Before You Enlist Video - http://beforeyouenlist.org
Researching Pop Culture and Militarism - https://nnomy.org/popcultureandmilitarism/
If you have been Harassed by a Military Recruiter - https://www.afsc.org/resource/military-recruiter-abuse-hotline
War: Turning now to Mr. Ralph Waldo Emerson - Christian Science Monitor
WHAT IS IN THIS KIT? - https://nnomy.org/backtoschoolkit/
Click through to find out
Religion and militarism - https://nnomy.org/religionandmilitarism/
‘A Poison in the System’: Military Sexual Assault - New York Times
Change your Mind?
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.

NNOMY

Militarism & War

Chilean repression 1973Militarism is a value system that stresses the superiority of some people over others. Under militarism, the people deemed inferior are dehumanized as enemies who must be overpowered by any means necessary. Those who deem themselves superior are permitted to take whatever they want from others — land, freedom, natural resources, cultures, lives — by force.

Militarism derides cooperation, equality and nonviolence, and instead enforces strict hierarchical relationships. Hierarchical systems create a winner at the top and render all others losers, so in a desperate attempt not to be a loser, each individual or group struggles to keep others down. As long as it is possible to see someone else as inferior, even those victimized by the hierarchy believe it is beneficial and continue to endorse it.

This same value system creates racism, sexism, homophobia and other types of discrimination. It is not surprising that these types of discriminatory behavior are inherent in military systems. The artificial creation and dehumanization of an "enemy" is used to manufacture hatred of certain groups of people and fuel wars. The system is so powerful that it does not stop with the enemy: within the military itself, women, ethnic minorities, gays, lesbians and others are treated as inferior due to their religion, language, nationality or other identities.

Militarism is the root cause of many of the global and domestic problems we face today. Solutions to these problems will only come about when enough people actively challenge this destructive way of thinking. This must include challenging and resisting the influence of the most powerful purveyor of militarism, the military establishment itself.

 

Some of the ways that militarism is evident in the U.S.:

FundingOver half of the federal government’s discretionary funds are devoted to war instead of essential civilian needs li ke housing, healthcare and education.

 

Schools invaded by militarismThe traditional independence of secondary and post-secondary schools has been eroded by laws forcing them to grant the military access to campuses and student records, even when it violates personal privacy and campus policies banning organizations that discriminate.

Military without limitsUnquestioning deference is given to the military by civilian government, the media and other institutions that we have traditionally counted on to help safeguard us from military encroachment on democratic civilian rule.

Military without limitsThe military is granted significant exemptions from laws concerning pollution, discrimination, civil rights and claims of injury, including death, that result from neglect and harmful acts by the military.

Schools loosing freedomsThe public school system, our primary mechanism for teaching democratic values, is being militarized with a growing presence of the armed forces, including the expansion of programs like high school Jr. ROTC that teach military values and hierarchy.

Lawa without civilian protectionsMilitarism can be seen in the weakening of laws prohibiting armed forces involvement in civilian law enforcement and immigration control, and in the growing militarization of civilian police agencies.

 

Here are some recommended links that offer other arguments against militarism and 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.

Documents:

Organizations you should know:

Articles on the web:

 

Revised: 10-19-2019

For Enlisted Personnel and Veterans

Enlisted Personnel and VeteransAs United States foreign policy increasingly conflicts with the ethical and moral frameworks of its population, enlisted personnel in the military forces find themselves in personal conflicts with their service to the country. The divide between stated military ethical codes and the reality of training indoctrination and armed conflict situations is causing more psychological than physical injuries as PTSD is on the increase and suicide in the military now exceeds battlefield casualty statistics.

More enlisted personnel in the military are starting to speak out against what they feel are unjust wars that their country is involved in as they experience first hand the atrocities of U.S. military adventures in many theaters of conflict in the world. Some who have participated in what they now see as war crimes and civilian atrocities have used their voices to campaign against the recruitment of youth as they speak in school gatherings about the realities of war.

Many veterans have organized into groups opposing U.S. foreign policy and wars over the years  including those most famous such as Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Iraqi Veterans Against the War, Afghanistan Veterans Against the War, and Veterans for Peace. These groups have been active in seeking redress with their government and the American People on such issues as veteran disabilities, military recruitment, and government policies.

If you are an enlisted person that seeks to find information on how to leave your service due to illness, or a conscience objection claim or are a veteran that seeks union with like minded veterans opposed to U.S. foreign policy, check with these groups for guidance. You will find more resources to inform and to guide your quest below.

