NNOMY

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:

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 Revised 07/02/2020

 

 

Considering Enlisting?

A recruiter walks a young man through the recruiting process at a recruitment office. Enlistment in the Armed Forces is a very important decision. 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 conflict in the Persian Gulf proved 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.

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?

The recruiter will probably emphasise 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. During the time some young people spend in the military, others who are the same age are spending those years in college or trade school, or getting work experience. As a result, the unemployment rate for young veterans is twice as high as their peers who did not enlist (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Biennial Employment Situation of Veterans Survey, May 26, 2006).

As former Vice President Dick Cheney once said, “The military is not a social welfare agency; it’s not a jobs program.”

College Benefits?

Many people join the military for college money. Recruiters might promise you that college will be “free,” but it’s not free – you must work for it! And the benefits will not be guaranteed, even under the new GI bill that went into effect in August 2009. Although there have been early promises of more money than under the old GI bill, more school options, and a chance for military members to transfer unused financial aid to other family members, vets counselors warn that there could be many problems. For example:

  • People will have to enlist for a total of 10 years to transfer unused college benefits to family members.
  • People who receive a less than fully honorable discharge (as about one in four people do) will lose all GI bill benefits—including those with “general discharges,” often given for minor problems with military duties.
  • Those who leave the military early (as one in three do) will get reduced benefits.
  • Veterans who wish to attend college outside the state where they live will only get part of their tuition covered until.

If you are worried about financing college, there are many other sources of aid to look at. Colleges can help you find aid, and it pays to investigate the many alternatives before signing away eight years of your life to the military. If you go straight to college, instead of the military, you can start earning the higher wages of a college graduate much sooner.

RACISM IN THE MILITARY

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

During the Persian Gulf War, Arabs were labeled "towel-heads" or "sand-niggers," while there were reports of cross burnings and KKK gatherings on military grounds. Half of the troops sent to the Persian Gulf 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 nand 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. Women are still barred from ground combat.

Doonesbury enlistment cartoon

Rape and sexual harrassment occur frequently in the armed forces. One report stated that 64 percent of women in the military have experienced sexual harrassment. Often men use rank to try to get sexual favors. Women who refused to comply have been labeled lesbians. Women in the military were three times more likely than men to be discharged for homosexuality - eight times more likely in the Marines. The newly announced policy of "don't ask, don't tell" has yet to be shown to be workable or lawful.

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.

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.

Source: http://www.centeronconscience.org/girights/enlist.shtml

Revised 04/15/2016

School Based Counter Recruitment

Stop Military Recruitment in our schoolsThe military has maximized its presence and influence in the educational system by seeking the widest possible access to classrooms, school career centers, counseling offices, student records, student newspapers and even elementary school playgrounds.

In the effort to counter militarism in schools, a number of approaches have been developed: Some are organized bv students themselves, some by non-students, and some by students and non-student allies working together. Strategies have ranged from educating individual students about the realities of military enlistment and their other options, to working for policy changes that will reduce the military’s presence in schools and increase student exposure to non-military options.

This section is a portal to topics and information relating to these different strategies and approaches.

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

Links:

Organizations you should know:

Documents:

Articles on the web:

Getting Out


Members of the Air Force Delayed Entry Program take the Oath of Enlistment during the Junior ROTC day at Scott AFB, Ill., Nov. 2, 2018. (U.S. Air Force/Airman 1st Class Nathaniel Hudson)Most people join the military on the Delayed Entry Program (“DEP” or sometimes referred to in the Army with its Army name “Future Soldiers Training Program” or “FSTP”). Basically it means you sign up now and go later. “Later” can be anywhere from a day to a maximum twelve months after signing the initial enlistment agreement. To be clear: There is NO penalty for withdrawing from the DEP. People who change their minds about joining the military are under NO obligation to report to active duty.


If you are in the Delayed Entry Program (DEP)—also called the “Future Soldiers” program, no longer want to join, and need to talk about your situation quickly, call NNOMY at (443) 671-7111 and ask for "No-Me."  We will put you in touch with a GI Rights counselor ASAP.


