United States of America shares with other nations in a history of modern state militarism, the past 78 years following its consolidation as a world military power after World War II has seen a shift away from previous democratic characterizations of the state.  The last forty years, with the rise of the neo-conservative Reagan and  Bush (2) administrations, began the abandonment of moral justifications for democracy building replaced by  bellicose proclamations of the need and right to move towards a national project of global security by preemptive military force. Even with the return of eight years of the, so called, Liberal Obama administrations we saw the further erosion of long held human right protections with the suspension of habeas corpus and the increased usage of extra-judicial drone bombing killings of claimed combatants in multiple conflicts worldwide. Now with the Trump and Biden administrations, these programs have increased unbeknownst to the general public as the mainstream media silenced and normalized perpetual wars.

In the process of global military expansion, the US population has been subjected to an internal re-education to accept the role of the U.S. as consolidating its hegemonic rule internationally in the interest of liberal ideals of wealth creation and protectionism.

U.S. Air Force airmen acting as extras during the filming of the 2007 film Transformers at Holloman Air Force Base. A camera operator on an ATV can be seen filming them on the right.The average citizen has slowly come to terms with stealthily increasing campaigns of militarization domestically in media offerings; from television, movies, militarized video games,  and scripted news networks to reinforce the inevitability of a re-configured society as security state. The effect has begun a transformation of how, as citizens, we understand our roles and viability as workers and families in relation to this security state. This new order has brought with it a shrinking public common and an increasing privatization of publicly held infrastructure; libraries, health clinics, schools and the expectation of diminished social benefits for the poor and middle-class. The national borders are being militarized as are our domestic police forces in the name of Homeland Security but largely in the interest of business. The rate and expansion of research and development for security industries and the government agencies that fund them, now represent the major growth sector of the U.S.economy. Additionally, as the U.S. economy continually shifts from productive capital to financial capital as the engine of growth for wealth creation and development, the corporate culture has seen its fortunes rise politically and its power over the public sector grow relatively unchallenged by a confused citizenry who are watching their social security and jobs diminishing.

Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team members, some armed with assault rifles, preparing for an exerciseHow increasing cultural militarization effects our common future will likely manifest in increased public dissatisfaction with political leadership and economic strictures. Social movements within the peace community, like NNOMY, will need to expand their role of addressing the dangers of  militarists predating youth for military recruitment in school to giving more visibility to the additional dangers of the role of an influential militarized media, violent entertainment and play offerings effecting our youth in formation and a general increase and influence of the military complex in all aspects of our lives. We are confronted with a demand for a greater awareness of the inter-relationships of militarism in the entire landscape of domestic U.S. society.  Where once we could ignore the impacts of U.S. military adventurisms abroad, we are now faced with the transformation of our domestic comfort zone with the impacts of militarism in our day to day lives where we are witnessing militarized police forces in all our cities.

How this warning can be imparted in a meaningful way by a movement seeking to continue with the stated goals of counter-recruitment and public policy activism, and not loose itself in the process, will be the test for those activists, past and future, who take up the call to protect our youth from the cultural violence of militarism.

Counter-recruitment poster.The "militarization of US culture" category will be an archive of editorials and articles about the increasing dangers we face as a people from those who are invested in the business of war. This page will serve as a resource for the NNOMY community of activists and the movement they represent moving into the future. The arguments presented in this archive will offer important realizations for those who are receptive to NNOMY's message of protecting our youth, and thus our entire society, of the abuses militarism plays upon our hopes for a sustainable and truly democratic society.





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And our work to demilitarize our schools and youth.
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Revised / 11/04/2023 - GDG


The Resources section covers the following topics:


NNOMYpeace has organized the following resources for our own staff of activists to promote our campaigns on different social media platforms. Many are formatted for Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter feeds. 

We also welcome those activists inside our network of groups doing Truth in Recruitment and Counter-recruiting activism to utilize there resources for their own social media channels.

If you are not a group associated to NNOMYpeace, and would like to utilize these resources on your own channels, we encourage your groups to integrate to NNOMY on our National Directory of Youth Demilitarization Groups to help support the national community of youth demilitarization groups to know you and the scope of your activism. You can share your information to list your group by submitting an organizational form at the following LINK.

We have distributed the following graphics by campaign. Click on the categories below to see those that support different campaign themes by NNOMY



The Divest “Your Body” from the War Machine graphics are campaigning resources for social media for the Divest campaign that NNOMY is collaborating with CodePink. NNOMY focuses on asking youth to "Divest of their Bodies" from military service with the war machine. These are strictly to be utilized with counter-recruitment only and not with TIR.

These social media resources are to be utilized with the "Winning the Peace" campaign in cooperation with the palm cards developed by War Resisters League and the support website created for smart phones, "What Everyone Should Know Before Joining the Military / Lo que deberías saber entres de enrolarte en las Fuerzas Armadas (FF.AA.) ,"  to answer questions for youth about what military service really involves for them.