 

Links:

  • Sir! No Sir! is a 2005 documentary about the anti-war movement within the ranks of the United States Armed Forces during the Vietnam War.
  • We Are Not Your Soldiers - a project of World Can't Wait

Existing content:

Getting Help (Links To Assistance For AWOLs, Services For Vets Etc)

Books and Literature:

###

 

Revised 10-21-2019

For Parents

Dear Parents,

recruiter trains youth on military rifleNot so long ago, joining the military was a way out and a way up for lots of young Americans. It helped them grow up, get a start in life, maybe learn a skill, defend their country, and be part of a noble cause.

If you have kids today, recruiters will be around to see them. Maybe we already have, telling that familiar story.

But today, less and less of it is true. I hate to say it, but that's the fact.

For one thing, where's the noble cause? Let's face it: the latest war was based on lies. Too many troops there don't even have the armor they need. The top US leaders are now trying to justify torture, and ignoring the Geneva convention. Terror fears are up, not down.

Meantime, the dangers keep increasing. The war's official death toll is bad enough, and it's shameful the way high officials try to hide all those caskets coming home.

But it's more than that: for every dead soldier, up to ten are badly wounded. And lots more suffer serious psychological damage: PTSD, Gulf War Syndrome and more. Deployments are longer and tougher. Stop-loss keeps thousands of troops in the military long past their release dates. Naturally, all this is very tough on families - domestic abuse is much higher.

And what about all those benefits? Enlistment bonuses are up, but overall benefits are down, especially for those who get wounded or suffer PTSD. Besides, military job training really doesn't help all that much in civilian life. And veterans benefits? They can't cut them fast enough.

The word about all this is spreading, so recruiting is getting harder. As it does -- I hate to say it, but more recruiters are telling more and more, well, lies. It makes me ashamed, but the reports keep piling up. It got so bad by May of 2005 that we had a total recruiter stand down to spend a whole day studying recruitment rules. Didn't make much difference, though.

As a parent, what can YOU do about this?

A lot, actually. If your child is in high school, tell the school NOT to send their information to recruiters. (A word to the wise, though: the military will still get the information. But the schools need to hear from you anyway.)

Then, if your child is underage, you can say NO to recruiters. And even afterward, talk to your kids: Get my special guide to the enlistment contract (the link is below), and show them all the pitfalls. Urge them to go to college, trade school, start a business. They can have peaceful adventures, or do volunteer work to learn how to serve their country and the world.

If they sign up for the Delayed Enlistment Program and then change their mind, you can show them how to get out - it's easy. And if they do enlist and then regret it, remember this number, for the GI Rights Hotline: 1.877-447-44871.877-447-4487 .

So there's a lot you can do. But still, I know, it's tough to be a parent in a time of war. Where will it all end? More wars? The draft? Who can say? It's not a pretty picture.

I know this is a lot to think about. I think about it every day.

But you know what I think is most important? That you take good care of your kids.

Because we sure won't.

Sincerely,
Sgt. Abe
the Honest Recruiter

Source: http://quakerhouse.org/documents/toparents.html (archived)

Here are some recommended links available to better inform you as a parent. 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.

Resources:

The National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth 2013 Back-to-school Kit for Counter-recruitment and School Demilitarization Organizing is now available to assist you in understanding the work, your rights, and the challenges to return to the public schools to counter-recruit. Please visit this page and review the materials we have assembled for you and feel free to ask questions as well at Our Contact Page and we will do our best to answer you or your group in a timely manner.

Links:

Downloads:

Articles on the web:

 ###

Revised 03/26/2018

 

 

Considering Enlisting?

Enlistment in the Armed Forces is a very important decision. |español 

https://nnomy.org/ConsideringEnlisting/

Maria Thompson,, left, listens to a recruitment speech from U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Allan Welchez Rivera (AP /Herminio Rodriguez)Before enlisting, think carefully about what it means to be a soldier for eight years. Every member of the military, from the medic to the mechanic, is trained to fight and to kill, and the ongoing conflicts prove that fighting and killing can begin very suddenly. You may enlist to get job training or money for college, but eventually you may be faced with war. You owe it to yourself to think seriously about when you believe it is justified to kill another person.

Many of the details about enlistment are not well explained to people considering joining the military. Recruits may not understand the specifics of the enlistment agreement, the possibility of recruiter fraud, the limitations of college funding available through the military, and the problems faced by veterans when they leave the armed forces. It is important to learn all you can before you join. Remember that if you enlist, and decide you don’t like it, you cannot quit.


When You Visit the Recruitment Office:

  • Take along a parent or friend as a witness.
  • Read over the entire enlistment agreement very carefully.
  • Get all promises in writing. Spoken promises do not have to be honored.
  • Before you sign anything, take it home and discuss it with your parents, friends, and a trained counselor who understands   how recruiters operate. Your recruiter must give you a copy of the agreement if you request it.
  • Get copies of everything you sign.

