NNOMY

ANTIWAR.COM - Contrarreclutamiento en tiempos de Covid

Kate Connell / Fred Nadis / Antiwar.com / English - En 2016-17, el ejército de los EE. UU. Visitó Santa Maria High School y la cercana Pioneer Valley High School en California más de 80 veces. Los marines visitaron la escuela secundaria Ernest Righetti en Santa María más de 60 veces ese año. Un alumno de Santa María comentó: "Es como si ellos, los reclutadores, fueran parte del personal". Un padre de un estudiante de secundaria en Pioneer Valley comentó: "Considero que los reclutadores en el campus que hablan con niños de 14 años "preparan" a los jóvenes para que estén más abiertos al reclutamiento en su último año. Quiero que mi hija tenga más acceso a reclutadores de universidades y para que nuestras escuelas promuevan la paz y soluciones no violentas al conflicto".

Esta es una muestra de lo que experimentan las escuelas secundarias, particularmente en áreas rurales, a nivel nacional y la dificultad de enfrentar la presencia de reclutadores militares en el campus. Si bien nuestro grupo de contrarreclutamiento sin fines de lucro, Truth in Recruitment , con sede en Santa Bárbara, California, considera que ese acceso militar es más que excesivo, en lo que respecta al ejército, ahora que la pandemia ha cerrado los campus, esos eran los buenos viejos tiempos. El Comandante del Servicio de Reclutamiento de la Fuerza Aérea, el General de División Edward Thomas Jr., comentó a un periodista de Military.com , que la pandemia de Covid-19 y los cierres de escuelas secundarias en todo el país han hecho que el reclutamiento sea más difícil que antes.

Thomas afirmó que el reclutamiento en persona en las escuelas secundarias era la forma de mayor rendimiento para reclutar adolescentes. “Los estudios que hemos realizado muestran que, con el reclutamiento cara a cara, cuando alguien es realmente capaz de hablar con un [suboficial] de la Fuerza Aérea viva, que respira y con agudeza, podemos convertir lo que llamamos clientes potenciales en reclutas en una proporción de aproximadamente 8:1, dijo. "Cuando hacemos esto de forma virtual y digital, se trata de una proporción de 30:1". Con estaciones de reclutamiento cerradas, sin eventos deportivos para patrocinar o en los que presentarse, sin pasillos para caminar, sin entrenadores y maestros que preparar, sin escuelas secundarias a las que presentarse con remolques cargados de videojuegos militarizados, los reclutadores se han desplazado a las redes sociales para encontrar posibles estudiantes.

ANTIWAR.COM - Counter-Recruitment in the Time of Covid

Kate Connell / Fred Nadis / Antiwar.com / español - In 2016-17, the U.S. Army visited Santa Maria High School and nearby Pioneer Valley High School in California over 80 times. The Marines visited Ernest Righetti High School in Santa Maria over 60 times that year. One Santa Maria alumnus commented, “It’s as if they, the recruiters, are on staff.” A parent of a high school student at Pioneer Valley commented, "I consider recruiters on campus talking to 14 year olds as "grooming" young people to be more open to recruitment in their senior year. I want my daughter to have more access to college recruiters and for our schools to promote peace and nonviolent solutions to conflict."

This is a sample of what high schools, particularly in rural areas, experience nationwide, and the difficulty of confronting the presence of military recruiters on campus. While our nonprofit counter-recruitment group, Truth in Recruitment, based in Santa Barbara, California, views such military access as beyond excessive, as far as the military is concerned, now that the pandemic has closed campuses, those were the good old days. The Air Force’s Recruiting Service Commander, Maj. Gen. Edward Thomas Jr., commented to a journalist at Military.com, that the Covid-19 pandemic and high school shutdowns nationwide have made recruiting more difficult than previously.

