Targeting Youth: What Everyone Should Know About Military

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Targeting Youth: What Everyone Should Know About Military

Postby admin » Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:06 am

TARGETING YOUTH: WHAT EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT MILITARY RECRUITING IN PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOLS
a Report Prepared by The Constitutional Litigation Clinic, Rutgers School of Law-Newark

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Under the supervision of Clinical Professor Penny Venetis, the following students and interns contributed to writing this report: Heidi Alexander, Avi Appel, Erica Askin, Amy Brown, Eric Bueide, Matthew Coleman, Randle DeFalco, Jason Fertakos, Lisa Hansen, Safia Hussain, Michael Isaac, Syrion Jack, Daniel Louis, Devi Shah, Nadia Rollins, and Robert Ulon.

Image

November 2007

Table of Contents:

• EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
• I. INTRODUCTION
• II. THE MILITARY PURPOSEFULLY USES ADVERTISING TECHNIQUES TO LURE ADOLESCENTS INTO ENLISTING

o A. Tax Dollars Fund Aggressive Marketing Tactics
o B. The Armed Forces Hire Top Advertising Firms to Sell Messages of Adventure and Patriotism That Do Not Portray the Harsh Realities of War
o C. The Military Uses Behavioral Psychology to Create Coercive Marketing Campaigns Targeting Adolescents
o D. The Military’s School Recruitment Program Handbook is a Sales Plan That Refers to High Schools as “Markets”
• III. MILITARY RECRUITERS EXERT INFLUENCE OVER TEENAGERS WITHOUT PARENTAL CONSENT
o A. The Military Has Extensive Information About Students.
o B. The No Child Left Behind Act Requires Schools to Notify Parents of Their Right to Keep Recruiters From Contacting Their Children
o C. Schools that Fail to Notify Parents of Their “Opt-Out” Rights are in Violation of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
o D. Recommendations to Protect Parents’ Rights
• IV. THE JUNIOR RESERVE OFFICERS’ TRAINING PROGRAM RECRUITS CHILDREN WHO ARE YOUNGER THAN 17
o A. The Recruiting Debate and JROTC
o B. Donna High School Marine Corps JROTC Program
• V. IMPACT OF THE ONGOING WARS ON MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES
o A. Members of the Armed Forces Serve Up to Four Tours of Duty.
o B. Soldiers Returning from Iraq and Afghanistan Suffer from Brain Damage and Other Psychological Disorders
o C. Suicide is a Growing Epidemic in the Military
o D. Women in the Military are Not Out of Harm’s Way
o E. How We Fail Wounded Veterans – The Heath Care Crisis
• VI. STUDENTS INTERESTED IN ENLISTING TO RECEIVE EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS HAVE OTHER OPTIONS
o A. New Jersey State Scholarship Programs
o B. Military Educational Benefits Available to High School Enlistees
o C. Military-Based Education Assistance for College Students and Graduates
o D. Enlistment Benefits for College Students and Graduates Not Enrolled in ROTC Programs
• VII. CONCLUSION
• VIII. RECOMMENDATIONS.
• Appendices
o A. School Recruiting Program Handbook
o B. Sample Emergency Form Opt-Out Language
o C. Sample Opt-Out Letter For Parents
o D. Veteran Health Care Fact Sheet
• Endnotes

The harder it is to recruit teenagers to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan, the more tax dollars are spent on military recruitment advertising. The budget for recruiting advertising campaigns nearly tripled from fiscal years 1990 to 2003. The National Priorities Project reports that prior to 2006, more than $4 Billion per year was spent on recruiting related expenditures. According to the Department of Defense, the 2009 budget for military recruitment is up to $20.5 Billion.

Indeed, under 10 U.S.C.A. § 503, the “Secretary of Defense is required by law to enhance the effectiveness of DOD’s recruitment programs through an aggressive program of advertising and market research targeted at prospective recruits and those who may influence them.”...

The Billions of dollars spent on advertising could be used for scholarships and other youth programs....

The military has conducted extensive research into the psychological and behavioral factors that influence teenagers to enlist in the military....The Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) administers the YATS to students annually so that changes in youth “demographic trends, cultural characteristics, attitudes, and educational attainments” can be tracked by the DOD to formulate recruiting strategies....

The military’s marketing campaigns emphasize patriotic themes and tales of adventure that appeal to teenage sensitivities, while downplaying the actual risks of war....

[I]n teens, the judgment, insight and reasoning power of the frontal cortex is not being brought to bear on the task as it is in adults.

The United States Supreme Court has also recognized the psychological vulnerability of children and teenagers in several landmark decisions. In 2005, in discussing why the execution of juveniles is unconstitutional, the Supreme Court cited “[s]cientific and sociological studies documenting the tendency of adolescents to make “impetuous and ill-considered decisions”; their susceptibility to “negative influences and outside pressures": and the "transitory" nature of their character traits....

Recognizing the psychological vulnerability of children, Congress passed laws prohibiting slick marketing campaigns that glamorize risky behaviors such as smoking and drinking. For similar reasons, as the obesity rate among young people has soared, school officials and legislators have targeted the sale of unhealthy foods on school campuses....

While a broad consensus exists that teenagers lack the decision-making capacity of adults, the military deliberately exploits this immaturity by equating the military with video games and other entertainment....

Often the military prominently displays its promotional materials inside or nearby the school cafeteria, where the entire student population can be exposed to the recruiters’ messages....

The Army also plans to use cell phone text messages, helicopter simulators in the back of eighteen wheelers, and visits to NASCAR and rodeo races. “[R]ecruiters will visit schools and malls a few days before an event, offering free tickets and the chance to meet famous drivers or bull riders.”

Military recruiters create a customized “pitch” for each individual student based in part on personal information gathered from the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test (ASVAB)....

Military recruiters are instructed to “read yearbooks to ‘mysteriously’ know something about a prospect to spark the student’s curiosity.”...

"[C]hallenge his ego by suggesting that basic training may be too difficult for him and he might not be able to pass it."...

Recruiters view each teenager as a potential sale, rather than an individual who is trying to navigate the difficult years of adolescence. Indeed, the Secretary of Defense’s Director of Recruiting Policy stated that the military concentrates on schools most likely to “maximize returns on the recruiting dollar [because] the advertising and marketing research people tell us to go where the low-hanging fruit is. In other words, we fish where the fish are.”...

[T]he military’s School Recruitment Program Handbook (“SRP Handbook”), instructs them to “penetrate the school market” and achieve “school ownership.”... High schools are referred to as “markets” where recruiters make “sales presentations” to students....

[R]ecruiters are becoming fixtures in the public school system....

Recruiters are told to give out free mugs, calendars and office supplies with the Army logo on them to school employees...

The SRP Handbook refers to educators as “tools” to further implement the military’s goals....

To facilitate this “ownership,” recruiters are instructed to approach youths as early and as often as possible and to seek help from school administrators and popular students, or “centers of influence,” (“COIs”) in the recruiting process....

"If you wait until they’re seniors, it’s probably too late." ...

[T]he SRP Handbook encourages military recruiters to “[g]et involved with local Boy Scout troops,” because “ scoutmasters are typically happy to get any assistance you can offer.” ... the actual age range for the Boy Scouts is ten to eighteen years old. This means that military recruiters not only target younger high school students, but have access to boys as young as ten years of age, without any parental knowledge or permission....

"Some influential students such as the student president or the captain of the football team may not enlist; however, they can and will provide you with referrals who will enlist."...

"Know [their] student influencers. Students such as class officers, newspaper and yearbook editors, and athletes can help build interest in the Army among the student body. Keep them informed."...

"Be indispensable to school administrators, counselors, faculty, and students. Be so helpful and so much a part of the school scene that you are in constant demand ... Cultivate coaches, librarians, administrative staff, and teachers"...

Military recruiters are instructed to “eat lunch in the school cafeteria" ... The Army’s “Calendar of School Activities” urges military recruiters to "wear [their] dress blues" to school events commemorating Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday and to participate in activities during Black History Month and Hispanic Heritage Month. There is no mention, however, of similar events such as Columbus Day and Saint Patrick’s Day, which are days of ethnic pride for Irish and Italian-Americans....

[T]he Navy created a Web site, called El Navy, which is designed to better communicate with the Hispanic market,” and “the Army has specifically tailored radio advertisements to reach the African-American market.”...

"Obtain a copy of the HS fall sports and activity calendars [and] arrange to have the schedules copied with the RS [Recruiting Station] address prominently displayed. Post them throughout the RS area, including restaurants, arcades, and anywhere else students congregate"...

"Contact the school’s student government ... to discuss what the Army and you can do to assist them in the upcoming SY ... The football team usually starts practicing in August. Contact the coach and volunteer to assist in leading calisthenics or calling cadence during team runs"...

"Attend athletic events at the HS ... Get involved with the parent-teacher association ... Obtain a tactical vehicle from a local USAR [“US Army Recruiting”] troop program unit and drive it in the parade with your future Soldiers riding along.... Deliver donuts and coffee for the faculty once a month.... Hispanic Heritage Month. Participate in events as available"...

"Offer to be a chaperone or escort for homecoming activities and coronations."...

"Assemble and offer a color guard for the opening home game... Prior to Thanksgiving, many student organizations gather food baskets for needy citizens. Offer your assistance and get involved."...

"Contact college students who are home during the holidays." ...

"Turn up the tempo on contacting your juniors." ...

"[A]rrange for an exhibition basketball game between the faculty and Army recruiters." ...

"Prepare certificates for those faculty and staff members who have aided you in your HS recruiting efforts.... present these certificates at a COI [Center of Influence] event.... Continue to advertise in school newspapers and conduct class presentations."...

"Basketball season starts. Offer assistance to the coach." ...

"[S]end thank you notes to those staff and faculty members who have been helpful ... Secure and present USAR Scholar/Athlete Awards at HS graduation or award ceremonies ... Assist in arranging a color guard for the graduation ceremony ... Coordinate with school officials to determine if they can use your assistance during summer school.” ...

All four branches of the armed forces host all-expense paid workshops for educators....

Allen Kanner, a clinical psychologist and researcher on military recruiting, calls the use of teachers “a very clever marketing technique,” and explains: “Teachers are role models, and if they approve of something, then the students believe the whole school system approves of it.” ...