 

The Enlistment Agreement

The enlistment agreement is not a contract. It is a one-way agreement that is binding upon the recruit but not binding upon the military. The agreement states that the enlistee is “entitled to receive pay, allowance, and other benefits, as provided by law and regulation.” However, the enlistment agreement also states, “Laws and regulations that govern military personnel may change without notice to me. Such changes may affect my status, pay, allowances, benefits, and responsibilities as a member of the Armed Forces REGARDLESS of the provisions of this enlistment/reenlistment document.”

This language means that the military does not have to honor any promises made at the time of your enlistment. You, however, must give eight years of your life, obey all orders, and possibly kill or be killed. You may be subject to health hazards, discrimination, and emotional or physical abuse. Your superiors may decide to cut your pay or benefits without even telling you. Even the job placement that the recruiter promised you may be changed at a moment’s notice. If you refuse to obey orders, you may be disciplined, face a court martial, and perhaps receive a dishonorable discharge.

 

Recruiter Fraud

Any potential recruit should realize that his or her recruiter is not a teacher or a counselor but a salesperson. Recruiters are under great pressure to enlist a certain number of people each month; if they don’t, they may lose privileges, bonuses, and may be transferred from the recruiting command. Recruiter fraud has become a serious problem in the military. Four hundred recruiters were relieved in a three year period for misconduct. Sometimes recruiters try to convince enlistees to lie on the enlistment agreement – to provide false information so that you will be accepted into the service. They may also lie to you or to your family.

In the “Record of Military Processing,” for instance, you will be asked questions concerning your character and social adjustment. These questions concern previous drug use, involvement with communism, whether or not you are a conscientious objector to war, and whether you have previously been in trouble with the military. All of these categories are considered character defects by the military, and anyone who fits these categories is considered unfit for the military. When filling out the enlistment form, recruiters frequently suggest that you lie – particularly in this section. Do not lie. When fraudulent information is uncovered, often the recruit is the only one punished.

Recruiters almost always say that the military is exciting and adventurous – that you’ll learn a skill, earn money for college, and gain leadership and discipline. Your recruiter is selling something. Many of the promises are simply not true.

 

Job Training? College Benefits?

The recruiter will probably emphasize the high-tech, state-of-the-art, sophisticated equipment that you will get to work with. True, some soldiers are trained for the highly skilled jobs. Generally, however, those jobs go to the soldier who was already trained, educated, and technically skilled before joining the military. Many of the high-skill jobs will go to soldiers who already have at least two years of college. And often the high-tech work is done by civilian contractors who have the necessary training and skills.

In reality, few military assignments could be described as high-tech, although many of the jobs sound high-tech. For instance, one U.S. Army brochure includes assignments with titles such as, “combat engineering,” “general engineering,” “supply and service,” and “food service.” These assignments, and others offered by the military, would likely offer little more than low skill, manual labor. The armed forces simply do not have the time, the need, or the resources to train many recruits for highly skilled work.

Above all, the military exists for war. Most soldiers will be trained to fight and to kill, skills which aren’t marketable in the civilian world. It is, therefore, not likely that you will be able to transfer expertise gained in the military to a civilian career. A study from The Ohio State University showed that only 12 percent of the men and 6 percent of the women in a sample group made any use of their military skills in a civilian job. The Medical Corps specialist, for instance, may get credit only for “first aid” when he or she applies for nursing school.

Many people join the military for college money; the Army advertises providing up to $60,000 for college. Yet to receive that amount of money, you must accept a hard-to-fill military job category; you must complete your term of enlistment, and you must receive a good discharge. Even if you meet all these criteria, your commander may decide that you are still ineligible for some or all of the money. Soldiers who decide that they are unable to attend school loose all the money.

Between the rising costs of higher education and the multiple restrictions the army places on scholarship monies, many soldiers find that the money they do receive from the military is not enough to afford to go to college. Few soldiers find the educational opportunities the military claims to provide. Martin Smith, a veterans employment representative, figures that only 20 percent of the veterans he has worked with took extra classes in the service and that “those 20 percent seemed to be the smart kids anyway.”

 

RACISM IN THE MILITARY

The military has policies to overcome racism in its ranks. Despite its authoritarian structure it has not succeeded.

During the current wars, Arabs have been labeled “towel-heads” or “sand-niggers,” while there were reports of cross burnings and KKK gatherings on military grounds. During the Persian Gulf War, for example, half of the troops deployed were black while white soldiers were more likely to remain in the U.S. or be stationed elsewhere.