Thomas stated that in-person recruiting at high schools was the highest yield way to recruit teenagers. “Studies that we’ve done show that, with face-to-face recruiting, when somebody is actually able to talk to a living, breathing, sharp Air Force [noncommissioned officer] out there, we can convert what we call leads to recruits at about an 8:1 ratio,” he said. “When we do this virtually and digitally, it’s about a 30:1 ratio.” With closed recruiting stations, no sporting events to sponsor or appear at, no hallways to walk, no coaches and teachers to groom, no high schools to show up at with trailers loaded with militarized video games, recruiters have shifted to social media to find likely students.

Low lying virtual fruit for Covid Era Counter-recruiting

Gary Ghirardi / NNOMY - What began for the National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth as an adjustment of our phone forwarding from an answering machine to a cell phone, revealed a bit of a surprise for our office this month of October 2020. What resulted were five phone calls within seven days of both young men and women seeking counseling on how to get out of the Delayed Entry program for military service that they had initially signed up for. All said that they had changed their minds; one for family issues being needed at home to help his mom during this difficult time of Covid. The other young men just did not want to go any longer with no explanation. Two young women, both more nervous than the men discussing such a decision with an unknown entity on the other end of a phone number they gathered from our website.

It became apparent that there were youth that were finding their way to the NNOMY DEP pages from searching Google for “Getting Out of the Delayed Entry Program.”  NNOMY's “Getting Out” page is in our top 20 most popular web pages with 42,308  hits registering on NNOMY.org and the same article on our blog page, NNOMYpeace.net, registering 37,580 hits. The more generic DEP description page ranks number one most visited on both sites with 149,924 hits and 147,242 respectively. Getting Out on the NNOMY.org site comes up first on my Google search and fifth on the Bing search engine of the Microsoft Explorer browser. All our pages that refer to DEP have links to better places to call than us like the GI Rights Hotline or the Military Law Task Force but we still seem to be getting some calls as a result of the phone forwarding. We have put additional information on our DEP pages to make certain that those who wish to get out of DEP, can feel free to call, indicating we will put them in contact with a GI Rights counselor since this past week's experience of receiving calls .

Covid y Militarismo: Desafíos y Controversias



Fabiola Cardozo / NNOMY
 English - La Pandemia del Covid 19 causa estragos a diario, afectando todas las aristas de la vida social y en todos los países, ante ello la sociedad estadounidense no escapa de sus negativas consecuencias.

Si bien se reconoce que la pandemia afecta indudablemente la economía y como a partir de ella sectores como la salud, la educación, la cultura, también cobran algún impacto desfavorable, son las decisiones políticas de sus dirigentes las que orientan las prioridades de un país frente a situaciones tan adversas como las que se viven en la actualidad.
Un reciente artículo del Washington Post señala como El Pentágono usó el dinero de los contribuyentes destinado a máscaras e hisopos para fabricar piezas de motores a reacción y chalecos antibalas:

"La Ley Cares, que el Congreso aprobó a principios de este año, le dio al Pentágono dinero para "prevenir, prepararse y responder al coronavirus". Pero unas semanas después, el Departamento de Defensa comenzó a cambiar la forma en que otorgaría el dinero de una manera que representaba una desviación importante de la intención del Congreso.
Los pagos se realizaron a pesar de que los funcionarios de salud de EE. UU. Creen que aún quedan importantes brechas de financiamiento en la respuesta a la pandemia. Robert Redfield, director de los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades, dijo en un testimonio en el Senado la semana pasada que los estados necesitan desesperadamente $ 6 mil millones para distribuir vacunas a los estadounidenses a principios del próximo año. Muchos hospitales de EE. UU. Aún enfrentan una grave escasez de mascarillas N95. Estos son los tipos de problemas que originalmente se pretendía resolver con el dinero."

¿Cuáles son realmente las necesidades de la población en tiempos de pandemia? ¿Es ahora, el sector militar el que debe priorizarse?, preguntas como estas nos llevan a revisar algunas cifras.
Estas son las estadísticas de pobreza de2019 en EE. UU. Publicadas en septiembre de 2020 por la Oficina del Censo de EE. UU:

 

• La tasa de pobreza infantil es del 14,4%, por lo tanto, aproximadamente uno de cada seis niños se encuentra en situación de pobreza. Esta es una estadística de pobreza preocupante para muchos estadounidenses porque los niños no pueden influir en sus condiciones de vida.