In 2008, to increase enlistment, the military increased its bonus allowance from $1,000.91 to $2,000.92 to members of the Army, National Guard, Army Reserve, retired service-members, and civilian Army employees who refer potential enlistees to recruiters. Authorized by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, active service members or veterans who convince someone to enlist receives $1,000 when the referred enlistee commences basic training, and another $2,000 when the referred enlistee completes basic training and individual advanced training. Under this program, essentially every service-member acts as a recruiter. The program encourages deceptive recruiting practices. Service members have a financial incentive to glorify the war and to minimize negative experiences.

***

Students who object to military presence in their high schools can be ostracized. For example, at one high school in Southern New Jersey, a student was reprimanded and ostracized for refusing to participate in a recruiter-led gym class that simulated military training. During the gym class, students were told to respond “yes sergeant” to the recruiter’s orders. The penalty for failing to respond was 20 push-ups. One student who refused to participate was removed from gym class for the day and initially given a “0” grade.

The student was later harassed by students and members of the school’s staff. Students called him “un-American” and a “Communist.” One student openly confronted him about the incident, sparking a public argument. A teacher chastised the student for refusing to participate in the military exercise. While doing so, the teacher referenced his grandparents who were holocaust survivors.

***

The irony is that DHS students and real Marines actually do share much in common. Both groups are largely poor. Enlisting in the Marines would not provide the average DHS student a way to escape their unpromising life. It will only change the scenery from Southern Texas to Iraq or Afghanistan, and add the risks of snipers, roadside bombs and firefights.

***

[A] Department of Defense policy change highlights that rape is pervasive.

***

Advantages to Enlisting During College: (1) Higher Sign-On Bonuses, (2) Those with Associates Degrees and college credits also qualify for higher sign-on bonuses, (3) Better Pay, (4) Those with Associates Degrees and college credits qualify for higher pay than enlistees who are only high school graduates, (5) More Elite Jobs....

In addition to receiving the benefits listed directly above, college graduates who enlist may reap additional benefits. The military has student loan repayment programs which can help enlistees repay existing student loans. Additionally, college graduates may be eligible to enlist directly into the officer candidate schools of the various military branches. This puts them on a fast-track to interesting careers with better pay and benefits.

***

E/COI tours are designed to be professionally enriching experiences for key influencers. They are not junkets or rewards for cooperation with recruiters. Tours are resources that must focus on those areas (access, ASVAB testing, and release of directory information) that need special attention. Tours provide E/COIs the opportunity to view Soldiers in a training environment. Many participants become informed supporters who publicize and promote Army opportunities with students, graduates, and other key influencers.

-- Targeting Youth: What Everyone Should Know About Military Recruiting in Public High Schools
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Re: Targeting Youth: What Everyone Should Know About Militar

Postby admin » Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:07 am

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The decision to join the military is a very serious one that should not be made lightly. Enlisting in the Armed Forces is an irreversible commitment to at least two years of wartime service. Teenagers considering enlisting should do so based on an honest and straightforward appraisal of the facts, rather than glossy advertising campaigns that glamorize military service without acknowledging its dangers.

This report presents facts about military recruitment and military service to help parents and students determine whether joining the military is appropriate or necessary. This Executive Summary of the report summarizes the detailed information contained in the rest of the report.

PARENTS AND CHILDREN CONSIDERING ENLISTMENT SHOULD BE AWARE THAT:

The Military Uses Aggressive Recruiting Tactics And Spends Billions Of Dollars On Advertising Firms To Convince Teenagers To Enlist.

• Funding for military recruitment is on the rise. The 2009 military advertising budget totals $20.5 Billion. This money is used for slick ads and video games designed by the same marketing firms that create commercials for major corporations, such as Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Nintendo. These ads and video games do not accurately portray the lives of soldiers and do not mention the dangers of war.
• Under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), schools are required to give recruiters access to students and student information. The NCLB and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) require that parents be told that they have the right to keep recruiters away from their children. High schools throughout the State do not notify parents of this right adequately, or at all.
• Under the NCLB, schools receiving federal funds must give military recruiters the same access to students as they give employers and college recruiters. But, schools throughout the State give recruiters much greater access to students than is required by law. There are no uniform rules in New Jersey for schools to control military recruiter behavior on campus. School officials do not supervise military recruiters. Lack of oversight allows recruiters to present students with unrealistic and false portrayals of military service.

Recruiters Do Not Present Families with Important Facts. With virtually unfettered access to high school students and limited oversight, military recruiters play up themes of adventure and patriotism while failing to present the realities of military service.

• Casualties. Military recruiters fail to adequately present the cost of military action. As of October, 2008 4,734 American troops have been killed and 33,012 have been wounded in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
• Realities of War.
o Students are not told that they will likely be sent to Iraq or Afghanistan, and that soldiers may be recalled for up to four separate tours of duty.
o Students are not told that between 12-20% of Iraq veterans suffer from serious psychological problems related to their military service.
o Recruiters give female students the impression that they will be out of harm’s way. While women do not serve in front line combat positions, they work some of the most dangerous jobs at the front lines.
o Female students are not informed about the dangers of sexual assault and harassment. Of women receiving care from the Veterans Administration, 23% reported sexual assault and 55% reported harassment during their service. Furthermore, women report higher rates of psychological disorders than men.
• Wounded Veterans do not Receive Adequate Health Care. Given the prevalence of injuries in the line of duty, recruiters should inform students about the lack of health care for wounded veterans.
o The U.S. Congress has found that numerous Veterans Administration centers and hospitals offer sub-standard health services.
o Many injured soldiers are turned away from Veterans Administration centers on the basis that their illness was caused by a “pre-existing” condition not related to combat duty.
o If you are injured in combat, the only other way to get full benefits is to suffer a “service-related” disability. The VA has been routinely classifying serious injuries as “non-service-related.” As a result, veterans do not receive health care coverage for injuries sustained during the war.
o On average, veterans wait six months for the Veterans Administration to process medical claims. The appeals process for rejected claims averages 3.5 years. Soldiers are not permitted to seek legal representation to expedite their claims.
• Military Reserve Soldiers Are Real Soldiers.
o Military Reserve soldiers are real soldiers and can be called to active duty at any time.
o There is less support to Reservists who return from active duty.
o Reserve soldiers suffer from higher rates of suicide.
• Education: If a student’s sole goal in joining the military is to pursue a college education, the student should explore the many scholarship opportunities available in New Jersey and consider participating in college ROTC programs.
o The new GI Bill, which will start delivering education benefits in August 2009, makes it easier for soldiers to gain access to education funding. But, the Bill still requires 36 months of active duty service and an honorable discharge (or its equivalent) before a veteran can receive benefits that would pay for a typical undergraduate degree.
o There are numerous scholarships that are available in New Jersey that do not require military service.
o If a student has good grades, the student should consider applying to the ROTC program as an entering freshman or during college. In a college ROTC program, the military offers many scholarships that pay for students’ college education in full. Additionally, ROTC graduates receive higher pay, more responsibility, and better benefits than enlistees who do not have a degree.
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Re: Targeting Youth: What Everyone Should Know About Militar

Postby admin » Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:07 am

I. INTRODUCTION

Military enlistment is a major life decision and should not be taken lightly, particularly during times of war. The United States has been at war in Afghanistan since 2001 and Iraq since 2003. These campaigns have come at a steep cost to America and its citizens. As of October 2008, 4,734 American troops have been killed and 33,012 have been wounded. The military has extended soldiers’ tours in both length and number, and the length of their leave between tours has been shortened. The impact of the increased strain on American soldiers has been profound. Aside from deaths and numerous life-altering injuries suffered by soldiers, rates of suicide, posttraumatic stress syndrome, and instances of sexual assault and other criminal misconduct within the military have risen significantly.

Beginning in 2004, the military routinely fell short of its recruiting goals. In response, the military began a multi-Billion dollar Madison Avenue-driven marketing campaign to sell military service to America’s youth. Facilitating this effort is the No Child Left Behind Act (“NCLB”), a federal statute aimed at equalizing the quality of education throughout the nation. A little-known provision of that law aids military recruitment. The NCLB requires public high schools that receive federal funding to give recruiters access to students and student information, including contact information of all juniors and seniors who fail to affirmatively “opt-out” of the information release. But, many schools throughout the state fail to notify parents of their right to “opt-out” and to keep recruiters from their children. As a result, children are exposed to aggressive recruitment tactics without parental knowledge or approval.

This report aims to provide as much information as possible so students and their families can make informed decisions about whether to join the military. The report discusses: (1) the military’s aggressive recruiting efforts; (2) how these tactics are imported to the high schools under NCLB; (3) the actual educational benefits available to new recruits; (4) how these benefits compare to non-military sources of educational financial aid; and (5) the impact of the war on current soldiers and veterans. The report concludes with a series of recommendations to ensure that students who decide to enlist will do so based on an unbiased and full understanding of what it means to join the military during wartime.
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Re: Targeting Youth: What Everyone Should Know About Militar

Postby admin » Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:12 am

II. THE MILITARY PURPOSEFULLY USES MISLEADING ADVERTISING TECHNIQUES TO LURE ADOLESCENTS INTO ENLISTING

A. TAX DOLLARS FUND AGGRESSIVE MARKETING TACTICS


To meet its human capital needs, the Department of Defense (“DOD”) “must convince about 200,000 people each year–the majority of them recent high school graduates–to join the military.” [1] Convincing young people to join the armed forces means competing with other postsecondary educational and career opportunities that are available to them, [2] and asking high school students to defer or forego college and/or employment. This has proved an increasingly difficult challenge as casualties mount and tours of duty lengthen. [3] The harder it is to recruit teenagers to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan, the more tax dollars are spent on military recruitment advertising. The budget for recruiting advertising campaigns nearly tripled from fiscal years 1990 to 2003. [4] The National Priorities Project reports that prior to 2006, more than $4 Billion per year was spent on recruiting related expenditures. [5] According to the Department of Defense, the 2009 budget for military recruitment is up to $20.5 Billion. [6]

Indeed, under 10 U.S.C.A. § 503, the “Secretary of Defense is required by law to enhance the effectiveness of DOD’s recruitment programs through an aggressive program of advertising and market research targeted at prospective recruits and those who may influence them.” [7]

B. THE ARMED FORCES HIRE TOP ADVERTISING FIRMS TO SELL MESSAGES OF ADVENTURE AND PATRIOTISM THAT DO NOT PORTRAY THE HARSH REALITIES OF WAR

Each branch of the armed forces has gotten more aggressive in its advertising efforts in recent years. [8] As casualties mount, the U.S. military spends Billions of tax dollars to recruit our youth, using the same tactics as advertising agencies that create ads to sell cars, sugary drinks, and fast food.

