The Pentagon’s Pied PiperWe are Americans who have reaped the benefits of living in a free country. We have enjoyed the benefit of freedom because of the men and women who have served and who are serving to protect our Constitutional Republic. We know the freedoms we enjoy were not free, and that many generations of Americans have paid dearly for them. Their sacrifices have delivered us to this point in history. We are the freest people in the world.
As Americans, bequeathed the gift of freedom, we in turn, must deliver it intact to the next generation. It is our responsibility to guard it. It is our right, and it is our duty to speak out against ANY hint of a threat to our hard won liberties. We did not acquire, nor can we hope to maintain, our freedom by cowering to “the powers that be.”
That said, the topic of this letter is Military Recruiting on High School Campuses.
At the age of 16 and 17, our children are just beginning to drive. They cannot vote and are not considered mature enough to make decisions for themselves about alcohol. Why then, are they old enough to make decisions involving matters of life and death? Why are they subjected to the predatory sales pitches of Military Recruiters on a regular basis at school? Why is the Department of Defense (DOD) trying to become a partner in our public school system?
As part of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002, any school that receives Federal Funding is required to provide Military Recruiters with access to our children and their personal information. The information is stored at the Pentagon in the Joint Advertising Market Research & Studies (JAMRS) central database. In addition to the directory and academic information that schools are required to provide, they are complicit in providing information that is even more personal. Most schools actively promote the use of an aptitude test “marketed” as a career skills assessment test. I use the term “marketed” here because the DOD has hired marketing firms to help them sell military enlistment to potential recruits. The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) was developed by the DOD. It is the admissions and placement test for the U.S. Military. Students generally take this test in their junior year. The test is administered and evaluated by the military. The information becomes part of the student’s record in the JAMRS. Recruiters use the collected information to do TARGETED RECRUITMENT of students in the 11th and 12th grades. They use sophisticated methods to determine exactly how to approach our children and get results. The goal here is to get your child to enlist!
You and your child may or may not have considered the possibility of a future with the military. This option is entirely personal, and should be your family’s private decision. You should be aware though that there is a very aggressive recruitment program going on at your High School. Ask your children how often they see Military Recruiters on campus. Ask them if they have seen one of the “really cool hummers” with the big screen TV and video game in the back of it. It was on my children’s campus last Wednesday.
For detailed information about the accelerated recruitment program look up
USAREC Pamphlet 350-13, here: http://rncwatch.typepad.com/counterrecruiter/SchoolRecruitingProgramHandbook.pdf
My intention with this letter is to inform other parents, of what I myself have just discovered. I personally do not approve of our schools allowing our children to be manipulated with these sophisticated marketing techniques. I believe this DOD program puts parents at a significant disadvantage when it comes to helping our children make decisions about their career goals. Our children do not have the experience to recognize a salesperson when they meet one. They are especially vulnerable to those who come wrapped in “all the glory” of honor and country, those who know exactly which buttons to push. This is not a level playing field, and not one that our children should be facing at school.
Lastly, but equally important, why is the Department of Defense involved in our public school at all? The implications of trends like this are frightening. Is this going to be another Federal Policy that we allow “them” to force on us? Are we going to accept it? It is something we had better be thinking about because Military Recruiters are playing the Pentagon’s Pied Piper tune in the halls of our public schools.