Before You Enlist Video -
Researching Pop Culture and Militarism -
If you have been Harassed by a Military Recruiter -
War: Turning now to Mr. Ralph Waldo Emerson - Christian Science Monitor
Click through to find out
Religion and militarism -
‘A Poison in the System’: Military Sexual Assault - New York Times
Change your Mind?
Talk to a Counselor at the GI Rights Hotline
Ask that your child's information is denied to Military Recruiters
And monitor that this request is honored.
Military Recruiters and Programs Target marginalized communities for recruits...
..and the high schools in those same communities

 Militarization of our Schools

The Pentagon is taking over our poorer public schools. This is the reality for disadvantaged youth.


What we can do

Corporate/conservative alliances threaten Democracy . Progressives have an important role to play.

 Why does NNOMY matter?

Most are blind or indifferent to the problem.
A few strive to protect our democracy.

Military Presence in Our Schools

My Education for Peace

This page can be also accessed at


A Campaign to form community in schools of Peace minded people

What does "peace" mean for NNOMY?

Peace is not merely the absence of war or armed conflicts. It is instead the possibility of living in a society in which we can all develop to the full extent of our abilities, and in which social justice ensures our collective well-being.

Why "My Education for Peace"?

Our current model of education, in ways that are equally apparent and subliminal, fosters the need for competition, individualism, and power, all of which serve as justifications for war. At NNOMY, we firmly believe that our peace effort begins through education: learning and teaching cooperation, solidarity, and tolerance. Only by creating an environment in which respect for the other and their differences becomes paramount can we surpass our culture's militaristic bent. "My Education for Peace" is a project that seeks to promote the discussion and dissemination of topics related to peace, war, and the consequences of militarism in society, as well as encourage peace-building within our schools. For NNOMY, it is of vital importance that we bring informational resources to students that can allow them to see the full width of peaceful career choices at their disposal. This is done through the Peaceful Careers directory.

What does it mean to be a Student for Peace?

A Student for Peace is one who hopes to widen the possibilities for their future through education, and wishes to counter war and school militarization through activism. One of NNOMY's key goals is to get students to participate in different activities that foster cooperation, solidarity, and the exchange of ideas, hoping to achieve peaceful coexistence in schools and communities.



What does it mean to be a Teacher for Peace?

A Teacher for Peace is one who seeks to instill the importance of cooperation, respect for the other, and peaceful coexistence in their students, thus making it possible for them to have the tools necessary for choosing to build a future away from war and weapons. At NNOMY, we firmly believe that teachers are very influential figures in their students' lives. Because of that, we hope to form alliances that allow us all to build a peaceful society from within our classrooms.

What does it mean to be a Counselor for Peace?

A Counselor for Peace is first and foremost an ally for students who sees properly informing students regarding the risks involved in military careers as a priority. It is also important that they point students towards future paths properly suited to their abilities, situation, and possibilities, that way offering them a sincere evaluation of their professional options.


What is Militarism?

We understand militarism as the imposition of values and dynamics inherent in military structures upon civil society, as well as their influence on state policy. It is a process that promotes hierarchy, as well as the use (and abuse) of power. Its propagation can use many compelling arguments, among them the need to instill military values on civilian society. Militarism carries with it consequences such as the loss of civil rights and the prioritization of expenditure on military projects over social ones, which hastens the deterioration of social services.

Why do we reject school militarization?

Through youth militarization and recruitment, the culture of war and violence is fostered in our schools; children and young people deserve a peaceful future, in which their options amount to much more than surviving armed conflicts that are fought for the economic interests of the few. We want to work towards a world free from war, which we believe possible if our efforts stem from peace education.

What is the Peace Pill?

"Peace Pill" is an audiovisual project in which we use short, four-minute videos to highlight events and people related to peaceful activism against war, as well as those in favor of human rights and social justice. War is seen as a social illness, and a consequence of militarism in our society, so we hope that our "Peace Pills" can be a form of medicine to raise awareness of and stimulate interest in activism. "Peace Pill" is an informational tool we are using to build our Education for Peace.

Resources (NOTE) You must register on the NNOMY website to download this document)

Download this page as a PDF for printing and distribution inside your school to inform students teachers and counselors about this national project. Also consider sharing My Education for Peace with the Student Peace Clubs in your school.