• In 2005, the Army entered into a five-year contract with global advertising firm McCann Erickson for $1.35 Billion of “advertising, promotional, and publicity programs to support all recruiting and retention programs.” [9] McCann Erickson’s client list includes multi-Billion dollar, multi-national corporations such as: Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson, Coca-Cola, ExxonMobil, General Motors, American Airlines, Goodyear, Intel, and Pfizer. [10] From 2000 to 2005, the Army had contracted with the Leo Burnett agency, which “handles many of the world's most valuable brands and successful marketers, including McDonald's, Disney, Procter & Gamble, Marlboro, Altoids, Heinz, Kellogg, and Nintendo. [11]
• The Navy spends over $90 Million taxpayer dollars annually on advertising and has a renewable $91.9 Million contract with the Campbell Edwald agency. [12] This makes the contract worth $468.8 Million if the renewal options are exercised over four years. Campbell Ewald’s clients include Chevrolet, General Motors, Michelin, and OnStar. [13]
• The Marines employ J. Walter Thompson Co. (“JWT”) of Atlanta, Georgia. [14] JWT is the largest advertising agency in the United States and the fourth-largest in the world. [15] The Marines multi-year contract with JWT is worth approximately $213 Million. [16] JWT also represents Bayer, Johnson & Johnson, HSBC, and Rolex. [17]
• The Air Force has contracted with Gurasich, Spence, Darilek and McClure (“GSD&M”) of Austin, Texas, whose clients include AT&T, Southwest Airlines, American Red Cross, BMW, John Deere, AARP, and MasterCard. [18] The Air Force’s renewable contract is worth $57 Million annually. [19]

These contracts, paid for with tax dollars, are very lucrative for advertising agencies. The Billions of dollars spent on advertising could be used for scholarships and other youth programs.

C. THE MILITARY USES BEHAVIORAL PSYCHOLOGY TO CREATE COERCIVE MARKETING CAMPAIGNS TARGETING ADOLESCENTS

The military has conducted extensive research into the psychological and behavioral factors that influence teenagers to enlist in the military. [20] In 1999, the Department of Defense (“DOD”) charged the National Academies of Sciences’ National Research Council to do a four-year study on youth attitudes toward the military and the effectiveness of advertising campaigns using the Youth Attitudes Tracking Survey (YATS). [21] The Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) administers the YATS to students annually so that changes in youth “demographic trends, cultural characteristics, attitudes, and educational attainments” can be tracked by the DOD to formulate recruiting strategies. [22] The DOD uses information derived from its behavioral research to guide its recruiting strategy and to influence teenagers to join the military. [23]

The military’s marketing campaigns emphasize patriotic themes and tales of adventure that appeal to teenage sensitivities, while downplaying the actual risks of war. For example, the Army’s television commercials show soldiers in grassy settings performing athletic feats such as jogging in formation, scaling an obstacle course, and leaping from a helicopter. These ads, however, “omit all but the most fleeting images related to the all-volunteer Army’s biggest endeavor ever: the war in Iraq.” [24] Ads fail to point out that “signing up these days almost inevitably means deployment to combat zones in Afghanistan or Iraq where more than 2,850 killed and 21,000 wounded have been soldiers. [25]”

Similarly, promotional materials left in schools by military recruiters fail to mention the negative consequences of war or the possibility of being deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan. [26] This lack of disclosure prevents a teenager from making an informed choice about a very serious life decision. While adult consumers may be fair game for manipulation by sophisticated marketers, impressionable teenagers should not be seduced into joining the military through psychological tactics that exploit adolescent vulnerabilities.

1. Adolescents Lack the Neurological Capacity to Make Fully Informed Decisions

The military is exploiting the fact that adolescents lack a fully-developed capacity to make informed decisions. Teenagers are less likely to consider the long-term consequences of their decisions than adults who are only a few years older. [27] In particular, “adolescents generally do not perceive or assess risk in the same way as adults,” and they “tend to make riskier decisions.” [28] Neurological studies reveal structural differences between the adult and adolescent brains. [29] Scientific research conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health shows that:

the greatest changes to the parts of the brain that are responsible for functions such as self-control, judgment, emotions, and organization occur between puberty and adulthood. This may help to explain certain teenage behavior . . . such as poor decision-making, recklessness, and emotional outbursts . . . compared to adults the teens’ frontal lobes (the seat of goal-oriented rational thinking) are less active . . . The results suggest that "in teens, the judgment, insight and reasoning power of the frontal cortex is not being brought to bear on the task as it is in adults. [30]


The United States Supreme Court has also recognized the psychological vulnerability of children and teenagers in several landmark decisions. [31] In 2005, in discussing why the execution of juveniles is unconstitutional, [32] the Supreme Court cited “[s]cientific and sociological studies documenting the tendency of adolescents to make “impetuous and ill-considered decisions”; their susceptibility to “negative influences and outside pressures": and the "transitory" nature of their character traits. [33]

As a result of drunken teens dying in auto crashes, Congress raised the minimum age for the purchase and possession of alcoholic beverages to 21. [34] Increasing the national drinking age to 21 has saved “an estimated 20,000 lives in the past 20 years.” [35] Recognizing the psychological vulnerability of children, Congress passed laws prohibiting slick marketing campaigns that glamorize risky behaviors such as smoking [36] and drinking. [37] For similar reasons, as the obesity rate among young people has soared, school officials and legislators have targeted the sale of unhealthy foods on school campuses. [38] Adolescents’ neurological immaturity has also been noted by auto safety experts, who advocate raising the minimum driving age, because “16-year-olds, the youngest drivers licensed in most states, are too immature to handle today's cars and roadway risks.” [39]

While a broad consensus exists that teenagers lack the decision-making capacity of adults, the military deliberately exploits this immaturity by equating the military with video games and other entertainment. This trivializes what should be a mature, serious, and sober decision to be made by teens and their families.

2. Interactive Military Games Target Teenagers

Military recruiters’ ability to affect young people is greatly enhanced by captivating images shown in the various promotional materials that they bring to schools, including brochures, DVDs, videos, and electronic games. Often the military prominently displays its promotional materials inside or nearby the school cafeteria, where the entire student population can be exposed to the recruiters’ messages.

The Army employs a range of techniques to entice potential recruits. It developed its own video game, “America’s Army,” which is available for free download at the Army’s recruiting website. [40] The game has 6.5 million registered users according to the Army’s website. [41] “America’s Army,” which has “become the gold standard for recruitment video games, cost $5.5 Million.” [42] The Army also plans to use cell phone text messages, helicopter simulators in the back of eighteen wheelers, and visits to NASCAR and rodeo races. [43] “[R]ecruiters will visit schools and malls a few days before an event, offering free tickets and the chance to meet famous drivers or bull riders.” [44]

At one location, the Army displays customized vehicles and a black Hummer with an Army logo and “a high-end audiovisual system.” [45] Two “flat-screen monitors” show Army footage from Iraq to the accompaniment of the Toby Keith song “American Soldier,” while a third monitor “displays images from an Xbox video game.” [46] A road show attraction includes an aviation van with a new Special Forces vehicle, “which includes a simulated parachute drop.” [47]

The Air Force maintains a website that allows a visitor to chat with an Air Force advisor in real time. [48] The Air Force features “‘USAF: Air Dominance,’ a simple flight simulator played on kiosks in Air Force mobile recruiting centers.” [49] The Air Force also maintains a fleet of customized SUV’s and trailers called RAPTORS (Reaching America’s Public to Optimize Recruiting), which come equipped with interactive games and a scale model of the latest fighter jet. [50] The Air Force deploys the RAPTORS at high schools, colleges, job fairs, sporting events, and in convention halls. [51]

The Navy has also joined the interactive game club with Strike and Retrieve.” [52] This online game is “based on shooting skills,” and is geared for “teens and young adults.” [53] “Strike and Retrieve” involves a spy plane downed over the Atlantic. [54] Players must “operate remote-controlled submarines that navigate a fantastic world of undersea caves, dangerous fish and enemy subs.” [55]

The game landed a “T” rating, for Teenager, from the Entertainment Software Rating Board for its flashy graphics. [56] A “T” rating means the material “may be suitable for ages 13 and older” and “may contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood and/or infrequent use of strong language.” While the Navy’s director of the advertising plans division was initially displeased about the ‘T’ rating,” he soon realized that it was better for recruitment. As he stated, “our target market is teenagers. If it were rated ‘E’ for Everyone, then a teenager might be less likely to play it because it’s not cool.” [57]

3. The Military Exploits Adolescent Insecurities

The military combines traditional mass media marketing with psychological tactics to influence students to enlist. The Army’s computer program, “the Blueprint,” trains military recruiters to:

[a]nalyze students and make a pitch according to what will strike a motivational chord – job training, college scholarships, adventure, signing bonuses, or service to country. [58]


Military recruiters create a customized “pitch” for each individual student based in part on personal information gathered from the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test (ASVAB). [59] The military:

pitches the test to schools as a free career exploration program, but its manual notes that [the ASVAB] is also ‘specifically designed’ to ‘provide the recruiter with concrete and personal information about the student.’ [60]


Military recruiters are instructed to “read yearbooks to ‘mysteriously’ know something about a prospect to spark the student’s curiosity.” [61] While “it is only natural for people to resist,” military recruiters learn sales techniques for “closing the deal.” [62] One such sales technique, the “challenge close” method, plays on adolescent male insecurities. This technique

works best with younger men. Be on friendly terms with your prospect, or this may backfire. It works like this: When you find difficulty in closing, particularly when your prospect’s interest seems to be waning, challenge his ego by suggesting that basic training may be too difficult for him and he might not be able to pass it. Then if he accepts your challenge, you will be a giant step closer to getting him to enlist. [63]


Recruiters view each teenager as a potential sale, rather than an individual who is trying to navigate the difficult years of adolescence. Indeed, the Secretary of Defense’s Director of Recruiting Policy stated that the military concentrates on schools most likely to “maximize returns on the recruiting dollar [because] the advertising and marketing research people tell us to go where the low-hanging fruit is. In other words, we fish where the fish are.” [64]

D. THE MILITARY’S SCHOOL RECRUITMENT PROGRAM HANDBOOK IS A SALES PLAN THAT REFERS TO HIGH SCHOOLS AS “MARKETS”

Recruiters must follow the military’s School Recruitment Program Handbook (“SRP Handbook”), which instructs them to “penetrate the school market” and achieve “school ownership.” [65] To achieve “school ownership,” recruiters employ traditional corporate marketing strategies developed by multi-Million dollar advertising firms. The SRP Handbook is a ten page document that gives detailed instructions to military recruiters, telling them how to convince students to enlist (It is attached to this report as Appendix A.) The SRP Handbook reveals that military recruiting is an exercise in pure salesmanship. High schools are referred to as “markets” where recruiters make “sales presentations” to students. [66]

The SRP Handbook ignores completely that public schools are places for students to learn. The SRP Handbook candidly states that following its instructions closely “is the cornerstone of mission accomplishment,” which is to “ensure an army presence in all secondary schools.” [67] A military recruiter has successfully “sold” a student when he or she enlists in the military. As popular support for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wane and casualties accumulate, to achieve “mission accomplishment,” recruiters are becoming fixtures in the public school system.