• Si bien la tasa de pobreza para la población en su conjunto es del 10,5%, la tasa varía mucho según la raza. Los negros tienen la tasa de pobreza más alta con un 18.8% y los blancos no hispanos la más baja con un 7.3%. La tasa de pobreza para los negros y los hispanos es más del doble que la de los blancos no hispanos.

• Los adultos que trabajan a tiempo completo tienen una tasa de pobreza baja del 2.0%, lo cual no es sorprendente. Los 2,3 millones de trabajadores a tiempo completo que se encuentran en la pobreza generalmente tienen trabajos mal pagados, como un trabajo de salario mínimo que paga $ 16,000 por año, y tienen dos o más hijos, lo que lleva a la familia a la pobreza. Hay 42,9 millones de adultos entre 18 y 64 años (edad laboral) que no están trabajando. Suman el 22% de los adultos en edad de trabajar, pero representan el 61% de los adultos en edad de trabajar en la pobreza.

• 14,4 millones de adultos en edad laboral tienen una discapacidad que representa el 7% de la población activa. Tienen una tasa de pobreza del 22,5%. Si bien esta es una alta tasa de pobreza, es menor que la tasa de adultos no trabajadores del 26,4%.

• El nivel educativo alcanzado por las personas tiene un impacto dramático en la pobreza. El 23,7% de los adultos mayores de 25 años sin un diploma de escuela secundaria se encuentran en la pobreza frente al 3,9% de los que tienen un título universitario.

 

A pesar de que estás cifras reflejen la situación del 2019, no dan esperanza de un mejor panorama para 2020, con la llega del covid muchas de estas cifras pueden incrementarse y agudizar la pobreza y la marginación.

La situación del Covid 19 acrecienta otras crisis sociales y expone las desigualdades, haciendo a niños, adultos mayores, negros, inmigrantes, discapacitados y personas sin acceso a la educación, los más propensos a la pobreza y a vivir de forma más intensa una crisis humanitaria caracterizada por dificultades en el acceso a la salud, a la alimentación y a la vivienda como derechos básicos. El panorama actual es caracterizado por el desempleo, la reducción de ingresos y el aumento de gastos médicos, lo que produce a su vez dificultades para el pago de alquileres y por ende el incremento de desalojos.

EE.UU. carece de un sistema firme de protección social, donde las ayudas económicas otorgadas a través de cheques semanales del Estado, son insuficientes y no llegan a toda la población necesitada.

 

"El presidente Trump firmó un Memorando Presidencial que proporcionó $ 300 por semana para los trabajadores desempleados. Sin embargo, la acción del presidente Trump fue limitada. Esta ley requería el uso de fondos de FEMA y los estados tenían que optar por participar en el programa. La cantidad total de fondos está limitada a seis semanas de beneficios y algunos estados ya se han quedado sin dinero bajo este programa. Esto deja a los trabajadores desempleados solo en condiciones de recibir sus beneficios estatales de desempleo, que oscilan entre $ 300 y $ 500 por semana. (Ver: https://www.forbes.com/sites/ryanguina/2020/09/23/next-stimulus-bill-needs-to-address-these-3-issues/#573b455c2769)

 

Actualmente se reportan 7,53 millones de casos y 211 mil muertes por Covid-19 en Estados Unidos, a sabiendas que es una afección respiratoria que se puede propagar de persona a persona, el uso de mascarillas y la compra de insumos tanto para la detección como el tratamiento de este virus, resulta de suma importancia. Sin embargo, el interés en el negocio de la guerra sigue acaparando grandes sumas de recursos y el impulso en la industria militar cobra fuerza.