School Marksmanship Training

ENAC presenting to San Diego City School BoardOne way that concerned citizens can successfully address the issue of gun violence is to work locally for the removal of marksmanship programs and shooting ranges from high schools.

Such programs introduce gun culture into a school environment where zero-tolerance for weapons of any kind is supposed to be the standard policy. Over 2,000 high schools make an exception to zero-tolerance by allowing marksmanship training. It sends a mixed message to their students and puts them at risk for the potential promotion of school violence, as we saw in the February 2018 school shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.

To address this issue, the National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth (NNOMY), in collaboration with Project on Youth and Non-Military Opportunities - Project YANO, has developed a new resource called, Guide to Removing Marksmanship Training from High Schools.
This guide documents the process and strategies learned by the Education Not Arms Coalition. Comprised of students, teachers, and parents, the coalition successfully lobbied for the removal of marksmanship training and shooting ranges from eleven high schools in the very militarized city of San Diego, California.

2/10/09 Board of Education debate and approval of marksmanship training ban.

NNOMY recommends this proven strategy for organizing a campaign for the removal of marksmanship training on a school district level thus accomplishing an important aspect of school demilitarization.

Here are some of the accomplishments of the Education Not Arms Coalition strategy:

  • School Board Voted to End Weapons Training in their school district.
  • Shooting ranges from eleven high schools in the San Diego school district were removed.
  • The practice of involuntarily placing students in JROTC was ended.
  • Marine Corps JROTC enrollment at one San Diego school fell so low that the unit was eventually forced to leave.

Download a PDF copy of the Guide  HERE 

This Guide includes:

1.   Strategy: why ban marksmanship training and not jrotc?
2.   Why focus on local action versus state or federal action?
3.   Administrative versus policy approaches to banning marksmanship training
4.   ENAC: an example of a successful organizing campaign
5.   Suggested steps for a campaign
6.   Sample organizing documents



Don't Accept the Militarization of Your School! Activate for Peaceful Learning Choices.



 Revised FC 10/10/2023


Counter-Recruitment Season

Kevin Young -

Army of None“Counter-recruitment,” alternatively known as “truth-in-recruiting” or CR for brevity’s sake, involves providing young people and their parents with information about alternatives to military enlistment (college, vocational training, job opportunities, scholarships, etc.). At the same time, CR campaigns can provide a sense of the terrible realities of war by exposing students and parents to the words of soldiers, veterans, and foreign war victims. Since most military recruits enlist 1) because they see no other option, and/or 2) because they have a deluded and romantic view of war, the military, and US foreign policy, CR efforts can fill two important gaps in young people’s knowledge.

One of the lesser-known aspects of the “No Child Left Behind” Act of 2001 is a provision requiring all public high schools to provide military recruiters with students’ private contact information. The only way to avoid the release of this information is to submit a signed “opt-out” form to school administrators every year by a district-specific deadline, usually sometime between mid-September and mid-October. School administrators are legally obliged to send the opt-out form home with students, but many do not, and often the forms get overlooked within the massive information packets sent home at the start of the school year. The months of August, September, and October are thus particularly crucial for CR efforts.

What follows is an analysis of the importance of counter-recruitment and a brief starters’ guide for those who might be inclined to engage in it this fall, with links to sample leaflets and educational information.

Parents: The Anti-Recruiter

Dr. Teresa Whitehurst -

Army temptation"Temptation is not random, nor is it one-size-fits-all. Instead, it will always attach itself to our unique talents and aspirations. One of temptation's cleverest tricks is to seduce that which is a strength. Our strength can become our downfall because we're tripped up through the misuse or misdirection of our talents and ambitions."

- Jesus on Parenting: 10 Essential Principles That Will Transform Your Family

My daughter works in the guidance office of her high school. She runs errands, takes calls, files paperwork, and does all she can to help guidance counselors as they advise and assist college-bound students. But demand is low this year: With recruiters sitting in the hallway, playing rock music at a cafeteria table at lunch, and striking up chummy conversations with kids every chance they get, and with every senior's first period devoted not to academics but to watching Channel One's recruiting TV, military prep is winning young hearts and minds away from college prep.