1. Penetrating the School Market: Winning the Trust of School Administrators

Recruiters are instructed by the SRP Handbook to employ a two-step strategy. First, win the trust of school administrators to gain maximum access to the student body and second, aggressively solicit students to enlist:

[r]ecruiters must first establish rapport in the schools. This is a basic step in the sales process and a prerequisite to an effective school program. . . . Once educators are convinced recruiters have their students’ best interests in mind the SRP can be effectively implemented. [68]


The SRP Handbook provides recruiters with tactics to help win the confidence of school administrators, who can assist them in the recruitment effort. Recruiters are told to give out free mugs, calendars and office supplies with the Army logo on them to school employees because “[s]omething as simple as an Army personal promotional item can help produce positive results.” [69] Military recruiters are also instructed to be courteous and helpful to the school’s administration and faculty. [70]

While this directive appears admirable at first glance, its explicit purpose is to win the trust of school employees and thereby facilitate “penetration” of the school market. The SRP Handbook refers to educators as “tools” to further implement the military’s goals. The SRP Handbook directs recruiters to employ aggressive solicitation techniques: “[i]f you can make an appointment for a sales presentation on the first contact, then do so.” [71] The SRP Handbook is clear that unhindered and unchecked access to students is the crucial first-step in the recruiting sales process.

2. Achieving “School Ownership”

After winning the trust of school administrators, a recruiter’s next required objective is to achieve “school ownership.” To facilitate this “ownership,” recruiters are instructed to approach youths as early and as often as possible and to seek help from school administrators and popular students, or “centers of influence,” (“COIs”) in the recruiting process. Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of this strategy is the deliberate targeting of children who are too young to enlist.

The SRP Handbook clearly instructs recruiters to target youths as early as possible. The SRP Handbook tells recruiters that high school seniors are by no means the only intended audience for their message:

[r]emember, first to contact, first to contract . . . that doesn’t just mean seniors or grads; it means having the Army perceived as a positive career choice as soon as young people begin to think about the future. If you wait until they’re seniors, it’s probably too late. [72]


The official policy of the military is to gain back door access to students who are not legally eligible to enlist in the military. Indeed, the SRP Handbook encourages military recruiters to “[g]et involved with local Boy Scout troops,” because “[s]coutmasters are typically happy to get any assistance you can offer.” [73] “[M]any scouts are HS students and potential enlistees or student influencers.” [74] What the Handbook fails to mention is that the actual age range for the Boy Scouts is ten to eighteen years old. This means that military recruiters not only target younger high school students, but have access to boys as young as ten years of age, without any parental knowledge or permission.

The SRP Handbook exploits adolescent boys’ insecurities. It specifically discusses that although most student COIs are not likely to enlist in the military, they should still be used as tools to recruit less popular students who look up to them:

Some influential students such as the student president or the captain of the football team may not enlist; however, they can and will provide you with referrals who will enlist. [75]


The SRP Handbook further requires recruiters to:

Know [their] student influencers. Students such as class officers, newspaper and yearbook editors, and athletes can help build interest in the Army among the student body. Keep them informed. [76]


A successful recruiter with many COIs working with him can insert the military’s sales pitch into every aspect of the lives of high school students.

A pervasive and aggressive marketing campaign is the essence of the “school ownership” that is the goal of the military. The SRP Handbook urges recruiters to establish rapport with COIs, so that they will then exert additional influence on potential recruits, instructing that “to effectively work the school market, recruiters must maintain rapport throughout the SY [school year] and develop a good working relationship with key influencers.” [77] The SRP Handbook also provides “helpful hints and guidelines” for “working the school market” and using COIs in order to achieve school ownership:

Be indispensable to school administrators, counselors, faculty, and students. Be so helpful and so much a part of the school scene that you are in constant demand . . . Never rely on guidance counselors as the sole COI in the school. Cultivate coaches, librarians, administrative staff, and teachers . . . By directing your efforts toward other faculty members you may be able to obtain the information necessary to effectively communicate with students. [78]


3. Implementing the SRP Handbook’s Twelve-Month Plan

Unlike college and vocational recruiters who typically visit schools once a year at a college or employment fair, the military seeks to have a constant, visible presence in public high schools. Military recruiters are instructed to “eat lunch in the school cafeteria several times each month” in order to obtain “more visibility” and to “identify potential candidates” for enlistment. [79] The Army’s “Calendar of School Activities” [80] urges military recruiters to "wear [their] dress blues" to school events commemorating Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday and to participate in activities during Black History Month and Hispanic Heritage Month. [81] There is no mention, however, of similar events such as Columbus Day and Saint Patrick’s Day, which are days of ethnic pride for Irish and Italian-Americans. [82]

This apparent targeting of African-American and Hispanic students is confirmed by a United States General Accounting Office report, which found that “all of the [military] services have specialized campaigns to target diverse segments of the young adult population.” [83] “For instance, the Navy created a Web site, called El Navy, which is designed to better communicate with the Hispanic market,” and “the Army has specifically tailored radio advertisements to reach the African-American market.” [84]

The SRP Handbook lays out a detailed twelve-month plan to achieve its high school enlistment goals. [85] Recruiters’ selected monthly activities include:

July

Obtain a copy of the HS fall sports and activity calendars [and] arrange to have the schedules copied with the RS [Recruiting Station] address prominently displayed. Post them throughout the RS area, including restaurants, arcades, and anywhere else students congregate. . . .

August

Contact the school’s student government . . . to discuss what the Army and you can do to assist them in the upcoming SY [school year] (chaperon, give a speech, tour a reserve center, etc.) . . . The football team usually starts practicing in August. Contact the coach and volunteer to assist in leading calisthenics or calling cadence during team runs. . . .

September

Distribute desk calendars to your assigned schools . . . Attend athletic events at the HS . . . Get involved with the parent-teacher association . . . Obtain a tactical vehicle from a local USAR [“US Army Recruiting”] troop program unit and drive it in the parade with your future Soldiers riding along. . . . Deliver donuts and coffee for the faculty once a month. . . . Hispanic Heritage Month. Participate in events as available. . . .

October

Homecoming normally happens in October. Coordinate with the homecoming committee to get involved with the parade. Use a tactical vehicle . . . Offer to be a chaperone or escort for homecoming activities and coronations. . . . Order personal presentation items (pens, bags, mouse pads, mugs) as needed monthly for special events.

November

Basketball season begins. Distribute new schedules for the basketball season. Assemble and offer a color guard for the opening home game. . . Prior to Thanksgiving, many student organizations gather food baskets for needy citizens. Offer your assistance and get involved. . . . Attend as many school holiday functions or assemblies as possible. . . .

December

Set up school career day presentations. . . .Contact college students who are home during the holidays (remember that many first year students do not return to school after the first semester). . . . Offer to be a timekeeper at football games. . . .Participate in HS holiday events. . . .

January

Turn up the tempo on contacting your juniors. Get a jump on the competition. . . . Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday is in January. Wear your dress blues and participate in school events commemorating this holiday. . . .

February

Contact the HS athletic director and arrange for an exhibition basketball game between the faculty and Army recruiters. This is an excellent way to build rapport in the HS. . . . Black History Month. Participate in events as available . . .

March

Prepare certificates for those faculty and staff members who have aided you in your HS recruiting efforts. . . . present these certificates at a COI [Center of Influence] event. . . . Continue to advertise in school newspapers and conduct class presentations. . . .

April

Track and field meets begin. Offer to be a timekeeper or coach’s assistant. . . . Basketball season starts. Offer assistance to the coach. . . .

May

Since Memorial Day occurs in May, there are normally many patriotic events . . . . Contact the HS to find out what events they are involved with and offer any assistance possible. . . .

June

Coordinate with your CLT to . . . send thank you notes to those staff and faculty members who have been helpful . . . . Secure and present USAR Scholar/Athlete Awards at HS graduation or award ceremonies . . . . Assist in arranging a color guard for the graduation ceremony. . . . Coordinate with school officials to determine if they can use your assistance during summer school.” [86]


4. Military Recruiters Reach Children By Targeting Their Teachers

All four branches of the armed forces host all-expense paid workshops for educators. [87] The SRP Handbook blatantly states that “[if] recruiters successfully target the teachers first,” then they will “have another foot in the door.” [88] Curtis Gilroy, the head of recruitment for the Department of Defense notes:

Teachers are a significant influencer, there’s no question about it. . . . We just want the cadre of teachers, regardless of political persuasion or background, to speak about the military objectively.” [89]


Allen Kanner, a clinical psychologist and researcher on military recruiting, calls the use of teachers “a very clever marketing technique,” and explains: “Teachers are role models, and if they approve of something, then the students believe the whole school system approves of it.” [90]

5. Service Members and Veterans Have Financial Incentives to Hide the Realities of War and to Perpetuate the Recruiters Sales Tactics.