The few opportunities that exist in the military benefit primarily educated, white soldiers. While one-third of the enlistees are people of color, only 11 percent of the officers are. Non-white enlistees tend to get low skill, combat-related jobs. Disproportionate numbers of African-Americans and Latinos face courts martial and receive bad discharges. One out of three black GI’s will get a bad discharge.

 

WOMEN AND THE MILITARY

The unspoken message that the military continues to convey is that war is for men and women should stay away. Half of all women in the military are assigned to traditional roles such as cooking, nursing, and secretarial duties.

Doonesbury enlistment cartoon

Rape and sexual harassment occur frequently in the armed forces. One report stated that 64 percent of women in the military have experienced sexual harassment. Often men use rank to try to get sexual favors. Women who refused to comply have been labeled lesbians.

 

And after you leave the armed forces ...

Soldiers are often discharged with no money to continue in the civilian world and no transferable job skills. Unemployment lines are filled with veterans who are poorly qualified and lack the useful skills for civilian employment. Many veterans remain jobless for long periods and are a large part of the homeless and prison populations. Even those who are gainfully employed will remain behind their civilian counterparts in income and advancement for the rest of their careers. Once you have been in the military, you can’t catch up with the rest of the world.

The military stays with you in other ways as well. Much of the appeal is the idea of proving yourself, developing discipline, being “all you can be.” Perhaps you want to carry “army pride” with you all your life. Remember, however, that this is only part of the picture. No one can participate in violence and remain either unscarred or indifferent. You will always be part of the destruction you supported. And if the United States does fight a war, you may never be able to forget the people you killed. For some people the weight of these memories is too heavy to bear. The suicide rate among Vietnam veterans is many times the national average.

Enlisting in the military is a serious commitment. Before you join, know what is in the fine print. Learn all the details and choose what’s best for you. Think about it.



Source: https://centeronconscience.org/advice-to-those-considering-military-enlistment/

Sources: Bixby, Lyn, “Many Recruiters Use Fraud to Sell the Service,” The Hartford Courant, December 17, 1989./ Brown, Darryl, “Job Training In the U.S. Military,” Youth Policy, Youth Policy Institute, Inc., August 1986./ Joseph, Toni, “Rude Awakening, Many Veterans Find Military Jobs No Road to Success,” The Wall Street Journal, October 9, 1985./ Laurence, Janice H., Peter F. Ramsberger and Monica A. Gribben, “Effects of Military on Low Aptitude Men,” Human Resources Research Organization (Sponsor: Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense), December 1989./ Wilson, George C., “Marines Discover Fraud in Pittsburgh Recruiting,” Washington Post, March 8, 1989./ “Anything to Enlist Recruits.” Albany Times Union, June 30, 1993.

 

Resources

 

 #GoArmy | #GoMarines | #GoNavy | #BeforeYouEnlist | #ConsideringEnlisting | #NNOMYpeace

###

 

Revised 4/30/2021

Recruiting in Specific Communities

Current Content:

This page is under development. Watch for future content that addresses recruiting of:

  • African Americans
  • Latin@s/Hispanics
  • Asians/Pacific Islanders
  • South Asians
  • Native Americans
  • Women
  • LGBTQ
  • Low Income communities

Military Recruiting Tools & Methods

https://nnomy.org/militarizedschools

Major General Libby and kids.Prior to the outbreak of World War I, military recruitment in the US was conducted primarily by individual states.[2] Upon entering the war, however, the federal government took on an increased role.

The increased emphasis on a national effort was reflected in World War I recruitment methods. Peter A. Padilla and Mary Riege Laner define six basic appeals to these recruitment campaigns: patriotism, job/career/education, adventure/challenge, social status, travel, and miscellaneous. Between 1915 and 1918, 42% of all army recruitment posters were themed primarily by patriotism.[2] And though other themes - such as adventure and greater social status - would play an increased role during World War II recruitment, appeals to serve one’s country remained the dominant selling point.

Recruitment without conscription

After World War II, military recruitment shifted significantly. With no war calling men and women to duty, the United States refocused its recruitment efforts to present the military as a career option, and as a means of achieving a higher education. A majority - 55% - of all recruitment posters would serve this end. And though peacetime would not last, factors such as the move to an all-volunteer military would ultimately keep career-oriented recruitment efforts in place.[3] The Defense Department turned to television syndication as a recruiting aid from 1957-1960 with a filmed show, Country Style, USA.