 

“El fondo de $ 1 mil millones es solo una fracción de los $ 3 billones en gastos de emergencia que el Congreso aprobó a principios de este año para hacer frente a la pandemia.

 

Pero en los meses posteriores a la aprobación del paquete de estímulo, el Pentágono cambió la forma en que se usaría el dinero. Decidió dar a los contratistas de defensa cientos de millones de dólares del fondo, principalmente para proyectos que tienen poco que ver con la respuesta al coronavirus. Los abogados del Departamento de Defensa determinaron rápidamente que el dinero podría usarse para la producción de la defensa, una conclusión que luego el Congreso impugnó”. (Ver: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/09/22/covid-funds-pentagon/)

 

En el transcurso de la pandemia, el Secretario General de las Naciones Unidas, António Guterres, ha declarado fervientemente cuales son los retos a superar y las necesidades a atender:

 

“La pandemia ha revelado la fragilidad de nuestro mundo. Ha puesto al descubierto riesgos que hemos ignorado durante décadas: sistemas de salud inadecuados; brechas en la protección social; desigualdades estructurales; degradación ambiental; la crisis climática. Regiones enteras que habían logrado avances en la erradicación de la pobreza y la reducción de la desigualdad han experimentado, en cuestión de meses, un retroceso de años. El virus representa un riesgo mayor para los más vulnerables: los que viven en la pobreza, las personas mayores y las personas con discapacidad y enfermedades preexistentes”. (Ver: https://www.un.org/en/coronavirus/tackling-inequality-new-social-contract-new-era)



“El COVID-19 es nuestro enemigo común. Debemos declarar la guerra contra este virus. Ello significa que los países tienen la responsabilidad de prepararse, acelerar e intensificar las medidas. ¿Cómo? Aplicando estrategias de contención eficaces; activando y mejorando los sistemas de respuesta de emergencia; aumentando drásticamente la capacidad de realización de pruebas y la atención a los pacientes; preparando los hospitales, asegurando que tengan el espacio, los suministros y el personal necesarios; y desarrollando tratamientos médicos vitales”. (Ver: https://www.un.org/en/coronavirus/covid-19-we-will-come-through-together)


“El gasto en salud debe incrementarse de inmediato para satisfacer las necesidades urgentes y el aumento de la demanda —ampliar la cobertura de las pruebas de detección, reforzar las instalaciones, retribuir a los trabajadores de la salud y garantizar la suficiencia de suministros—, respetando plenamente los derechos humanos y evitando el estigma”. (Ver: https://www.un.org/en/un-coronavirus-communications-team/above-all-human-crisis-calls-solidarity)

Así mismo, el Secretario ha hecho un llamado al cese de todos los conflictos armados, y a la necesidad imperiosa de perpetuar la guerra:

“Es hora de “poner en encierro” los conflictos armados, suspenderlos y centrarnos juntos en la verdadera lucha de nuestras vidas. A las partes beligerantes les digo: Cesen las hostilidades. Dejen de lado la desconfianza y la animosidad. Silencien las armas; detengan la artillería; pongan fin a los ataques aéreos. Es crucial que lo hagan. Para ayudar a crear corredores a fin de que pueda llegar la ayuda vital. Para abrir oportunidades de valor incalculable para la diplomacia. Para llevar esperanza a los lugares más vulnerables al COVID-19.”. (Ver: https://www.un.org/en/un-coronavirus-communications-team/fury-virus-illustrates-folly-war)

 

La actuación del gobierno estadounidense deja mucho que desear, no debe ser hoy ni nunca la guerra una prioridad para una nación. El militarismo arraigado en toda la estructura social debe ser detenido.

 

Recursos:

 

Covid y Militarismo - Descargue este artículo como documento de Word

 

 

 

 

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Covid and Militarism: Challenges and Controversies

 
Fabiola Cardozo / NNOMY /  español  - It’s widely recognized that the Covid-19 pandemic undoubtedly affects the economy and, as a result, also negatively affects healthcare, education, and culture. However, in the face of hard times like the ones we’ve experienced this year, national priorities are oriented through the policies implemented by political leaders.