In 2008, to increase enlistment, the military increased its bonus allowance from $1,000.91 to $2,000.92 to members of the Army, National Guard, Army Reserve, retired service-members, and civilian Army employees who refer potential enlistees to recruiters. [93] Authorized by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, active service members or veterans who convince someone to enlist receives $1,000 when the referred enlistee commences basic training, and another $2,000 when the referred enlistee completes basic training and individual advanced training. [94]

Under this program, essentially every service-member acts as a recruiter. The program encourages deceptive recruiting practices. Service members have a financial incentive to glorify the war and to minimize negative experiences.
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Re: Targeting Youth: What Everyone Should Know About Militar

Postby admin » Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:18 am

III. MILITARY RECRUITERS EXERT INFLUENCE OVER TEENAGERS WITHOUT PARENTAL CONSENT

Recruiters insinuate themselves in teenagers’ lives without their parents’ knowledge. “The interest of parents in the care, custody, and control of their children is perhaps the oldest of the fundamental liberty interests” recognized in our country’s laws. [95] These fundamental rights include a constitutionally protected zone in which parents can “direct the upbringing and education of children under their control,” without hindrance from the government. [96] “This primary role of the parents in the upbringing of their children is now established beyond debate as an enduring American tradition.” [97]

Yet, parents are often unable to control the military’s influence over their children while they are at school, despite having a legal right to do so under the “opt-out” provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act (“NCLB”). [98] The school setting is a powerful reinforcement for the military’s message, which is directed at impressionable high school students who are exposed to it year after year. [99]

Parental control over a child’s upbringing is widely understood to include the right to limit exposure to objectionable or harmful activities and substances. Nobody questions a parent’s right to monitor a child’s driving privileges, or when necessary to take away the car keys; to impose a curfew hour; or to prevent a child’s alcohol and cigarette consumption. Parents may stop their children from viewing inappropriate material through various media controls. They can ensure that the television shows their children watch are appropriate, by installing a v-chip, a parental blocking PIN or password, or requesting a lockbox from their cable provider. Similarly, computer software such as internet filters and browser plug-ins prevent their children’s exposure to questionable websites and images. [100] But, by the pervasive presence of recruiters in schools, underage children are exposed on a regular basis to military recruitment. This is the case even when their parents opposed the military’s recruitment of their children.

A. THE MILITARY HAS EXTENSIVE INFORMATION ABOUT STUDENTS

In order to recruit students, the military has to gain access to students and information about them. The Department of Defense maintains a database of information on students eligible for recruitment (seventeen years of age and older, or juniors in high school). The database contains students' names, contact information, birth dates, Social Security numbers, ethnicity, religious affiliation, and grade-point averages. This database currently contains approximately 30 million entries compiled from a variety of sources. High schools are required through the NCLB to give military recruiters students' directory information, such as names, addresses, and contact information. Once this basic information is entered into the database, military recruiters obtain additional information about students from commercial firms (including some that process college scholarship and loan applications), the Selective Service System, and state motor vehicles departments. [101]

B. THE NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND ACT REQUIRES SCHOOLS TO NOTIFY PARENTS OF THEIR RIGHT TO KEEP RECRUITERS FROM CONTACTING THEIR CHILDREN

The NCLB is a federal law that aims to improve quality of education and standardize test results for public schools throughout the country. [102] NCLB attempts to improve student success in reading and mathematics, and improve in teacher quality. Amid these worthy goals, NCLB contains a provision totally unrelated to its educational goals. That provision of the NLCB requires schools to open their doors to military recruiters and provide them with contact information of all students who are at least seventeen years old or members of the junior or senior high school classes. The NCLB also contains a provision requiring schools to give students' names, addresses, and telephone numbers to military recruiters who request them. [103] High schools risk losing federal funding if they do not comply with these provisions.

Rutgers School of Law-Newark students and interns attempted to determine how these provisions were implemented in New Jersey high schools. Students interviewed principals, guidance counselors, and administrators in forty-eight high schools in thirteen counties throughout New Jersey. These interviews were done on an informal basis to provide a snapshot of military recruiting in New Jersey. The interviews revealed that there is no consistency between how schools throughout the State handle military recruiters. The interviews also revealed that military recruiters are largely unsupervised in their dealings with students. School officials do not verify whether recruiters use deceptive practices and often give recruiters free-reign of the cafeteria and other areas of the school. Why does this matter? Because, as discussed earlier in this report, military recruiters are trained sales people who use carefully developed strategies, including tactics developed by the largest advertising firms to “sell” the military to students. In doing so, they manipulate adolescent insecurities.

The information we gathered breaks down into the following categories: the lack of authority over military recruiters in high schools, the disparity in the amount of access to students given to military recruiters and the access given to colleges and business recruiters, recruiter misconduct, and steps parents and students can take to restrict the military’s access to students and student information.

1. There are No State or Local Policies for Monitoring Military Presence in Schools

There is no uniform State-wide policy as to who is the main contact person at the school for military recruiters. School boards and principals do not issue guidelines for dealing with recruiters. As a result, it is often left up to the discretion of guidance counselors to supervise recruiters. Guidance counselors are the primary contact person for military recruiters in thirty-three schools (69%), whereas principals are the main contact for recruiters in only eleven schools (23%). In the remaining 8% of schools surveyed, secretaries and faculty members make decisions regarding recruiter access.

This difference demonstrates that principals have largely delegated the authority to allow or deny access to military recruiters to guidance counselors. At Dunnellen High School, a guidance counselor expressed frustration due to the lack of oversight. She sought assistance from the principal when a recruiter violated the counselor’s procedures requiring recruiters to schedule appointments and obtain permission to roam hallways. The principal refused to deal with the situation, explaining that it was the guidance counselor’s responsibility. At South Plainfield High School, a guidance counselor was unsure how often recruiters visit classrooms because faculty members within individual departments at the school have the authority to determine if and when recruiters can visit their classrooms.

2. New Jersey High Schools Give Military Recruiters More Access to Students Than is Legally Required

The NCLB includes a provision requiring schools to give military recruiters the same access to students that they give college and business recruiters. [104] Our study found that in trying to comply with the NCLB, high schools throughout New Jersey give the military recruiters significantly more access to students than is required under the law. Under the NCLB, if a school allows on-campus recruiting, it must allow the same access to the military. But, if a school does not have any on-campus recruiting by employers or colleges, it is not required to have the military recruit on campus either.

Recruiter presence and visibility in the high schools polled is generally strong. In eleven out of forty-eight (23%) reporting high schools, recruiters from at least one branch of the military are present at least once a week. Recruiters visit thirty-six of forty-eight high schools surveyed (75%) at least once a month. In contrast, recruiters from higher educational institutions and postsecondary employment opportunities visit most high schools solely during their annual career fair. In most cases, the military is also present at those career fairs. Several administrators interviewed characterized recruiters as informal school employees, referring to them as “quasi staff” and “part of the school community.” [105] These statements demonstrate that the twin goals of penetrating high school communities and gaining the trust of school administrators have been successful in New Jersey.

Recruiters are most often visible in high school cafeterias, but their access in most schools is not limited to that area. Seventy-one percent (71%) of schools allow military recruiters in the cafeteria where they can talk freely with all students. One-third of the schools allow military recruiters to give presentations in the classroom. But, less than one-forth of those presentations are related to classroom curriculum. Some high school administrators, including the principal at Watchung Hills Regional High School, allowed the military access to classrooms, but are unsure of what information they impart to students. At North Plainfield, an English teacher allowed military recruiters to makes presentations to the class about military service. Other schools reported allowing recruiters to conduct physical competitions in gym class.

In addition to recruitment in the schools, recruiters maintain a presence at sporting events and other extra-curricular activities. At North Warren Regional High School in Blairstown, the lacrosse team participates in an “adopt a marine” program and listens to soldiers speak about their experience in Iraq.

In more than half of the schools surveyed, recruiters give out gifts to the students, such as key chains, t-shirts, calendars, school supplies, and computer accessories. Summit High School reported that the recruiters bought lunch for the guidance counselors.

3. The Military Abuses Unrestricted Access to Students to Employ Inappropriate Recruiting Tactics

Nine schools reported that recruitment behavior was so inappropriate that school administrators needed to intervene on the students’ behalf. For instance, at Kearny High School, recruiters removed students from class without permission to encourage them to sign up for service. At North Hunterdon High School, a guidance counselor discovered recruiters impermissibly smoking with students and removing students from classes. Some of these incidents were remedied only when an administrator witnessed the inappropriate behavior him/herself, and then acted to correct it. Most school officials however, stated they do not monitor the interactions between military recruiters and students. For example, one principal stated he was unsure whether recruiters roamed the cafeteria, but assumed that recruiters “were following the rules.” [106] It is possible that many more incidents of recruiter misconduct occur, but that school administrators are unaware of them because they do not monitor the military’s interaction with students.

Several schools reported incidents of recruiters approaching students in areas where they were not allowed access, and incidents of recruiters pulling students from class without the administration’s authority. For instance, at High Tech High School in North Bergen, the principal asked two Navy recruiters to stop approaching students in the food court, an area to which they had previously been denied access. At Maple Shade High School, the principal had to contact a recruiter’s commanding officer when the recruiter continued aggressively pursuing students who had initially expressed interest in the military and later decided not to enlist. A guidance counselor at North Hunterdon Regional High School had to intervene when she saw a recruiter violating school policy by smoking with students in the parking lot. Despite the need for intervention, officials at seven of the schools (78%) where intervention was required characterized school-recruiter relations as positive.

School administrators lack oversight of the information recruiters give to students. They are therefore unaware if the information students receive is accurate. An unsupervised presentation of the obligations and benefits of military service by recruiters can be misleading. At Central High School in Newark, a recruiter told a female student that women do not see frontline combat. This statement is at best grossly misleading. Even though women technically do not have “combat positions,” they perform some of the most dangerous jobs on the front lines, such as flying jets and helicopter gunships, driving and fixing trucks in dangerous territory, and searching suspected terrorists in the field. Each of these tasks can lead to fighting the enemy.

At Snyder High School in Jersey City, a recruiter promised a student that citizenship would be expedited for her non-U.S. citizen family members if she joined the Armed Forces. In this instance, the Vice Principal stepped in to reprimand the recruiter for giving misinformation.

These examples illustrate a need for administrators and counselors to assist with student decision-making. Of the schools surveyed, not one provides information or counseling to make informed decisions about military service.

4. Students Who Do Not Support the Military Presence in Their Schools Are Ostracized by Teachers and Students

Students who object to military presence in their high schools can be ostracized. For example, at one high school in Southern New Jersey, a student was reprimanded and ostracized for refusing to participate in a recruiter-led gym class that simulated military training. During the gym class, students were told to respond “yes sergeant” to the recruiter’s orders. The penalty for failing to respond was 20 push-ups. One student who refused to participate was removed from gym class for the day and initially given a “0” grade.

The student was later harassed by students and members of the school’s staff. Students called him “un-American” and a “Communist.” One student openly confronted him about the incident, sparking a public argument. A teacher chastised the student for refusing to participate in the military exercise. While doing so, the teacher referenced his grandparents who were holocaust survivors.