On February 20, 1970, the President’s Commission on an All-Volunteer Armed Force unanimously agreed that the United States would be best served by an all-volunteer military. In supporting this recommendation, the committee noted that recruitment efforts would have to be intensified, as new enlistees would need to be convinced rather than conscripted. Much like the post-World War II era, these new campaigns put a stronger emphasis on job opportunity. As such, the committee recommended “improved basic compensation and conditions of service, proficiency pay, and accelerated promotions for the highly skilled to make military career opportunities more attractive.” These new directives were to be combined with “an intensive recruiting effort.” [4] Finalized in mid-1973, the recruitment of a “professional” military was met with success. In 1975 and 1976, military enlistments exceeded expectations, with over 365,000 men and women entering the military. Though this may, in part, have been the result of a lack of civilian jobs during the recession, it nevertheless stands to underline the ways in which recruiting efforts responded to the circumstances of the time.[5]

Indeed, recommendations made by the President's Commission continue to work in present-day recruitment efforts. Understanding the need for greater individual incentive, the US military has re-packaged the benefits of the GI Bill. Though originally intended as compensation for service, the bill is now seen as a recruiting tool. Today, the GI Bill is "no longer a reward for service rendered, but an inducement to serve and has become a significant part of recruiter's pitches.” [6] Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_recruitment

Militarization and Corporatization of Schools

Public schools in the United States have increasingly come to resemble the military and prison systems with their hiring of military generals as school administrators and heavy investment in security apparatus—metal detectors, high-tech dog tag IDs, chainlink fences, and real-time Internet-based or hidden mobile surveillance cameras—plus, their school uniforms, security consultants, surprise searches, and the presence of police on campuses.1 But it would be a mistake to understand the preoccupation with security as merely a mass media-driven hysteria in the wake of Virginia Tech and other high-profile shootings, and myopic to ignore the history of public school militarization prior to September 11.

Militarized education in the United States needs to be understood in relation to the enforcement of global corporate imperatives as they expand markets through the real and symbolic violence of war. Militarism and the promotion of violence as virtue pervade foreign and domestic policy, popular culture, educational discourse, and language. A high level of comfort with rising militarism in all areas of life, particularly schooling, set the stage for the radically militarized reactions to September 11—including the institutionalization of permanent war, the suspension of civil liberties, and an active hostility from the state and mass media towards any attempt to address the underlying causes for the unprecedented attack on the United States.

I believe that militarized schooling in America encompasses two broad trends—“military education” and what may be called “education as enforcement.” - Kenneth J. Saltman

Source: http://reimaginerpe.org/node/1177

Military Programs and recruitment methods in the Schools

Below are a set of links that will take you to pages on the NNOMY website that describe the various programs and recruiting methods of the Department of Defense, some that have been in existence for some time and others recently  formed. Many of these strategies for military recruitment, old and new, have been expanded in recent years and now a new trend of public military academies has emerged to target poorer youth in communities classified as "at risk" for crime and imprisonment. All the following programs and methods are generally funded under the Department of Defense's recruitment budget even though the DoD claims that these programs, like ASVAB testing and JROTC, are not for recruitment purposes.

These programs and methods are as follows:
(Programs and methods BOLDED are of particular concern)

Additional resources related to the militarization of schools and youth:

Other Pages:

  1. Recruiting Immigrants

Peaceful Interventions:

  1. No More Soldiers, No More Wars: New Resources for Countering Military Recruitment (archived)
  2. Military Recruiters Evicted From UCSC Job Fair, Again! - Indymedia

Additional Articles:

  1. In ‘Act of Valor,’ a Secret Military World, Approved for Public Viewing
  2. RECRUITING CHILDREN INTO THE US MILITARY: The Pentagon's Child Recruiting Strategy (archived)

Documents:

  1. Jason Bortz, Natalie Granger, Competing Messages: Mass Media Effects on Recruiting,  University of Oklahoma
  2. "Just Say No”: Organizing Against Militarism in Public Schools - Fellowship of Reconcilliation (Archived)
  3. Veterans and Military Families in the Anti–Iraq War Movement - Lisa Leitz, 2014

Definitions:

  1. "corporatization" - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporatization

 

 Please consider becoming a supporter of The National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth
And our work to demilitarize our schools and youth.
Donate Here

 

###

Revised / 11/04/2023 - GDG

Military Recruiting Tools & Methods

Subcategories

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.

NNOMY

 

 

 

 Please consider becoming a supporter of The National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth
And our work to demilitarize our schools and youth.
Donate Here

 

###

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

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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.

https://nnomy.org/selectiveservice

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..

https://nnomy.org/costsofwar

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 AfterDowningStreet.org, he is the Washington director of Democrats.com 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.

 

Documents:

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.
 
Articles
References:
Videos
Tributes

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https://nnomy.org/popcultureandmilitarism/

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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