On parent-teacher night, I entered the guidance office and noticed large recruiting posters on the wall. There were no college-recruiting posters or ads of any sort. Inside the guidance counselors' offices, students can't help but see more military posters and stacks of glossy recruiting brochures, booklets, and magazines. If you didn't know better, you'd think you were at the Army Recruiting Office near the mall, not a public school guidance office that's supposedly dedicated to helping students make the most of their educational experience and continue on to college or trade school.

A guidance counselor may never say a word about joining the military. But then again, she really doesn't need to: the recruiting posters and materials do it for her. Students can't help but see them, and if they ever pick up a brochure while they're waiting, they're bound to feel the pull of exceedingly well-researched appeals to teen psychology.


How Military Recruiting Posters and Brochures Persuade Teens at School

Marketing whizzes at MTV, The Gap, and Abercrombie and Fitch know how to appeal to kids in need of confidence, direction, escape, and/or an identity, but the military is even better at it. And considering enlistment's distinct disadvantages over purchasing clothing and music (with the former you stand a good chance of getting killed or losing an eye, a limb, or your mental health), the marketing tricks in military materials must be far more sophisticated and on target. Here's just a sampling of the psychological and financial appeals used to persuade kids (all bold print and caps are as-printed on the brochures):

Large folded brochures for the Army are made of high-quality glossy card stock, featuring a macho-looking grainy yellow-and-black color theme:

Appeal #1:Immediate excitement; freedom from decision-making; unlimited career options; supportive, sky's-the-limit guidance from implicit father figures. Free money now, free money later, free college later, and free gifts now.

The cover teases: "FACT: CAREER ADVICE IS ALWAYS BETTER WHEN IT COMES WITH A FREE GIFT." The brochure folds out into five sections featuring pictures of white and black soldiers adjusting things in cockpits, wearing gas masks, working on laptops, and staring at a propeller of some sort. One section has three columns:

"US ARMY: SERVE AS A FULL-TIME SOLDIER STATIONED IN THE UNITED STATES OR OVERSEAS: Up to $70,000 for college after you serve, Up to $20,000 enlistment bonus, The chance to qualify for over 150 careers. …

"ARMY RESERVE: TRAIN NEAR HOME AND SERVE WHEN NEEDED: Up to $22,000 for college, while you serve, Up to $10,000 enlistment bonus, The chance to qualify for over 120 careers. … An extra paycheck every month. …

"ROTC: RESERVE OFFICER TRAINING CORPS: TRAIN TO BECOME AN OFFICER IN THE US ARMY OR ARMY RESERVE WHILE ATTENDING COLLEGE: Entry into the Army as an Officer, Up to $20,000 scholarship a year, Up to $4,000 annual stipend, Generous textbook allowance."

On the back cover, the bold print continues: "IN THE ARMY, YOU'LL GET GUARANTEED TRAINING AND IMMEDIATE RESPONSIBILITY. NOT TO MENTION A FREE GIFT JUST FOR FINDING OUT MORE." The student is told, "Great careers start with great training, and that's what the Army is all about."

(The Army is "all about" career training?) Then comes the catch: "Return the card below to learn more, and you'll get a free US Army T-shirt. See? Your training is paying off already." Two tear-off cards are attached: One sells hard, "SEND ME MORE INFORMATION AND A FREE US ARMY T-SHIRT," while the other cries, "PLEASE SEND THIS TO A FRIEND."

At the bottom of each card in ridiculously small print (I had to get a magnifying glass to read it), an "act now!" flavor is added: "Offer expires April…" "You must be between the ages of 16 and 34…" and "The information you voluntarily provide, including your Social Security number, will be used for recruiting purposes only. Your Social Security Number will be used to analyze individual response to this mailing." (emphasis added)

APPEAL #2: Magical, immediate rescue from poverty, crime-ridden neighborhood, racism/hostility/contempt from adults, crummy school, and unemployment. All obstacles vanish as soon as the student enlists, and riches start pouring in.

Another yellow/black Army brochure is more blunt, designed for kids whose families can't afford to send them to college. The cover shouts: "LEARN HOW TO OVERCOME OBSTACLES. LIKE COLLEGE TUITION." On the next page, these are the only words: "GET UP TO $68,000 FOR COLLEGE." On the page after that, these are the only words: 3 WAYS TO EARN.