This example demonstrates that students who do not support military presence in their schools can be made to suffer when they express their views that the military has no place in the classroom. It also shows that the military agenda has become such a part of the fabric of high schools that anyone who does not agree with it does not fit in.

5. Parents Are Not Meaningfully Informed of Their Rights to “Opt-Out” Their Child from Being Recruited

Under the No Child Left Behind Act, high schools can lose federal funds if they do not disclose student information requested by the military. But, the NCLB gives parents and students the right to prevent their school from sharing student information with military recruiters by signing an "opt-out" form. [107] Schools must tell parents of their right to opt-out. [108] Many schools in New Jersey are not properly complying with this NCLB Act requirement.

The Rutgers School of Law study found that in New Jersey there is no uniform policy to ensure that the opt-out requirements are being enforced. Parental notification of the right to opt their child out of military recruitment varies from school to school or does not exist at all. As stated elsewhere in this report, officials in only four of the forty-eight schools visited (10%) were aware of their opt-out obligations. Some school officials did not even know what an opt-out was. Schools that fail to meet their obligations under the NCLB give an unfair advantage to military recruiters and deprive parents of important rights regarding controlling strong influences on their children.

Some schools in New Jersey put an affirmative obligation of opting-out solely onto parents. Kearny High School provides a letter from the superintendent instructing the parents to draft a letter requesting to opt-out. This task can be daunting, particularly to parents who do not have a good command of English, or who are too overwhelmed by work and parental obligations to take time to draft an opt-out letter. Proof of this is that the guidance counselor at Kearny High School did not know of any families who have taken these affirmative steps to opt-out. Metuchen High School does not mail forms to families at all. Instead, information on opting out is mentioned at the bottom of the last page of a newsletter from the superintendent’s office. By placing the burden on parents to contact the school, school districts violate the NCLB Act.

Many school officials know of their opt-out obligations [but] do not send out any opt-out information to parents. These schools bury the opt-out information at the back of lengthy student handbooks. This information is not prominent, and no direct notification or discussion about the opt-out requirement exists. Without open and obvious notification to students and parents of their rights to “opt-out,” the notification requirement is not met.

Other New Jersey schools approach their out-out obligations very differently. Bloomfield and Plainfield mail “opt-out” forms to families, but do not follow up or require that the forms be returned. As a result, only 46% of parents at Bloomfield High School return the “opt-out” form and 13% of parents at Plainfield High School return the forms.

In Montclair, there was no formal notification to parents that their children’s information was automatically given to military recruiters and no formalized process in which to opt-out. An anti-military student group on campus, Open Your Ears, Open Your Eyes (“Oye Oye”), researched the NLCB act and discovered the “opt-out” provision. The group created a simple opt-out form and received school board approval to send it to parents. Prior to the start of the school year, the school sent these “opt-out” forms to the families of every high school student with their emergency contact forms. Students were required to return the forms, either consenting or not consenting to having their information released to military recruiters, in order to receive their schedules and begin the school year. The first year the policy was in place, Montclair High School reported responses from 98% of students, with 92% deciding to “optout.” Highland Park has adopted a similar policy to Montclair, achieving a response rate of approximately 85%.

6. Schools are Under the Misimpression that if Parents Exercise Their “Opt-Out” Right that the School is Obligated to Withhold Student Information from Colleges and Employers

Our research shows that New Jersey schools misinterpret their obligations under the NCLB Act. Officials in some schools erroneously believe that keeping student contact information away from recruiters means that the same contact information cannot be shared with colleges and employers. This so-called "all or nothing" belief has no basis in the law. According to the federal Family Policy Compliance Office of the U.S. Department of Education, the law does not require an "all or nothing" policy. Thus, families have the right to opt-out of making their child's name available to military recruiters, while still making the same information available to other recruiters, such as colleges and employers.

C. SCHOOLS THAT FAIL TO NOTIFY PARENTS OF THEIR “OPT-OUT” RIGHTS ARE IN VIOLATION OF THE FAMILY EDUCATIONAL RIGHTS AND PRIVACY ACT

Schools that release information under the NLCB to military recruiters without informing parents of their right to opt-out not only run afoul of the NCLB, but also the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”). [109] FERPA affirmatively states that educational institutions must inform students and parents before releasing their personal information.

FERPA is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive federal funds. [110] FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children's education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches eighteen or attends a school beyond the high school level. [111] Schools may disclose, without consent, "directory" information such as a student's name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance. However, schools must tell parents and eligible students that directory information will be disclosed without prior written consent. According to FERPA, schools must give parents and eligible students a reasonable amount of time to request that the school not disclose directory information about them. [112] Failure to comply with the requirements of FERPA will result in the loss of funds. [113]

FERPA requires schools to notify parents of their rights. [114] However, the system of notification is left to the discretion of local schools. Federal regulations interpreting FERPA describe this obligation of notification as an “annual requirement.” [115] There is no requirement as to the manner of notification. In order to ensure that schools do not use insufficient means to address their notification requirements, there should be a statewide “opt-out” policy.

NCLB does not alter in any way high schools’ notification obligations under FERPA. High schools that fail to notify parents about the “opt-out” option under NCLB violate both NCLB and FERPA, and risk the danger of losing federal funding. This funding provision, however, was included to ensure military access to high schools and student information. Even though both NCLB and FERPA require that schools that fail to notify parents should lose funding, it is unlikely that the federal government will take funding away for providing the military with student access and contact information. Thus, the parental protections that NCLB and FERPA put in place are rendered moot unless parents and schools assert their rights.

D. RECOMMENDATIONS TO PROTECT PARENTS’ RIGHTS

We recommend that all schools adopt the notification process employed at Montclair and Highland Park and send a basic “opt-out” form along with paperwork that it is mandatory for students to return. (These opt-out forms are attached to this Report as Exhibit B.) Schools should take this action immediately to comply with the notice requirement of NCLB. Furthermore, notice of the right to “opt-out” should be mandated by the State and be uniform throughout New Jersey. As part of this mandate, counties should be required to report annually to the State that all schools within each county have followed the uniform opt-out policy.
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Re: Targeting Youth: What Everyone Should Know About Militar

Postby admin » Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:29 am

IV. THE JUNIOR RESERVE OFFICERS’ TRAINING PROGRAM RECRUITS CHILDREN WHO ARE YOUNGER THAN 17

As discussed above, the military aims to recruit young teens through the Boy Scouts and other programs, as well as by being omnipresent at high schools and sporting events. There are other programs, such as the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC), which help in the effort to recruit young teens at public high schools. Technically, recruiters are not permitted to approach students until they are at least juniors in high school or 17 years old. Programs such as the JROTC, however, provide the military a way to reach students at a much earlier age when they are even less mature and more impressionable. Some JROTC programs mislead young teens into believing that life in the military consists of fun activities such as marching, rifle competitions and summer camp trips. No efforts are made to inform JROTC participants of the demanding and difficult realities of military life.

The JROTC is authorized by the National Defense Act and directs “[t]he Secretary of each military [branch to] establish and maintain a Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps . . . at public . . . secondary educational institutions.” [116] To qualify for a JROTC program, a school must be able to maintain a unit of 100 students or at least 10% the school’s total enrolment. [117] To be eligible, students must be physically fit, in at least the ninth grade and citizens or legal residents of the United States. [118] A school must also agree to “limit membership in the unit to students who maintain acceptable standards of academic achievement and conduct, as prescribed by the Secretary of the military department concerned.” [119]

The JROTC’s official “purpose [is to] instill in students . . . values of citizenship, service to the United States, personal responsibility and a sense of accomplishment.” [120] The JROTC pursues these goals by providing “a course of military instruction of not less than three academic years’ duration.” [121] There are currently 3,500 high schools with JROTC programs, 58 of which are in New Jersey. [122] Of these programs, 21 are affiliated with the Army, 18 with the Air Force, 14 with the Navy and 5 with the Marine Corps. [123]

The JROTC is partially funded by the United States Department of the Military. The Secretary of the Department, “shall . . . provide necessary text materials, equipment, and uniforms and . . . such additional resources (including transportation and billeting) as may be available to support activities of the program.” [124] JROTC instructors are retired military officers and the cost of instructor salaries is shared by school boards and the military. [125] Despite this cost-sharing plan, the JROTC program comes at a considerable expense to the military. [126] In fact, the Department of Defense spent $258,769,000 on the JROTC program in 2006 alone. [127]

A. THE JROTC RECRUITS YOUNG TEENS

Even though the United States military insists that the JROTC is not a recruiting tool, strong evidence indicates otherwise. [128] First, the military itself boasts that 42% of all graduating JROTC cadets expect to “establish some connection with the military services” and that JROTC cadets are five times more likely to enlist than their non-JROTC contemporaries. [129] Second, a 1999 policy memorandum signed by Major General Stewart Wallace, commanding officer of the United States Army Cadet Command at the time, admits that the JROTC is at least in part, a recruiting tool. The policy memorandum states:

[w]hile not designed to be a specific recruiting tool, there is nothing in existing law, DOD directive or Army regulation that precludes either ROTC program from facilitating the recruitment of young men and women into the U.S. Army. [130]

The memorandum also commands JROTC personnel to “[a]ctively assist cadets [who are high school students as young as 14] who want to enlist in the military [and] [e]mphasize service in the U.S. Army.” [131] The memo also tells JROTC instructors to “facilitate recruiter access to cadets in JROTC and the entire student body” and “[w]ork closely with . . . guidance counselors to sell the Army story.” [132] The memorandum, which was subsequently cited with approval in a 2001 military article, [133] concludes by stating that “[t]he intent of these partnership initiatives is to [inter alia] promote synergistic effort of all Army assets [and] maximize recruiting efforts.” [134]

Thus, the stated goal of the JROTC program has been to boost enlistment rates. The JROTC program follows the military’s recruiting policy of “first to contact, first to contract,” which is laid out in detail in the Army’s SRP Handbook, discussed earlier, which states that if military recruiters “wait until [high school students] are seniors, it’s probably too late” to recruit them. [135]

The activities associated with the JROTC program emphasize military training and discipline to high school students as young as fourteen. JROTC students are referred to as “cadets,” have military drill uniforms and are instructed to march and form ranks like real soldiers. [136] Furthermore, cadets may join air rifle marksmanship teams and participate in local and national competitions. [137] Cadets also are given military ranks within the program and learn military history from a textbook provided by the United States military. [138]

In addition to a military-based curriculum, extra-curricular activities and trips are also part of the JROTC. These activities, such as Donna High School’s JROTC summer orientation trip, discussed below, demonstrate quite clearly how the JROTC is a recruiting tool for the military. Like other aspects of military recruitment discussed in this report, the JROTC program uses manipulative tactics to recruit children.

