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Linchpin of Pentagon’s School-based Recruitment: Student Testing Program (ASVAB) Rife with Errors and Contradictions

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Pat Elder -

Student Privacy Compromised by Massive Program

Pentagon's ASVAB testingIn late December, 2013 the Department of Defense released a database on the military’s controversial Student Testing Program in 11,700 high schools across the country.  An examination of the complex and contradictory dataset raises serious issues regarding student privacy and the integrity of the Student Testing Program in America’s schools.

The data was released after a protracted Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

See the State ASVAB Databases and the National Database.

The DoD’s Freedom of Information office reports that 678,000 students participated in the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery Career Exploration Program (ASVAB-CEP) during the 2012-2013 school year, down nearly 10% from the previous school year. The three-hour test is the linchpin of the Pentagon’s school-based recruiting program and provides the Military Entrance Processing Command (USMEPCOM) an invaluable tool in prescreening candidates for military service.

The ASVAB is the military’s entrance exam that is given to fresh recruits to determine their aptitude for various military occupations. Since 1968 the test has also been used as a recruiting tool in high schools. It’s used by USMEPCOM to gain sensitive, personal information on high school students, the vast majority of whom are under the age of 18. Students typically take the test at school without parental consent and often without parental knowledge.

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America's Child Soldiers

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Ann Jones -

Article image

Congress surely meant to do the right thing when, in the fall of 2008, it passed the Child Soldiers Prevention Act (CSPA). The law was designed to protect kids worldwide from being forced to fight the wars of Big Men. From then on, any country that coerced children into becoming soldiers was supposed to lose all U.S. military aid.

It turned out, however, that Congress -- in its rare moment of concern for the next generation -- had it all wrong. In its greater wisdom, the White House found countries like Chad and Yemen so vital to the national interest of the United States that it preferred to overlook what happened to the children in their midst.

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Conversation with Rickover Cadets on Facebook

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Gary Ghirardi -

Chicago military acadamiesRarely do conditions line up like this for NNOMY but a recent article that appeared in Yahoo News about Rickover public military academy, in Chicago, that included an interview with Jesus Palafox from our steering committee, got posted as a promoted post on NNOMY's Facebook page and the cadets from the school converged on the posting with their group outrage. But a conversation took place. Below are a selection of student comments to the Yahoo article including my responses done as best as I could with available time in a series of a few days. The conversation from the student side reveals more about how the education and the thinking that is coming out of the new militarized public charter schools is forming young minds. The time of the Vietnamization of war is truly over and the voices in this program represent a new generation of militarized youth. For them, the military is again an adventure, and an opportunity where no other seems available. The instinct to challenge this type of path for their lives seems not present but rather a condemnation of their generation. It reminds me, in part, of the era of my own father during the Korean War.

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The Military’s View of Counter-recruitment

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Seth Kershner -

The New Yorkers' Guide to Military Recruitment in the 5 BoroughsOver the past few years, my colleague Scott Harding and I have been chronicling the counter-recruitment movement from the perspective of activists. In this article, I’ll take a different approach and focus on counter-recruitment as viewed by military recruiters. Although it takes a bit of work to find out what they think, military recruiters’ candid views on counter-recruitment reveal that many are concerned at the success of activist campaigns. There’s a strategic advantage to knowing where military recruiters’ vulnerabilities lie, for they give us a peek at the soft underbelly of the all-volunteer force and may suggest areas where counter-recruiters could focus more of their resources. And when military officers spend the time to write reports investigating counter-recruitment — even naming specific groups like Project YANO — activists should consider this a badge of honor. You’re rattling their cage a bit, forcing recruiters to regroup and rethink their strategy. Even though they’ve got all the money and power in this lopsided struggle, you’re getting into their heads.

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The Military Enlistment Opportunity Act: a New Kind of Draft?

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Rick Jahnkow -

Our friend Mr. Fish visits again!It’s well established that many people who join the U.S. military do so because of their economic status. It could be that they do not see options for a civilian job that pays a livable wage, they cannot afford health insurance, or they believe they’ll never be able to go to college without financial aid from the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Whether this belief is accurate or based on an individual’s limited awareness of alternatives, military recruiters are effective at exploiting economic predicament to meet their monthly quotas. Many of us refer to it as economic conscription or the “poverty draft.” It is the reason why counter-recruitment groups spend much of their time and energy gathering and distributing information on alternative sources for job training and college financial aid.

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War is a Crime Against Humanity: The Story of War Resisters' International

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René Wadlow (reviewer - Peace Magazine) -

War is a Crime against Humanity: The Story of The War Resisters' InternationalDevi Prasad, General Secretary of the War Resisters' International (WRI) in London from 1962 to 1972 and then chairman from 1972 to 1975, has written a useful study of the organization, highlighting the period in which he had direct responsibility. His history ends in 1975 when he passed on his chairmanship to Myrtle Solomon, who held the chair from 1975 to 1985.