On the following drop-down pages, hip photos of an ecstatic-looking white soldier leaning on a chain-link fence; somber, intelligent-looking Asian and African-American men dressed in medical clothing and standing in an operating room; and a vulnerable-looking white woman in fatigues who's sitting on the ground holding a camera.

APPEAL #3: Buy now, pay later message: Get immediate money without even working! Don't worry about war and possible maiming or death – that's far away in the distant future. Just enjoy your free $120 every month today.

The "sales close" is headlined: "SIGN UP NOW, SERVE LATER." The text explains that with the Delayed Entry Program, you can "have your plans for after graduation all lined up. Enlist in the Army now, and the career training you select will be reserved for up to a year. Or enlist in the Army Reserve now, and you can earn over $120 a month during your school year, even before you go away to Basic Training."

APPEAL #4: Buddy system to allay realistic fears of getting wounded or killed. Free gifts allow teens to imagine being soldiers without risk, with "personalized Dog Tags" and Army gym bags. Message: If you're scared of entering the military and combat, convince your friends to enlist too: for a short time you and your buddies can have sleepovers and hang out together. It'll be fun.

"JOIN WITH A FRIEND: Buddy Team Enlistment Option: Sign up with a friend, and if you both qualify, you'll go through Basic Training, Advanced Individual Training and your first Active Duty assignment together." Then the clincher: "GET MORE INFORMATION AND A FREE ARMY GYM BAG."

In case the gym bag isn't enough, another couple of cards were mailed to my daughter at the same time, pleading: "PLEASE SHARE THIS WITH A FRIEND. Learn more about the Army and get a free personalized Dog Tag. Just send in his form. … There is no cost or obligation."

APPEAL #5: Finding (or consenting to) one's destiny; freedom from decision-making.

A Navy brochure, smaller but more colorful and hip, appeals to kids' confusion, anxiety, and the pressing need to find meaning and direction: "Sometimes you go in search of your destiny. Sometimes, it finds YOU instead. Welcome to your future."

APPEAL #6: Psychological support and flattery to boost low self-esteem/confidence.

Inside the Navy brochure, students read what they wish their parents and teachers would say – but are often too busy, stressed, or cautious to tell them: "You have one life. How far can it take you? AS FAR AS YOU WANT TO GO. Navy Advanced programs. They're not for everyone. Frankly, we don't take everyone – only certain individuals with special qualifications. Pride. Intelligence. Integrity. And guts."

APPEAL #7: Promises of excitement, adventure, macho identity, superiority to friends; immediate rescue from boredom, lack of options, and meaningless, dead-end jobs.

"In Navy Advanced Programs, you'll do more in six short years than most do in a lifetime." There are photos of young men wearing things on their heads: goggles, masks, helmets, and headphones, above which are the words: "TWO-THIRDS OF THE WORLD IS UNDERWATER. SO MUCH FOR HAVING TO ACHIEVE YOUR POTENTIAL FROM A 6' BY 8' CUBICLE." Under the photos are the words: "Brace yourself: Each advanced program is far from ordinary. Far from what your friends are probably doing. And far more meaningfully."

APPEAL #8: Promises of intellectual challenge, not just physical, macho adventure; promises of equal opportunity for minorities and women.

On the next page there are photos of an Asian man working complex controls (the word TECHNICAL is superimposed, perhaps to make sure young teens understand that working controls is technical), a Hispanic woman spraying something on a metal object, and a black person of indefinite gender fiddling with large red circular items.

APPEAL #9: Reassurance that the military offers better education than college ever could; promises of being given the responsibility and power of life-and-death decisions/actions; "adrenaline-pumping" excitement; saving time (earn-degrees-while-making money); and cash now.

The exciting caption under those photos reads: "Getting a life and getting an education don't have to be mutually exclusive. You tend to learn more when you do it, rather than hear about it. You tend to learn more when the lives of co-workers depend on your skills. You tend to learn more when your teacher weighs 97,000 tons. There's a lot to be said for having a nuclear aircraft carrier as a teacher. Not the least of which is that in two years of hands-on, adrenaline-pumping training, you'll not only have the adventure of a lifetime, you'll be just credits away from an associate's degree. All while getting paid."