B. DONNA HIGH SCHOOL MARINE CORPS JROTC PROGRAM: A CASE STUDY IN MANIPULATING UNDERAGE UNDER-PRIVILEGED CHILDREN

The JROTC program at Donna High School (“DHS”) is an example of how the slick recruitment advertising discussed above is successfully employed to convince under-age and under-privileged children to pursue a military path. DHS is a public school in Donna, Texas, situated along Texas’ southernmost border with Mexico. Donna is located in Hidalgo County, which has a median household income of $26,375 with 30.5% of the population living below the poverty line. [139] Of the high school’s 1900 students, 99% are Hispanic. 71% of DHS students are eligible for free lunches under the Federal School Lunch Program. [140] Free lunches are awarded under the Federal School Lunch Program based on the financial need of the student. Generally, a student is eligible for a free or subsidized lunch if he or she is member of a household whose net income falls below the Federal Poverty Guidelines. [142] By all measures, DHS is a high school largely comprised of low-income, Latino students. [143]

DHS is home to one of the nation’s 260 national Marine Corps JROTC programs. [144] The Department of Defense spent an average of over $65,000 per Marine Corps JROTC unit in 2006. [145] As part of the JROTC program at DHS, students take part in numerous extra-curricular activities including marksmanship competitions and field exercises at a local United States Marine Corps Military Academy. [146]

The JROTC program at DHS is not limited to local military-style field trips, however. The students at DHS enrolled in the JROTC program also participate in a summer “orientation” trip to Camp Pendleton in San Diego, that is supposed to give them a taste of life in the military. [147] The DHS JROTC orientation trip to Camp Pendleton is advertised on the Marine Corps JROTC website and appears to be indicative of the basic format of JROTC orientation trips. [148]

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(Student and instructor: DHS Air Rifle Marksmanship Team 2006) [149]

1. Camp Pendleton

The JROTC students from DHS spent a week at Camp Pendleton, California in the summer of 2006. Camp Pendleton is one of the largest and most impressive military installations in the United States. Camp Pendleton is a self-contained community, housing approximately 25,000 active-duty Marines at any given time. [150] The Camp’s daytime population is estimated at 60,000. [151] Camp Pendleton both trains and houses Marines and their families and covers over 125,000 acres in a pristine natural area along the Pacific coast outside of San Diego. [152] Its total economic impact is estimated at $2.3 Billion. [153] By any measure, Camp Pendleton is an exceptional military base with seemingly unlimited resources. The camp is a far cry from the numerous, smaller, isolated and under-funded bases that make up the bulk of the United States military.

Taking impoverished kids from the Texas-Mexico border to Camp Pendleton is an effective and highly manipulative way to sell them the military’s message.

2. DHS JROTC Trip to Camp Pendleton

The JROTC students of DHS, ranging in age from 14 to 17, traveled to Camp Pendleton in the summer of 2006 with their JROTC unit. The Marine Corps JROTC published a student-written account of the orientation trip in the “JROTC News” portion of its promotional website. [154] The student describes the trip as an experience “the cadets of Donna High School will remember for the rest of their lives.” [155] For the students, the trip was more than a vacation, but rather provided a “broader outlook at military . . . life including training, living conditions and their dining facilities.” [156]

But, the DHS JROTC trip was more of a teenager’s dream vacation than a simulation of life as a Marine. Mock military training and motivational speeches delivered by military personnel were interspersed with expensive and exciting activities. DHS JROTC students watched the San Diego Chargers football team scrimmage, met the players and cheerleaders, attended a San Diego Padres baseball game, traveled to Universal Studios and visited Camp Pendleton’s on-site bowling alley and arcade. [157]

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(DHS JROTC students in the Marine Barracks) [158]

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(Bowling and Martial Arts Instruction) [159]

The trip to Camp Pendleton included many activities beyond the financial reach of most DHS students. By interspersing what the students considered the “dream activities of a lifetime” with military exercises, the Marine Corps misled the students into believing that enlisting in the Marines would provide an avenue to achieve this wealthy lifestyle. In the words of the student author, “[t]he cadets and the chaperons (sic) cherished the beautiful treat of a first class baseball stadium,” and their “eagerness was . . . overwhelming” to visit Universal Studios. [160]

Most of the activities to which the students were treated however, are not only out of the financial reach of the DHS students and their families, but also out of the reach of typical Marines. For example, the tickets for the baseball game would cost approximately $50.00 each and general admission to Universal Studios is $64.00 per person. [161] Enlisted Marines cannot afford those tickets. Basic pay for a military enlistee currently starts at only $14,950 per year, which amounts to $287.50 per week. [162]

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(Universal Studios, Hollywood) [163]

The trip also encouraged the adulation and hero-worship of military personnel. Interspersed with the fun activities were speeches by military personnel and mock training exercises with military instructors. For example, after watching the San Diego Chargers scrimmage, a Marine Corps General was introduced to the DHS students on the football field alongside Chargers players and cheerleaders. [164] The MCJROTC website also contains a link to photos of the event, showing scantily-clad cheerleaders posing for photographs with the DHS students.

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Incumbent: Gen. Martin Dempsey, since October 1, 2011

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) is, by law, the highest-ranking military officer in the United States Armed Forces[1] and is the principal military advisor to the President of the United States, the National Security Council, the Homeland Security Council,[2] and the Secretary of Defense.[2][3] While the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff outranks all other officers, he does not have operational command authority over the Armed Forces; however, the Chairman does assist the President and the Secretary of Defense in exercising their command functions.[1]

The Chairman convenes the meetings and coordinates the efforts of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), an advisory body comprising the Chairman, the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the chiefs of staff of the United States Army and United States Air Force, the Chief of Naval Operations, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, and the Chief of the National Guard Bureau.[2] The Joint Staff is under the exclusive direction of the Chairman.

-- Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, by Wikipedia


The Marine Corps is channeling the message that by joining the military the students will gain the favor of highly attractive members of the opposite sex. The boys can be like their football playing heroes and be cheered on by beautiful, half-naked women, and the girls can become the beautiful cheerleaders. Packaging strength, beauty, sex and public adulation with a military message is even more powerful when delivered to a group of poor, minority children who have very few opportunities to gain prosperity.

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(Pro football players with the General and DHS students) [165]

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(Chargers’ Cheerleaders with DHS students) [166]

The JROTC introduced the DHS students only to the most elite and highly selected units in the Marine Corps, such as the Marine Corps SWAT and Crash Crew Fire and Rescue teams. SWAT team members “explained their mission, the qualifications, and the gratification of their job.” [167] Cadets were also “able to handle the equipment utilized by the SWAT team after their presentation.” [168] The cadets had a similar experience when they met the Marine Crash Crew Fire and Rescue Team and “participated in using the water hoses and equipment the Craw Crew uses to get the job done.” [160]

But, students were not told that admission into the Marine SWAT team or Crash Crew requires high standardized test scores as a prerequisite for consideration. [170] For example, the Crash Crew requires a high score on the mechanical, scientific and mathematical portions of the Armed Service Vocational Aptitude Battery standardized test as well as extensive, specialized training. [171] Nor were JROTC students told that these units are generally open only to career Marines, as they require extended, specialized training. [172]

After meeting the SWAT Team, the cadets “were transported to a facility that had computerized simulation weapons,” which the author described as being “like playing X-Box in a theater size screen with real scenarios.” [173] The weapons simulator placed the students behind a realistic machine gun, which fired beams of light rather than bullets. In the “simulator,” the students took turns firing on computerized enemies in a totally safe environment. To call the computerized machine gun game the students played a “weapons simulator” is a grave misnomer which equates firing a machine gun in combat with a video game. The combat Marines encounter in Iraq and Afghanistan is vastly different from the sanitized “simulation” sold to the DHS students. In Iraq and Afghanistan, the “enemy” is real and blends into the rest of the population and the bullets are real and deadly.

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(“Like playing X-Box” – Marine Weapons Simulator)174

The DHS JROTC summer camp is a successful Marine Corps advertising campaign. The effectiveness of that campaign comes across in the DHS student’s report posted on the Marine Corps’ JROTC website. The student author clearly idolizes Marines, emulating military speak and emphasizing the rank of the various military personnel who interacted with the students. [175] He says that the DHS JROTC students “will remember [Camp Pendleton] for the rest of their lives.” [176]

Regardless of the stated goal of the program, its impact is clear. The JROTC “sell[s] the Army story,” just as its officers were ordered to do by the Army in its 1999 Policy Memorandum. [177] Military service is presented as a path to fun and adventure to a captive and impressionable adolescent audience. The military’s message is conveyed to JROTC children as young as 14 through video games, mock training and the endorsement of professional football players and cheerleaders.

This packaging of the military lifestyle grossly overstates the benefits of enlistment and ignores its serious drawbacks and dangers. The irony is that DHS students and real Marines actually do share much in common. Both groups are largely poor. Enlisting in the Marines would not provide the average DHS student a way to escape their unpromising life. It will only change the scenery from Southern Texas to Iraq or Afghanistan, and add the risks of snipers, roadside bombs and firefights. As a student wrote when leaving Camp Pendleton, “[i]t was time to say good-bye to the Marine Corps for now.” [178] For a program whose goal is not military recruitment, the JROTC certainly is good at it.
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Re: Targeting Youth: What Everyone Should Know About Militar

Postby admin » Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:40 am

V. THE IMPACT OF THE ONGOING WARS ON MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES: WHAT RECRUITERS DO NOT TELL STUDENTS AND PARENTS

A. MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES SERVE UP TO FOUR TOURS OF DUTY [179]


Tours of duty do not have definite time limits. The length of a soldier’s stay in any region depends on troop requirements, and may change during a soldier’s tour of duty. As of August 1, 2008, President Bush ordered that troops that were newly deployed to Iraq would serve 12 month tours of duty. [180] But, 16 months earlier, in relation to his new “surge” policy, President Bush had increased Iraq and Afghanistan tours of duty from 12 months to 15 months. [181] President Bush’s “surge” policy did not add new troops to Iraq; rather, it expedited deployment of soldiers already set to go to Iraq and increased the length of tours of duty. [182]

Like tours of duty, time at home between deployments, or “dwell time,” is not of a definite duration. Currently, soldiers spend 12 months at home between tours. [183] With a few exceptions, Marines have standard 7 month tours, with an average of 7 months between tours. [184] But, those schedules cannot be counted on or enforced. [185]

As such, high school students considering enlisting in the military should know that they can be deployed at any time, and as many times as the U.S. government believes is necessary to accomplish its military objectives.