However, one of the most common forms of serious recruiter misconduct is threatening young people who have joined the DEP and then change their minds about enlisting. Recruiters are under a huge amount of pressure to sign up enough recruits. If they don't make their quota they are punished, harassed and possibly re-assigned. Recruiters don't get credit for people who enlist in the DEP until they actually show up for boot camp. Since they have invested time and energy in each DEP recruit, if they think they are losing you, they will do or say anything to get you to not back out.

The most important thing to remember is not to report for basic training unless you intend to really enlist, even if a recruiter tells you it is necessary to get out of the DEP (this is a lie). If you do report for basic training, you will no longer be a civilian and it will be very difficult to get out because you will have to be “discharged” which is not easy. WARNING! If you are signed up for the Guard or Reserves, your situation may be more complicated and you should call the GI Rights Hotline 877-447-4487 before you take any action. (Call if you have any questions about this fact sheet, too—counselors are there to help you understand your rights.)

Over the years, we have had reports from students who were told that if they change their minds, they would be considered deserters in war time and could be hunted down and shot. A student we know deliberately failed to graduate in June rather than choose between (nonexistent) penalties or being forced into the military. When the school quietly readmitted him in the Fall, the recruiter restarted his harassment and threats. A young woman in the Bronx had 2 MP’s (military police) stationed outside her parents’ home, causing her mother to suffer a nervous collapse. One young woman was told that if she didn't go through with her enlistment that her family would be deported. When we contacted a recruiter about our concerns, he threatened to have us arrested by the FBI. ALL THESE THINGS ARE LIES!! They are also serious examples of recruiter misconduct.

If you want to withdraw from the DEP, write a brief letter to the local recruiting commander (not your individual recruiter) of the branch of the military you signed up for (see www.usarec.army.mil for battalion headquarters addresses). This letter should state that you have changed your mind about enlisting, that you are requesting “separation” and will not be reporting for induction. You can give the reason you have changed your mind or the plans you have made instead, for example attending college, employment, family obligations etc. However, it is not required to provide a reason for withdrawing. The letter should indicate that you are sending a copy to your congress member which you should also send. Detailed instructions and a sample letter are available from the GI Rights Hotline www.girightshotline.org/discharges. This letter should be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested. Once the letter has been sent, refuse all further contact with the recruiter. Do NOT go to the recruiting station to “fill out paperwork.” You are not obligated to meet with the recruiter at home, in school or on the street. Under no circumstances should you get into a vehicle with the recruiter.

While recruiters are permitted to try to “resell” you on the idea of enlisting, they are strictly prohibited from “threatening, coercing or intimidating” you. Unfortunately, this behavior is quite common and can be a frightening experience. So get back-up. Find a sympathetic teacher or guidance counselor who can stand up for you. Talk to your family so they support you when the recruiter calls or shows up at your house.
Get help from an expert in dealing with recruiters who bully (see reverse for instructions). Here are some groups you can call for help: AFSC National Recruiter Abuse Hotline: 877-688-6881 (toll free), www.afsc.org/ Youth&Militarism; The GI Rights Hotline: 877 447-4487 (toll free), www.girightshotline.org; The Ya-Ya Network: 212 239-0022, yayanetwork.org

It is really important that you report any threats or improprieties to recruiting command and, if you are a student, that you report the recruiter to school authorities. For every one who knows their rights, there are many more who get bullied or manipulated into joining the military when they really don't want to. If we don't report these violations, recruiters will just keep getting away with it. Reports should include the name of the recruiter, their branch of the military, your name and age, the date(s) of the incident and a description of what occurred. This report should be sent to the recruiting command of your local recruiting office (addresses available at www.usarec.army.mil). One month after the report has been filed, a follow-up phone call should be made to recruitment command to find out what has been done about the incident. Further follow-up may be required.

Here is the text of the regulations regarding the DEP and recruiter misconduct. If your recruiter hassles you, quote this then tell them to leave you alone.

 

Army:


Members of the recruiting force must respond positively to any inquiry from DEP members concerning separations from the DEP. Under no circumstances will any member of this command threaten, coerce, manipulate, or intimidate DEP members, nor may they obstruct separation requests. When such an inquiry is received, local recruiting personnel will attempt to resell the DEP member on an Army enlistment. If this attempt is not successful (not later than 14 days from the original request), advise the DEP member of the provisions governing separation from the DEP and tell them a written request for separation may be forwarded to the Rctg Bn commander. Emphasize that the DEP member may submit a request for separation even though his or her reason for it does not fall within an expressed category, such as hardship, dependency, apathy, and/or personal reasons.