APPEAL #10: Impressing friends; self-esteem boost via superiority to "most people"; tacit reassurance that training won't require academic skills or classroom success; free international travel; James Bond intrigue and adventure; power/sex appeal through identification with powerful, sexy things (warships, nuclear reactors, and beautiful on-ship women) – and, last but not least, "saving the world."

More captions: "DO MORE THAN AMAZE YOUR FRIENDS. AMAZE THE WORLD. Navy Advanced Programs take you around the world. Using equipment most people could never dream of. From working on nuclear reactors to decoding encrypted foreign communications. Where do you see yourself? Check out the possibilities…"

Next are magazine-style sound bites: "Underwater surveillance. Search-and-rescue operations. Assembling and maintaining nuclear-capable ballistic missiles. In advanced electronics, adventure, intrigue and saving the world are all in a day's work."

Photos illustrate unstated promises: An African-American man is tinkering with wires, a Latino man is steering something, and a pretty, smiling blonde woman, her silky hair blowing in the wind, is holding onto a railing of some sort. The captions read: "Get behind the most powerful warships on earth. Maintain the Navy's most advanced propulsion systems and gas turbine engines. Analyze foreign communications data. Keep the world's strongest fleet moving. And thrive on the bottomless supply of adventure."

The following page shows a man wearing mountains of gear, an oxygen tank, white gloves, and a huge helmet, doing something with a large hose. The caption beckons, "If you're into adrenaline. Welcome to your DAY JOB." On another page, a white sailor is watching a black sailor who's touching some wiring while holding a 3-ring binder: The caption reads, "What makes the Navy the world's strongest? America's smartest."

On the postage-paid reply card, another pretty adolescent girl in a shapely red sweater sits on what appears to be a naval ship. The caption asks, "What's a typical day for a Navy Sailor? What do they do in their free time? What's it like to live on a ship? Get the answers in 12 minutes. Fill out this card for your FREE, 12-minute video." The card asks for all the usual identifying information, "for recruiting purposes only."

Parents and teachers who care about kids should study each of these appeals and inoculate naïve, trusting teens against their seductive powers. Don't let the military become your child's parent by filling his or her unmet needs – fill as many of those needs as you can, before it's too late. Talk with teens about the deception and psychological tricks in glossy recruiting. To paraphrase a well-known ad campaign, "Communication: The Anti-Recruiter."



Dr. Teresa Whitehurst is a clinical psychologist and writer who works in research on leadership for Harvard University. She writes and speaks extensively on parenting issues, conducts seminars and workshops, and has participated in various radio shows in the Boston and Nashville areas. She lives in Portsmouth, Virginia.


New Jersey’s Occupied School Districts

Michelle Renee Matisons and Seth Sandronsky -

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (left) and Newark school chief Cami Anderson (right) teamed up, along with former mayor (now Senator) Corey Booker to implement corporate "school reform" and the charter school attack on public education in the state's largest city.With globalization, the expansion of capitalist production has doubled the planetary work force, and U.S. elites in New Jersey and other “blue and red states” are defunding urban education services and then conveniently refunding education through private market interventions. As corporate America flexes its political power by renting lawmakers at all levels, mass incarceration of the racialized populace has been a key social policy reflecting this trend of globalized class power. Like the War on Drugs that parallels it, the War on Public Schools directs public attention to a singular cause for the class inequality inherent in the capitalist system. Both “wars” masquerade as comprehensive solutions to crime and poverty, fixating on symptoms and not root causes of social problems.

Racialized class power is found everywhere in predatory reform targeting poor urban school districts. Like the War on Drugs, it disproportionately affects poor people of color, but poor urban and rural whites are casualties in both wars too. The bipartisan War on Public Schools picks up and exacerbates social outcomes created by the bipartisan War on Drugs: urban communities continually bear the brunt of a political system unified by racialized class power. Far from withering away, contemporary U.S. capitalism increasingly relies upon the state’s regulatory powers.

America's Child Soldiers

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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The National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth (NNOMY) is supported by individual contributions and a grant by the Craigslist Charitable Fund - 2023 Except where otherwise noted, content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. NNOMY websites are hosted by The Electric Embers Coop.

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