These social media resources focus on groups nationally and regionally that take part in some form of youth demilitarization activism. That can include themes such as Truth in Recruitment or Counter-recruitment activism or participate in outreach to schools as veteral or antiwar speakers. Those using them should be cognizant of the limits that your location and context present before you decide to select the appropriate images and appeals for your use.

The Misc. social media image resources category are designed around various appeals encompassing general counter-recruitment messages and antiwar themes. They should be utilized judiciously with attention paid to the moment and situation of which they are applied. Some of these may be themed along specific important dates in the peace calendar of on specific subject relating to militarization especially those themes that effect youth. Those found in this category are not specific to a campaign.

Back to School Against War & Militarism! Get the 2018-19 Back-to-school Kit for Counter-recruiting and School De-militarization Organizing from The National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth and find out how you can help keep our youth safer and send a message to school officials and your government... military recruiters should be monitored in local high school and minor-aged youth deserve a balanced narrative on military service! Act Now to activate in your child's public school against Pentagon intrusions into our community youth.

The "Eliminate Selective Service for Everyone" campaign category addresses the antiquated Selective Service system and the demand for its elimination. With the issue of women now being qualified for combat duties including fighting, the issue has been brought before the congress and senate of the United States to require women to register, like men, in the years when young adults are typically drafted into the services to fight wars if the draft needs to be re-initiated in the event of a national crisis where there are not sufficient troops to meet the troop requirement.

This campaign, "Eliminate Selective Service for Everyone," asks for the elimination of this demand based on it being a violation of basic and internationally recognized human rights protocols including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The "Costs of War" campaign category came from the Watson Institute for International Affairs website of Brown University in Providence, RI. This institute has made their research into the economic, social, political, and human costs of U.S. wars their research focus. Their mission statement explains the following:

The Costs of War Project is a team of 50 scholars, legal experts, human rights practitioners, and physicians, which began its work in 2010. We use research and a public website to facilitate debate about the costs of the post-9/11 wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the related violence in Pakistan and Syria. There are many hidden or unacknowledged costs of the United States’ decision to respond to the 9/11 attacks with military force. We aim to foster democratic discussion of these wars by providing the fullest possible account of their human, economic, and political costs, and to foster better informed public policies.

This campaign, "Costs of War," asks for the public to be aware that our post 9/11 foreign policy has an effect on the U.S.'s international relations that are increasingly coming under question domestically and internationally and how those policies align with the stated goals of the U.S. State Department and its allied governments..

NNOMY Peace produces workshops to assist groups in understanding the tactics of military recruiters in the school and the community and create community and strategies for groups envolved in youth demilitarization efforts.

NNOMYpeace produces printable and viewable resources to support the practice of Truth in Recruitment and Counter-recruitment activism.

News reports from the groups associated to the NNOMY Network including Social Media.

Reports from counter-recruitment groups and activists from the field. Includes information about action reports at recruiting centers and career fairs, school tabling, and actions in relation to school boards and state legislatures.

David SwansonDavid Swanson is the author of the new book, Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union, by Seven Stories Press and of the introduction to The 35 Articles of Impeachment and the Case for Prosecuting George W. Bush by Dennis Kucinich. In addition to cofounding, he is the Washington director of and sits on the boards of a number of progressive organizations in Washington, DC.

Charlottesville Right Now: 11-10-11 David Swanson
David Swanson joins Coy to discuss Occupy Charlottesville, protesting Dick Cheney's visit to the University of Virginia, and his new book. -  Listen

Jorge MariscalJorge Mariscal is the grandson of Mexican immigrants and the son of a U.S. Marine who fought in World War II. He served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam and currently teaches at the University of California, San Diego.

Matt GuynnMatt Guynn plays the dual role of program director and coordinator for congregational organizing for On Earth Peace, building peace and nonviolence leadership within the 1000+ congregations of the Church of the Brethren across the United States and Puerto Rico. He previously served a co-coordinator of training for Christian Peacemaker Teams, serving as an unarmed accompanier with political refugees in Chiapas, Mexico, and offering or supporting trainings in the US and Mexico.

Rick JahnkowRick Jahnkow works for two San Diego-based anti-militarist organizations, the Project on Youth and Non-Military Opportunities and the Committee Opposed to Militarism and the Draft. He can be reached at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Pat ElderPat Elder was a co-founder of the DC Antiwar Network (DAWN) and a member of the Steering Committee of the National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth, (NNOMY).  Pat is currently involved in a national campaign with the Women's International League for Peace & Freedom project, Military Poisons,  investigating on U.S. military base contamination domestically and internationally.  Pat’s work has prominently appeared in NSA documents tracking domestic peace groups.



audio  Pat Elder - National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth

NNOMY periodically participates in or organizes events(e.i. conferences, rallies) with other organizations.