Source: Waiver, Delayed Entry Program Separation, and Void Enlistment Processing Procedures, (USAREC Regulation 601-56,Chapter 3 DEP Separation Procedures, Section c.) (1) Recruiters will not knowingly mislead or misinform a prospect or applicant regarding any aspect of processing, entitlements, benefits, or other aspects of the Army so the prospect or applicant would decide to enlist into either the RA or USAR, or transfer to a TPU. This includes “conditional” enlistments in which an applicant enlists based on a recruiter’s assurance that the applicant’s prospects for selection for another program will improve. Other examples include false promises of cash bonus, Army College Fund, Student Loan Repayment Program, regaining custody of dependent children prior to completion of first term of enlistment, overseas assignments, or a specific station of choice. (2) Recruiters will not threaten, coerce, or intimidate any person for the purpose of inducting a member of the DEP to report to AD [Active Duty]. This includes misrepresenting the likelihood of being apprehended and ordered to AD. It also includes obstructing an individual from being separated from the DEP. Although recruiters may properly attempt to “resell” an applicant, they will not unreasonably delay the process of an applicant’s request for separation.

Source: Recruiting Improprieties Policies and Procedures (USAREC Regulation 601-45, Chapter 2-3. Specific prohibitions, Section h. Misrepresentation and Coercion.): Misrepresentation and coercion.

 

Navy:


The Navy Regulations state, threatening DEP member with possible disciplinary actions for failing to enlist or coercing DEP members to fulfill their contractual obligations is inconsistent with the concept of the all-volunteer force. Source: COMNAVCRUITCOMIST 1130.8F, 6A-6, Note 1.

 

Marines:


The Marines don't have this clear language prohibiting harassment, but do make it clear that the individual can leave the DEP. Their Recruiting Regulations, under "Desire for Release or Intent Not to Report" states: If the individual insists on being released from the enlistment, the individual will be discharged. Source: MCO P1100.72C, 4301, 3d(2).

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Revised 10/03/2020

National Counter-Recruitment and Demilitarization Conference Documents

National Counter-Recruitment and Demilitarization Conference Info back

Chicago, July 17-19, 2009

This page is the portal to information from the conference, including the conference packet and workshop documents.

Logistics Housing Transportation
Schedule
   

CONFERENCE DOCUMENTS:

• Conference packet items

The conference packet contents are available for download here.

• Workshops

A workshop list and presenter biographies can be downloaded here. 

Documents distributed by workshop presenters are being posted as they become available: Click here to download the documents.

Workshop Descriptions and Presenters

  

Workshop List 

Download the list of workshops with descriptions here (revised 7-14-09)

Presenter Biographies

Download the list of conference presenters with biographical information here (revised 7-13-09)

PLEASE NOTE: Workshop session times are in the conference schedule.

 

NCRD Workshop Presenters

For a list of all workshops and presenters with biographical information, click here.

IMPORTANT NOTES TO PRESENTERS:

  • HANDOUTS: If you are planning to hand out hard copy materials or show a video or Power Point, please email us electronic copies of your documents (PDF, Word-compatible or Power Point files) and/or links to the video you plan to use. We can post a limited number of these on the NNOMY site so people can access them if they were not able to attend your workshop. Email documents and/or links to Project YANO, including your name and the workshop title: projyano(at)aol.com. PLEASE send us ONLY materials that are used in your workshop--not other materials or links.

  •  PHOTOCOPYING: If you are not able to photocopy handouts for workshops ahead of time, there are commercial copy shops in the vacinity of Roosevelt University. Ask for directions at the conference check-in table.

  • EQUIPMENT: If you have special equipment needs for your workshop and have not already notified our host, Chicago AFSC, please do so immediately: 312-427-2533, DGramigna(at)afsc.org.

  • LAPTOPS: If you are planning to bring your own laptop to connect to in-room projectors (good idea), please let AFSC  know if it is a PC or Mac so the right connectors will be available.

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 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.

 

All Documents:

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.
 
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