Argument: Recruiters mislead kids about military service

Issue Report: Military recruiting in public schools


“Two Northern California Cities Ban Military Recruiting of Minors.” Stop Recruiting Kids: “Recruiters often approach kids in their early teens and expound on the great opportunities that await them in the military, often with no mention of the grim realities of war. Staffing an army by preying on the vulnerability of youth is clearly wrong, and it is an issue which can unite people of diverse political views.”

Ari Rosmarin, coordinator of The New York Civil Liberties Project On Military Recruitment and Students’ Rights: “Recruiters are taking advantage of these students and making a lot of claims about the military that do not hold true.”[1]

Michael Berg. “Military Recruiters Have Unrivaled Access to Schools.” The State. February 23rd, 2005: “Earning money for college while traveling around the world, driving Humvees and jumping out of airplanes can be attractive to a high school student. However, recruiters, posters and advertisements accentuate the positive and exaggerate the potential benefits. When recruiters (with their glossy posters and exciting slogans) say that you can get up to $70,000 for college, they seldom stress that this large amount of money is only available for GIs who take military jobs that are very difficult to fill. Nor do they stress that in order to qualify for any aid at all, you must pay a $1,200 nonrefundable fee to the military.”

“Military Recruitment in Schools Crosses the Line.” News Hour Extra. May 9th, 2008: “U.S. Army soldiers came during the winter to our school to tell students about the job opportunities that the army can offer, and hopefully, to convince them to sign up for the army. But all they seemed to do was glamorize the whole concept of what the army is. Yes, they told of all great job opportunities: We can become doctors, nurses, computer technicians, anything we want. But did they really tell us the dangerous side of the army over all the loud music? It seems hypocritical that instead of telling us about the dangerous fighting in Iraq, the 4,000 Americans that have died since 2003, and the millions that suffer everyday because of the wars the army participates in, they play 50 Cent songs and have pull-up contests.

The army is no joke. Basic combat training consists of nine weeks of intense training, including learning how to use M-16A2 rifles, rigorous physical tests and attending boot camp.

You are away from your loved ones for months, maybe years, and you never know when you’ll go home and see them again.

During combat, you go days without shelter, you fight against other soldiers or civilians, and most times, you don’t know if you’ll make it through the day.

These US Army soldiers have no right to glamorize the army for unsuspecting high school students.

Yes, the trucks, the free key chains, pens and the loud music may seem exciting and interesting now, but the army’s recruiting strategies are deceiving and give us mistaken ideas of what fighting in a war really demands.

This propaganda occurring in our school is disturbing because it is a distorted image of the army. It feels like they are trying to trick us into joining.”

“opposing military recruitment in schools.” Notts Anti-Militarism. May 27th, 2008: “As a result of the unpopular occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, the armed forces are struggling to recruit, so they have stepped up their efforts, on billboards and TV and in our schools and city centres. All this week, the armed forces are running snazzy recruitment stalls in Nottingham’s Broadmarsh shopping centre, and in June the Veterans’ celebration in Wollaton Park will be used as “a showcase for the modern armed forces” with military vehicles, displays and games to attract potential recruits. It’s all about making a career in the forces look like an exciting, all-terrain humanitarian peacekeeping adventure instead of deadly grunt-work occupying other peoples’ lands to secure energy supplies for the declining US empire.

Perhaps most concerning is the marketing of military careers to school children. A recent report claims that children as young as seven are now being groomed for army recruitment. The report also claims that ‘Key messages are tailored to children’s interests and values: military roles are promoted as glamorous and exciting and warfare is portrayed as game-like and enjoyable. Children are introduced to the potential benefits of a forces career but not to its risks.'”