President Biden’s ridiculously small concession to student loan forgiveness has kicked off another tempest in a teapot as the Pentagon stresses that the, already lagging, military recruitment quotas will suffer more because of it, discouraging young people to find educational financial support inside the military. Could anything be more revealing about the level of hubris within the Military Regimes of the United States than to suffer a paltry support to our nation”s youth’s education against the Trillions of dollars blindsided American Citizens allow to be coerced by this endless system of wasteful overreach and political corruption? The upside to this latest development is that it has shone a light on the Pentagon’s Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps program operating in thousands of American public schools revealing the antiquated , racist, misogynistic, and militaristic intent it serves to implant on our most vulnerable youth and in a place where it should not even be tolerated in a civilian society. This quarter’s NNOMY news focused on the latest articles that have come out of this debacle reaching as high in the media food chain as to initiate a congressional investigation. Plus more….
Military recruiters are increasingly targeting Latinx students for enlistment
September 19th, 2022 / Roberto Camacho / As the military falls short of its recruitment goals, it is engaging in manipulative tactics that anti-militarism groups are educating and organizing against. With a record low number of potential recruits and few of those willing to enlist, the U.S. military is trying to boost its numbers by targeting low-income and working-class communities of color for recruitment drives and altering how it markets military propaganda in schools to students of color who view enlistment as a potential means of escaping cycles of poverty. As national population demographics continue to trend toward an increase in non-white communities (especially among people under the age of 18), anti-recruitment advocates have noticed an alarming uptick in military efforts to attract Latinx students and their families in particular, reflecting the growth of Latinx communities across the U.S.
Sep 6, 2022 / Aina Marzia / Yesmagazine - Year after year, the same foldable table is propped up near the entrance of a high school gym. People with the same uniform but different faces, all eager to tell you about a new “opportunity,” will sit idly at the table. There will be a sign in front of the table and a clipboard on top, ready to jot down any name that will take the bait being offered.
The U.S.’s “all-volunteer military” requires people, and the search for young high schoolers to fill the ranks of the armed forces is always ongoing. Further, the military tends to prioritize recruiting low-income minority kids because, as per Anthony Clark, a U.S. Air Force veteran, “Poverty is the draft.”
US Military: Bad Publicity Is Hurting Recruiting. Lawmakers: Fix Your Problems
September 22, 2022 / Caitlin M. Kenney / Defense One - Military officials asked lawmakers to give them more authority to provide better pay incentives and more targeted online marketing, and to enable recruiters to more easily reach high-schoolers.
The high school-based Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps is one avenue to introduce young Americans to military life. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, pointed to findings of an Army study that students in these programs were more than twice as likely to enlist. But she and other senators noted allegations of sexual abuse by JROTC instructors as well as the broader problem of sexual assault in the military.
‘I Felt Trapped’: Sexual Abuse of Teens in the Military’s J.R.O.T.C. Program
July 9, 2022 / Mike Baker, Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs and Ilana Marcus / New York Times - Former students say military veterans who led J.R.O.T.C. classes in U.S. high schools fashioned themselves as mentors, then used their power to manipulate and abuse.
With the rifle skills she honed in the Mississippi backwoods, Victoria Bauer had a path to escape the trap of drugs and dead-end jobs she saw most everywhere around her. Her future was in the Marines, she decided, and she had an idea about how to get there.
How Peace Activists Are Beating the U.S. Military at its Own (Video) Game
September 10, 2022 / Nick Gallagher / The Progressive Magazine - As the Armed Forces exploit streaming platforms like Twitch to reach potential Gen Z recruits, a group of anti-war veterans are joining the virtual battlefront for hearts and minds. After six years in the Marines, including tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, Chris Velazquez struggled to readjust to civilian life and suffered from PTSD. A former civil affairs operator, Velazquez wanted to warn young people about the physical, mental, and sexual trauma that can result from service, something recruiters rarely mention when touting the perks of military life.
“These are things that a very small population of America—the veteran population—are witness to, and we don’t know there are other people wanting to talk about them,” Velazquez says. “I spent many years suffering.”
While searching for ways to help, Velazquez learned that the military’s recruiting tactics had shifted drastically since they became a Marine in 2004. At that time, the military’s presence in the gaming world was limited to a proprietary first-person-shooter called America’s Army, which featured missions modeled after real-life combat scenarios.
But starting in 2018, the military, struggling to meet enlistment goals, began invading gaming communities as part of a larger, digital-first strategy. Recruiters who had once stalked school assemblies and shopping malls began streaming games on social media and competing in tournaments to court new enlistees online.
23 September 2022 / Robert C. Koehler / Ah, the children! They belong to us, sayeth the Department of Defense. At least some of them do. It’s a little more complicated than it used to be, thanks to one of the changes that occurred back in 1973, a year of startling historical significance. That was the year of the Roe v. Wade decision and, oh yeah, the Watergate hearings (remember those?). But there was more. The United States, tangled militarily in the quagmire of Vietnam and increasingly torn apart on the home front by protests, was on the brink of conceding defeat in ’Nam and getting the hell out of the ravaged country. Before that came about, the military-industrialists made a pragmatic decision. They got rid of the draft.
Senate Democrats demand answers over abuse allegations in JROTC program
09/21/22 / Jordan Williams / THE HILL - Senate Democrats are demanding answers from the Department of Defense (DOD) and Department of Education regarding failures to protect students enrolled in the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) from abuse.
The probe — led by Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) — comes after an investigation published in The New York Times found that at least 33 JROTC instructors have been criminally charged with sexual misconduct involving students, and many others have been accused of misconduct but never charged.
July-September 2022 / Lauren Reyna Morales / Draft NOtices - In the summer of 2020, I was recruited by the non-profit Project on Youth and Non-Military Opportunities (Project YANO) to review core textbooks used by the U.S. military in the high school Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC) program. Project YANO organized a team of 15 reviewers that consisted of individuals with backgrounds in either classroom teaching or education activism, or with special knowledge of subjects that JROTC claims to address in its curriculum (e.g., U.S. and world history, geography, leadership methods, etc.).
In total, eleven Army, Navy, and Marine Corps JROTC texts were reviewed. The reviewers included current and retired teachers, military veterans, and several educators with post baccalaureate credentials. I myself have been a classroom teacher for five years. I’m credentialed to teach English and Social Sciences in the state of California, and I also earned an M.A. in education from the University of Colorado, Denver. I personally reviewed an Army JROTC textbook titled, Leadership Education and Training (LET 3). I was eager to investigate the kind of curriculum JROTC utilizes to influence over 550,000 students at approximately 3,400 high schools. What, I wondered, is the U.S. military teaching to youth in their places of learning?
GOP congressman says student loan forgiveness will hurt military recruitment
/ Christopher Wilson / YahooNews -"Student loan forgiveness undermines one of our military's greatest recruitment tools at a time of dangerously low enlistments," Banks wrote in a tweet as Republicans continue to attack the White House for the announcement that it would be canceling $10,000 in student loan debt for millions of Americans.
Though the White House is limiting forgiveness to those making under $125,000 per year, conservatives have attempted to paint the plan as a handout to the rich. Banks's comment appears to undercut that message, implying that lower-income Americans might no longer see joining the military as a path to a college education that wealthier families can typically afford without volunteering for service.
A 2020 youth poll conducted by the Pentagon found that 52% of respondents said they would consider joining the military to pay for their future education, a reason that was second only to pay. Military service also counts toward the Public Student Loan Forgiveness plan. The American military has been all-volunteer since the end of the draft in 1973, meaning the military relies on recruitment, which can focus on marginalized communities and the children of veterans.
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