A recent article by the Washington Post highlights how The Pentagon diverted taxpayer money originally meant for masks and cotton swabs to make jet engine parts and body armor.

"The Cares Act, which Congress passed earlier this year, gave the Pentagon money to “prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.” But a few weeks later, the Defense Department began reshaping how it would award the money in a way that represented a major departure from Congress’s intent.

 The payments were made even though U.S. health officials think major funding gaps in pandemic response still remain. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in Senate testimony last week that states desperately need $6 billion to distribute vaccines to Americans early next year. Many U.S. hospitals still face a severe shortage of N95 masks. These are the types of problems that the money was originally intended to address."

Reflections from the Monster Factory

Gary Ghirardi / NNOMY - First disclosures: This Op-ed is being offered up by myself, Gary Ghirardi,  for the September 2020 newsletter of the National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth, themed: Teaching Kids to Kill, a vehicle of NNOMY's communications efforts to give voice to the few who stand up to endless wars and largely public ignorance and indifference to what is done in their names. It in no way reflects the opinions of the diversity of those organizations that collectively represent the bulk of groups, large and small, who offer up youth demilitarization efforts nationally in the not so United States of America.

This Op-ed is short and not so sweet, like the Psychology Today Op-ed proceeding this in our lineup of offerings for the September NNOMY Newsletter. Short seems to be the new formula because people are adverse to reading long articles now and actually prefer videos where they only need to watch and maybe listen. Those have to be short also. Attention spans have shortened.

What has been stirring in my mind is not a popular idea likely to be supported by many if even a few. Yet I cannot escape this prescient thought about what is the business of the USA and its global military in this seemingly culminating moment of the November Presidential election in a few weeks time; kind of a not so calm thought before the storm that is likely coming.

If I am to take the rhetoric of the election as a guide to informing my thinking about our culture, I can only surmise that the televised back-and-forth serves only to maintain the status-quo with a faux battle over which dressing will be applied to coat the business of defending a dollarized global economy. After-all, isn't that what the project of the U.S. military really is?

I think back to all I have seen and those I have known in my intervening forty-two years of legal adulthood and the best formula for succeeding in this success driven culture is the endless and uncritical pursuit of wealth creation and the little power that can be acquired over others along the way with no holds barred.

Surveying the nativist and immigrant propensities to follow this path, I now believe the United States of America is a monster factory, and now franchised to a country near you. It seems like a harsh characterization on the surface to explain so many places and lives spread out over generations but those most successful adherents to the pursuit of the rewards of worshiping money and power above all other priorities, if we take those constant ques from our 24/7 media's talking heads, surely identifies us as cultural monstrosities.  

Progressives Applaud AOC Proposal to Ban 'Insidious Practice' of Military Recruiting in Schools

"It's important that our youth understand that joining the military isn't the only way to pay for college or find stability in life."

Eoin Higgins / Commondreams -

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Monday proposed blocking the military from recruiting in schools, describing the practice as a predatory attack on disadvantaged children who already suffer from underfunded resources in their learning environments. 

The proposal follows an amendment to the defense spending bill from Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat, last week that would ban military recruiters from using video game streaming platforms to reach impressionable young people. 

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.

General David Petraeus' rocky first days as a lecturer at the City University of New York Though the United States of America shares with other nations in a history of modern state militarism, the past 65 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 thirty years, with the rise of the neo-conservative Reagan and Bush administrations (2), 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 .

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.

The average citizen has slowly come to terms with a stealthly increasing campaign of militarization domestically in media offerings; from television, movies 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 undertand 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 infrustructure; 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.

How 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.

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.

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

 

The Resources section covers the following topics:

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 counter-recruitment projects in a dozen jurisdictions in the DC metropolitan area.  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.

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:
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Your donation to NNOMY works to balance the military's message in our public schools. Our national network of activists go into schools and inform youth considering military service the risks about military service that recruiters leave out.

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