Looking back at Twenty Years of NNOMY

The National Counter-Recruitment and Demilitarization Conference was held July 17 to 19th, 2009 in ChicagoJuly 13, 2024 / Staff / National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth - June 27th, 2024 marks the founding of the National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth stemming from the formation of the network at the national counter-recruitment organizing conference held June 25-27, 2004 named Stopping War Where It Begins: Strengthening the Movement Opposing the Militarization of Youth in Philadelphia. (1) 

Through the many cultural shifts and political machinations of the United Sates domestic and foreign policy, the prospects and opportunities for NNOMY have experienced many ebbs and flows.

As the next period ahead unravels, like the presidential election debacle we now see unfolding five month before the next election, the time ahead for NNOMY, and the peace activist community in general seems uncertain and certainly demoralizing with, now two active proxy wars that the current Biden Administration has entrenched the country in. 

With what is being articulated by the Pentagon and its Command Structure, a potential war is looming in Asia for the USA with China over control of the China Sea, and even Polar Ice shipping routes for Russia of Petrochemicals product shipments to Asia being contested by the US State Department, allowing circumvention of sanctions imposed upon it by the US and its G7 coalition of countries, the chances that American youth may become drawn into direct military conflicts that they have little understanding of or little interest to get involved in a war over, are greater than ever.

Additionally, the Southern Command leadership has openly articulated their intention to control the resource extraction of the American Continent as their own without the presence of other international powers present at the table. It is the Monroe Doctrine redux. (2)

Looking back at another time of resurgent US Militarism during the Bush Administration's Iraq war in response to a proven false narrative imposed upon the 9/11 terrorism, NNOMY experienced the height of counter recruitment activism as peace groups correctly intervened into the proceedings of US military recruitment at the high school level, to stem the flow of bodies into a series of unnecessary illegal wars for regime change

Below as a testament and recognition of their efforts are listed the groups on this twentieth anniversary of the National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth and their counter-recruitment pages:


Congress moves toward stepped-up registration for a military draft

Proposal to require women to register for the military draft in the USAFriday, 14 June 2024 / Edward Hasbrouck / Edward Hasbrouck's blog - A proposal to expand registration for a possible military draft to young women as well as young men is moving forward again this year in Congress, along with a seductively simple-seeming but in practice unfeasible proposal to switch from the current system in which young men are required to register with the Selective Service System (SSS) to a system in which the SSS tries to identify and locate everyone eligible for a future draft and automatically register them based on other existing Federal databases from the Social Security Administration, IRS, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, etc.

Today both the U.S. Senate Armed Service Committee and the full U.S. House of Representatives approved different proposals to expand and/or make it harder to avoid the requirement for men ages 18-26 to register with the Selective Service System for a possible military draft.

The proposals for changes to Selective Service registration were approved during consideration of the Senate and House versions of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2025, a “must-pass” annual bill that typically runs to more than a thousand pages.

The Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) approved a version of the NDAA that would expand Selective Service registration to include young women as well as young men. This version of the NDAA will now go to the floor as the starting point for consideration and approval by the full Senate.

Also today the full House of Representatives approved a different version of the NDAA that would make Selective Service registration automatic while keeping it for men only.

A House amendment proposed by Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH), a West Point graduate and Army veteran, which would have replaced the provision to make draft registration automatic with a provision to repeal the Military Selective Service Act, was not “made in order” by the Rules Committee to be considered or voted on by the full House. There was no separate House floor vote on the proposed change to Selective Service registration, only a single vote on the entirety of the NDAA as a package.

The SASC markup was conducted in closed session, and only a summary of highlights of the version adopted by the SASC was released. It’s not clear whether the SASC version also includes the provision in the House version of the NDAA to try to make Selective Service registration ‘automatic’ or only the provision to expand the registration requirement (with which compliance is currently low) to young women as well as young men. A spokesperson for the SASC told The Hill today that the full text of the Senate version of the NDAA won’t be released until sometime in July.


California Selective Service Bill Set for Hearing in Sacramento April 9th

The “opt-out” provision in SB-1081 is deceptive and entrapment

March 10, 2024 / Edward Hasbrouck / Resistance News - A bill to automatically register draft-age applicants for California driver’s licenses with the Selective Service System (SSS) has been set for its first first hearing in Room 1200 of the State Capitol Annex “Swing Space” building, 1021 O St. in Sacramento (2 blocks south of the Capitol) in Sacramento at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 9, 2024, before the Senate Committee on Transportation. Only in-person testimony will be accepted, with no remote testimony or livestream, but written testimony can be submitted until April 1, 2024.

The hearing on April 9th will be only the first of several, if the bill moves forward, but will set the tone for debate on the bill.

Here’s what you can do:

  •  Testify in person at the hearing in Sacramento on April 9th. (Witnesses typically are allowed only 2-3 minutes each at the open mike at a hearing like this, but while you are in Sacramento you can visit your state Senator and Assembly representative to ask them to oppose SB-1081. If you have more than you can say in two minutes, you can submit a more detailed statement in advance, and summarize it in person, which calls more attention to your written submission.)

  • Organizations (including California and national organizations) and individuals can submit letters of opposition to SB-1081 by April 1st.

  • Californians can contact your state Senators and Assembly members (at their district offices if you can’t make it to Sacramento), to urge them to oppose SB-1081 or any similar bill in the Assembly. It’s especially important to contact members of the Senate and Assembly Transportation Committees.

US Peace Prize Awarded to NNOMY

US Peace Prize Awarded to NNOMY

Michael Knox, US Peace Prize, US Peace Memorial  - The 2023 US Peace Prize has been awarded to National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth (NNOMY) “For National Efforts to Stop U.S. Military Influence on Young People, Saving Lives Here and Abroad.