This is an action-filled history of the 1960s until the end of the US war in Vietnam in 1975. It was only yesterday for some of us like myself who started protesting atomic-bomb testing around 1953. It is ancient history and unfamiliar territory for those who can not recall the heated debates over the concept of a "Third Camp" -- basically a force between the Soviet Union and the USA but with a humanistic philosophy which made it more than just "the non-aligned" -- presented by A.J. Muste at the WRI Triennial Conference in 1954.

In reading the history, I was struck by how long-serving was the secretariat and the officials. The book is dedicated to Herbert Rumham Brown who was General Secretary when the WRI was officially structured in 1926, then chairman until his death in 1949. Likewise, Grace Beaton, the administrative soul of the organization served from 1933 until 1956.

Like all organizational histories, it has more meaning for those in the organization or on its edge than for the activists who worked through other organizations. Unfortunately, Devi Prasad does not make the people in the movement come alive with descriptions of their character or their impact, even for those from India with whom he had worked before coming to the UK. Thus, if one wants to understand the character and role of the Indian socialist-pacifist Jayaprakash Narayan, one does better reading the book of another Prasad: Bimal Prasad Gandhi, Nehru, and J.P. (Delhi: Chamakya Publishers, 1985, 294pp).

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Lead contamination in the high schools from military marksmanship programs

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Pat Elder -

Guide to Lead Management for Air Gun ShootingThe Guide to Lead Management for Air Gun Shooting produced by the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP), 2013, is a misleading publication that may seriously jeopardize the health of millions of high school children and staff across the nation who may come into contact with lead particulate matter as a result of inadequate supervision and maintenance of indoor firing ranges.

The CMP provides mandatory training and curriculum to Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force JROTC Marksmanship Instructors.  The course covers how to safely and properly conduct air rifle live firing in the nation's high schools.

This CMP publication is based on dated and questionable science. It minimizes the health risks associated with indoor firing ranges using air rifles and pistols.

HET exhibited gross technical incompetence

Technical aspects of the CMP guide rely on the findings of Health & Environmental Technology LLC (HET), an environmental testing firm from Colorado Springs, Colorado.  The sole employee of HET is Mr. Robert Rodosevich. HET has come under scrutiny in Colorado for "gross technical incompetence in technical compliance."

HET was contracted last year by a listing Realtor to prepare a "Preliminary Assessment" of the degree of contamination of a house used as methamphetamine lab. HET came very close to giving the house a clean bill of health before properly licensed professionals were called in to conduct a thorough and legal evaluation of the highly contaminated residence.

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ADDICTED To WAR

comixADDICTED To WAR takes on the most active, powerful and destructive military in the world. It tells the history of U.S. foreign wars - from the Indian Wars to the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan - in a comic book format.

Get connected to youth counter recruitment activists all over the country. Check out DMZ: A Guide to Taking Your School Back from the Military an organizing guide for high school students interested in keeping the military out of our schools. We offer counter recruitment workshops and trainings for students, activists, and educators on a regular basis. Email wrl@warresisters.org for more information. From Ya-Ya Network & War Resisters League

Demilitarizing Life & Land

FOR Life & LandThe Fellowship of Reconciliation pursues a vision of a free and “demilitarized” world in which the Earth’s resources sustain life and promote the well-being of all people. To do so, we challenge economic exploitation, work to eradicate racism and religious intolerance, and call attention to imperialistic U.S. foreign policy. As we continue to speak truth to power, FOR engages in an ongoing interfaith dialogue to shift the collective unconscious from a fear-based military culture to a peaceful world community grounded in faith and nonviolent justice. At the start of 2011, we launched a series of projects, campaigns, and collaborations to demilitarize life and land in the Americas and the Middle East.

Know Before You Go, 'Cause There's No Reset Button

wrl_yaya_pampletKnow Before You Go, 'Cause There's No Reset Button is a collaboration with the Ya-Ya Network (Youth Activists-Youth Allies), a youth of color-led antimilitarist organization based in NYC.

Our leaflet breaks down the enlistment contract and life in the military and provides new stats about sexual assault in the military, racial disparities in becoming an officer, and stop-loss.

Written to be accessible to everyone while providing the most important info for making a fully informed choice about joining the military, this leaflet will be a staple for counter-recruiters.

See Details and Download

Available at War Resisters League

Hollywood Warfare: How the Pentagon Censors the Movies

Thinking of joining the U.S. Military to gain citizenship?

¿PENSANDO EN ALISTARTE PARA OBTENER LA CIUDADANÍA ESTADOUNIDENSE?"¿PIENSAS QUE EL ENROLARTE EN LAS FUERZAS ARMADAS TE GARANTIZA LA CIUDADANIA?"
intended for non-citizens looking to join the military for immigration benefits, to let them know what to be aware of immigration-wise before approaching a recruiter.
Print Size: 8½ x 14 (double sided)
(Designed to be printed with Spanish and English back-to-back)

Homepage: http://www.projectyano.org

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