News articles reposted about NNOMY. Includes news reports about our work with associated groups and conferences.

The Counter-recruitment Essentials section of the NNOMY web site covers the issues and actions spanning this type of activism. Bridging the difficult chasms between religious, veteran, educator, student, and community based activism is no small task. In this section you will find information on how to engage in CR activism in your school and community with the support of the knowledge of others who have been working to inform youth considering enlisting in the military. You will also find resources for those already in the military that are looking for some guidance on how to actively resist injustices  as a soldier or how to choose a path as a conscientious objector.

John Judge was a co-founder of the Committee for High School Options and Information on Careers, Education and Self-Improvement (CHOICES) in Washington DC, an organization engaged since 1985 in countering military recruitment in DC area high schools and educating young people about their options with regard to the military. Beginning with the war in Viet Nam, Judge was a life-long anti-war activist and tireless supporter of active-duty soldiers and veterans.


"It is our view that military enlistment puts youth, especially African American youth, at special risk, not only for combat duty, injury and fatality, but for military discipline and less than honorable discharge, which can ruin their chances for employment once they get out. There are other options available to them."

In the 1970's the Selective Service System and the paper draft became unworkable, requiring four induction orders to get one report. Boards  were under siege by anti-war and anti-draft forces, resistance of many kinds was rampant. The lottery system failed to dampen the dissent, since people who knew they were going to be drafted ahead of time became all the more active. Local draft board members quit in such numbers that even I was approached, as a knowledgeable draft counselor to join the board. I refused on the grounds that I could never vote anyone 1-A or eligible to go since I opposed conscription and the war.

At this point the Pentagon decided to replace the paper draft with a poverty draft, based on economic incentive and coercion. It has been working since then to draw in between 200-400,000 enlisted members annually. Soon after, they began to recruit larger numbers of women to "do the jobs men don't want to". Currently recruitment quotas are falling short, especially in Black communities, and reluctant parents are seen as part of the problem. The hidden problem is retention, since the military would have quadrupled by this time at that rate of enlistment, but the percentage who never finish their first time of enlistment drop out at a staggering rate.

I began bringing veterans of the Vietnam War into high schools in Dayton, Ohio in the late 1960s, and have continued since then to expose young people to the realities of military life, the recruiters' false claims and the risks in combat or out. I did it first through Vietnam Veterans Against the War/Winter Soldier Organization, then Dayton Draft & Military Counseling, and since 1985 in DC through C.H.O.I.C.E.S.

The key is to address the broader issues of militarization of the schools and privacy rights for students in community forums and at meetings of the school board and city council. Good counter-recruitment also provides alternatives in the civilian sector to help the poor and people of color, who are the first targets of the poverty draft, to find ways to break into the job market, go to a trade school, join an apprenticeship program, get job skills and placement help, and find money for college without enlisting in the military.

John Judge -- counselor, C.H.O.I.C.E.S.


Selene Rivas presents for the International Week of Action Against the Militarisation of Youth a series of brief articles exploring how the U.S. citizenry has been normalized to accept a permanent state of militarism through popular culture: Movies, video games and comic books. From Monday, November 20th and continuing through Sunday the 26th of November, 2017, a new segment of this series of short articles will be featured each day. Select from the articles below.

You can find out more about the Week Of Action at War Resisters' International.

Edward Hasbrouck grew up in Wellesley, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston. He considers myself primarily a political activist. Hasbrouck began his resistance to the violence of illegitimate authority as an elected but nonvoting student representative to the local school board and as an activist for peace, disarmament, and students' rights. His first book was a handbook for high school students on their legal rights co-authored in the summer of 1977, between high school and college, as an intern for the student service bureau of the Massachusetts Department of Education. He majored in political science at the University of Chicago until leaving school to pursue direct involvement in political activism.



Conscription of young people to fight old people's wars is one of the ultimate expressions of ageism, and for me, resistance to an ageist draft was first and foremost a component and continuation of the struggle for youth liberation. The religious and authoritarian justifications for conscription and war are remarkably similar to the religious and authoritarian rationales for violence against children and for slavery. - Edward Hasbrouck

In 1980, after a five-year hiatus, the U.S. government reinstated the requirement that all young men register for military conscription with the Selective Service System. In 1982, Hasbrouck was selected for criminal prosecution by the U.S. Department of "Justice" (specifically, by William Weld and Robert Mueller) as one of the people they considered the most vocal of the several million nonregistrants for the draft. As one of 20 nonregistrants who were prosecuted before the government abandoned the enforcement of draft registration, Hasbrouck was convicted and "served" four and a half months in a Federal Prison Camp in 1983-1984. The high-profile trials of resistance organizers proved counterproductive for the government. These trials served only to call attention to the government's inability to prosecute more than a token number of nonregistrants, and reassured nonregistrants that they were not alone in their resistance and were in no danger of prosecution unless they called attention to themselves.







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