The US Peace Prize was presented on September 19, 2023, at the Peace Resource Center of San Diego by Michael Knox, Chair and Founder of the US Peace Memorial Foundation. In his remarks, Dr. Knox said, “National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth shields young lives from some of the strongest influences of militarism. Your work not only saves U.S. lives by dissuading young people from joining the military - it also saves the lives of people in distant countries who they could harm once they were part of the U.S. war machine. NNOMY positively impacts countless young adults, and its nationwide efforts involve the contributions of many stellar antiwar figures and organizations. The US Peace Prize is a prestigious honor that will help call attention to and reinforce your important work for peace.”

The award was accepted by Rick Jahnkow, the organization’s Steering Committee Representative, and several network members. Mr. Jahnkow responded, “NNOMY is grateful for receiving this award and the recognition it will, hopefully, bring to the urgent need to counter the militarization of young people. Protesting war once it begins is never enough; if we are ever going to have a truly effective peace movement, it must include proactively reaching out to and engaging with younger generations in order to groom them to become activists for peace, instead of war. It is this long-term vision that NNOMY brings to the peace movement.”


A Tribute to Counter-recruitment Activist Barbara G Harris

Barbara Harris discussing ways to educate parents about their right to keep information on their children from the military.Credit...Yana Paskova for The New York Times

 The steering committee and staff of The National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth wish to send our condolences to the family, friends, and activist collaborators of Barbara G Harris on her recent passing after a long illness in New York City. Barbara served as a valuable member of the NNOMY Steering Committee and provided informed guidance for our network's projects and campaigns since her joining our organizing committee in 2014 as a representative of the Granny Peace Brigade of New York City. 
NNOMY Steering Committee and staff

My own story of Barbara was visiting the Manhattan apartment of her and her husband, Gerald, on a visit to see family in Brooklyn. Beyond our kind reception for a visit in their dining room, where we shared an afternoon refreshment and conversation, was a small room that was Barbara's space that was a kind of history in pictures and memorabilia representing her 50 plus years of activism for peace, woman's rights, and the environment. She explained some of the things on the walls to my wife, Sandra, and I felt Barbara's history and commitment to activism from her school years through adulthood. It was a special place for me to share that likely few have experienced and it stood as a humane and personal reflection upon her. Barbara was a rare example of an activist and advocate in NYC schools countering the deceptive military recruiter narrative of the benefits of joining into war and doing the important work of youth demilitarization.

Below are a series of excerpts, and links to read the rest, of articles about her activism in our schools reaching out to youth to promote with them a future for peace and not a personal legacy of war.
Gary Ghirardi - NNOMY Communications Staff 


US Vets Try to Stop Students from Joining Up

Across the U.S., anti-war veterans and their allies are working together in an effort to stop the U.S. military from reaching its recruitment goals, writes Ruben Abrahams Brosbe.


July 27, 2023 / Ruben Abrahams Brosbe / Consortium News - March 20 marked the 20th anniversary of the United States’ invasion of Iraq. The war took hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives, with some estimates of Iraqi casualties putting the number at over 1 million. More than 4,600 U.S. soldiers died in Iraq during and after the invasion, and thousands more have died by suicide.

Meanwhile, and not coincidentally, the U.S. military is facing its worst recruitment crisis since the end of the Vietnam War. The Defense Department’s budget proposal for 2024 outlines a plan for the military to slightly cut back on its ranks, but to reach its projected numbers, it will still need to embark on a heavy recruitment push.

Across the country, anti-war veterans and their allies are working together in an effort to stop the U.S. military from reaching its goal.

We Are Not Your Soldiers is a project of New York City-based nonprofit World Can’t Wait. The organization sends military veterans into schools to share honest stories of the harm they have caused and suffered. In doing so, they hope to prevent young people from signing up.

“I wish I had somebody who told me when I was young,” says Miles Megaciph, who was stationed in Cuba and Okinawa with the U.S. Marine Corps from 1992 to 1996. “The experiences I’ve lived, as painful as they are, and as much as I don’t like to relive them, are valuable to help future adults not live those experiences,” Megaciph told me.

“We wanted to get to the people who were going to be the next recruits,” says Debra Sweet, the executive director of World Can’t Wait. When We Are Not Your Soldiers launched in 2008, the experience was often intense for veterans.


Lavender's Purple Heart - Veteran Seaman Gunderson

Annette Gunderson - A real-life G.I. JaneNNOMY office invited Annette Gunderson to tell her story for our website and newsletter. She was referred by Tori Batemen of the Military Recruiter Abuse Hotline of the American Friends Service Committee who was contacted by Annette to seek some support. Tori then recommended that Annette contact NNOMY to tell her story which she did.

 June 30, 2023 / Annette Gunderson / Bend, Oregon - I am sharing to the public my Navy “Me Too” story in hopes it will shed light of the corruption and imminent danger I faced during my military enlistment and service.
I was raped by my recruiter Trace Oliver Harris, his age 26. I was 17, still in high school at the time. I didn’t even have my drivers license yet. My childhood died in his California king sized bed. The age of consent in Oregon is 18, and I was a minor when I signed an enlistment contract with Harris’s signature. Harris was aware I was a minor and aware of fraternization policies. My mother’s signature is also on the document, adding her to the lists of credible witnesses.

The blackmail, mental and sexual abuse continued over the course of about 8 months while in Delayed entry program. I was in denial of the abuse and ended up with Stockholm syndrome. He blackmailed me with my medical history. Most recruiters, tell you to lie at MEPs so you can get into the military. Former, Petty officer Harris encouraged me to lie at MEPs. Shortly after MEPs Harris groomed me and lured me into his apartment. Pressured me to drink alcohol, his drink of choice: Angry orchard.

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