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*Source- Alvarez, Lizette, Long Tours Can Make Home a Trying Front, The New York Times, February 23, 2007.

B. SOLDIERS RETURNING FROM IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN SUFFER FROM BRAIN DAMAGE AND OTHER PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDERS

Since the military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan began in 2002, over 1.5 million troops have seen combat. [186] Of these soldiers, 29,320,187 were wounded, and some sources estimate that 10 - 20% suffer from traumatic brain injuries. [188] Approximately 7% to 15% of veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan suffer depression after their service. [189] Between 6% and 11% of veterans of the Afghanistan war, and between 12% and 20% of veterans of the Iraq war suffer Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). [190] This is quite high compared to instances of PTSD in the general population, which averages at 5%. [191] PTSD is an anxiety disorder triggered by a serious traumatic event. [192] Symptoms include flashbacks, nightmares, feelings of detachment, irritability, trouble concentrating and sleeplessness. [193] A June 2004 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that troops who fought in the Iraq war saw more combat than those who served in Afghanistan, which may account for the disparity in instances of PTSD between veterans of the Iraq war and veterans of the Afghanistan war.

The second national survey assessing mental health of Iraq veterans found that many reported significantly more mental health problems six months after their return from deployment than they did immediately after returning home. The study found that while 12% of active duty Iraq veterans reported PTSD immediately after returning home, 17% reported PTSD upon reassessment six months later. The increase in PTSD instances was much higher among veteran members of the National Guard and Army Reserve. Upon immediate return from duty, 13% of these veterans reported having PTSD. However, at their six month reassessment, 25% of National Guard and Army Reserve veterans reported suffering with PTSD.

The rate of depression symptoms among combat veterans also increased dramatically in the six month period between screenings. Active duty soldiers’ rate of depression symptoms rose from 5% to 10%, while rates for reservists rose from 17% to 36%. Problems with interpersonal conflict [194] also greatly increased during this period. [195] In their first screening upon return from Iraq, 3.5% of active duty soldiers reported problems with interpersonal conflict. This number increased to 14% upon the second screening six months later. Among reservists, problems with conflict rose from 4% at the first screening to 21% at the second screening. [196]

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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in Soldiers Returning From Iraq

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Depression in Soldiers Returning From Iraq

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Problems With Interpersonal Conflict in Soldiers Returning From Iraq

C. SUICIDE IS A GROWING EPIDEMIC IN THE MILITARY

In addition to suffering from a staggeringly high number of mental health problems, many veterans struggle with suicidal thoughts. In 2005, more than 6,250 soldiers committed suicide. [197] National Guard and Army Reserve veterans account for more than half of all suicides among Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. [198] This figure is quite high, given that the National Guard and Reserves account for only 28% of all U.S. military forces deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. [199] According to Master Sgt. Marshall Bradshaw, the Army National Guard suicide prevention manager, the National Guard does not have the same level of suicide prevention resources and facilities as the active duty army. [200] Upon completing a tour of duty, members of the National Guard and Reserves do not return to a military base, where active duty soldiers benefit from the support of fellow veterans. [201]

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D. WOMEN IN THE MILITARY ARE NOT OUT OF HARM’S WAY

1. Women Perform Dangerous Jobs


Over 160,000 women have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, compared to 7,500 who served in Vietnam and 41,000 who served in the Gulf War. [203] Women are officially limited to combat support roles in war. The truth however, is that women are often thrust into combat due to the nature of the Iraq war. Women’s roles in combat are defined by a 1994 policy memorandum issued by former Secretary of Defense Les Aspin. The memorandum states that women must be excluded from units “whose primary mission is to engage in direct combat on the ground.” [204] A 2007 report commissioned by the DOD and authored by the RAND Corporation found that the military’s assignment policies regarding women and their exposure to combat are not “clearly understandable.” [205] The RAND report concluded that the vague assignment policies result in situations where the “letter” of the policies may be satisfied, even when women are assigned to units whose exposure to combat “the framers of the policy sought to rule out.” [206]

The RAND report makes clear that women are in no way insulated from danger in Iraq or Afghanistan. For example, women presently hold military jobs such as truck drivers, gunners, medics, military police and helicopter pilots, which are all dangerous occupations. [207] The danger of such occupations cannot be discounted, especially in non-traditional warfare situations such as those in Iraq and Afghanistan. As Matthew Friedmand, executive director for the National Center for PTSD, has stated: “one of the most dangerous things you can do in Iraq is drive a truck, and that’s considered a combat support role.” [208] In fact, as of March 17, 2008, 106 women had died in Afghanistan and Iraq, representing approximately 2.5% of all U.S. casualties. [209] Statistics of injuries by gender are not released. But, if the percentage of women injured are similar to fatality rates, then approximately 782 women have been injured in Iraq and Afghanistan. [210] Female high school students should know that the exigencies of fighting in the global war on terror put every enlistee in danger, regardless of the technical characterization of their job title or unit assignment.

2. Sexual Assault

Combat exposure is just one cause of PTSD and other mental health problems among veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Women soldiers may suffer additional psychiatric harm if they are sexually assaulted and/or harassed while on active duty. Sexual assault and harassment is referred to as Military Sexual Trauma (MST). While there are no statistics available about the instances of MST in Iraq and Afghanistan, 23% of all women veterans using health care from the Department for Veterans Affairs (VA) report sexual assault while in the military. Additionally, an astonishingly high 55% of women and 38% of men using VA health care report being sexually harassed while in the military. [211] Of women veterans reporting being raped by fellow soldiers, 37% report being raped multiple times and 14% report being gang-raped.

MST statistics are shocking given the fact that rape is, in general, an under-reported crime. [213] While current rates of rape under-reporting in the military could not be found, a Department of Defense policy change highlights that rape is pervasive. In 2005, the DOD rewrote its rules so that victims of sexual assault can report abuse confidentially. Such confidential reports open the door to counseling and treatment without “setting off an official investigation.” [214] Since this change in policy, reports of military sexual assault have increased by 40%. [215]

In light of the prevalence of MST, it is not surprising that women veterans report higher rates of mental anguish and PTSD. [216] A VA study following the Gulf War demonstrates a trend suggesting that rates of sexual trauma rise during wartime and women were more likely to develop PTSD from sexual assault than from exposure to combat. [217] Women soldiers have to suffer with both the stressors associated with combat and those rising out of sexual trauma. This is especially significant today, when one in ten soldiers are women. [218]

The command structure of military service also contributes to the psychological difficulties women face in dealing with sexual trauma. A soldier commits a punishable crime by not obeying orders. [219] Soldiers are trained to be completely subordinate to their superiors in the chain of command. Indeed, it is a criminally punishable offense to disobey the orders of a superior officer. One particularly traumatic experience many women soldiers report is combat rape, where they are raped by men higher up in the military command chain. Army specialist Suzanne Swift recalls her squad leader in Iraq knocking on her door late at night demanding sex. When she protested his demands, her sergeant ordered her “to do solitary forced marches from one side of the camp to another at night in full battle gear.” [220] One female soldier reported that she was wrongfully accused of intoxication and was disciplined after she reported sexual harassment. [221]

Women soldiers who survive sexual assault find little solace in the military discipline process. Of 3,038 investigations of sexual assault in 2004 and 2005, only 329 resulted in a courtmartial, while 617 of perpetrators received less serious punishments such as demotions, transfers and letters of admonition. [222]

E. HOW THE U.S. FAILS WOUNDED VETERANS – THE HEALTH CARE CRISIS

In 2007, the media began reporting the abysmal conditions at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. News reports were full of descriptions of moldy, vermin-infested rooms with cheap mattresses and stained rugs. [223] Once the beacon of the VA’s vast system of treatment facilities for injured soldiers, the Walter Reed Medical Center deteriorated after five years of sustained combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. [224] The problems at Walter Reed are endemic of the VA healthcare system. Veterans report similarly horrific experiences in many other VA facilities. A veteran’s mother reported that The Naval Medical Center in San Diego had a room “swarming with fruit flies, trash overflowing and a syringe on the table.” [225] Other reports of substandard care have come from Fort Knox in Kentucky, Fort Campbell in Kentucky, Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Fort Dix in New Jersey, and Fort Irwin in California. [226]

Perhaps even more troubling than the standard of care at many VA facilities is the difficulty many veterans face in receiving health care. One particularly shocking story is that of Jonathan Schulze, a Marine who received two purple hearts for his service in Iraq. Having returned from the war with severe depression, Schulze drove 75 miles to his nearest VA medical center in St. Cloud, MN. When he arrived, he was told that the clinician he came to see was unavailable. When he finally spoke to the clinician the next day, he learned that he was 26th in line for a bed in the center’s PTSD ward. Four days later, he hung himself with a telephone cord. [227]

While Schulze’s story is dramatic, it illustrates the flaws of the VA system. Soldiers are not receiving adequate health care. A Government Accountability Office study found that 80% of soldiers returning from Iraq who showed signs of potential PTSD were not referred to mental health follow up visits. [228] This is troubling given the fact that, according to the Associated Press, Veteran’s Affairs “has a backlog of about 400,000 pending medical claims and complaints, especially in mental health care." [229]

One particularly troubling trend is that approximately 22,500 troops have been released from service from the Iraq war because they allegedly have a “pre-existing personality disorder” that surfaced in “the heat of battle.” [230] A discharge because of personality disorder prevents veterans from collecting medical benefits and disability insurance. [231] Soldiers dismissed in this manner have to return the portion of their re-enlistment bonus for time they have not served under their contract. [232]

By discharging 22,500 soldiers because of personality disorders, the military will save approximately $4.5 Billion in medical care over the lifetimes of injured soldiers. [233] Since the start of the Iraq war, cases of personality disorder discharge have increased dramatically. [234]

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Several critics, including military attorneys and veterans’ groups, have stated publicly that the “pre-existing personality disorder” diagnosis is a manufactured one, and is just an excuse for the U.S. to save money by denying benefits to veterans. [236] As Russel Terry of the Iraq War Veteran’s Organization points out, every soldier must pass a thorough psychological screening upon entering the military and cannot serve if he or she has psychological problems. [237] Any psychological problem, including “personality disorder,” should be detected during this examination.

It is thus disingenuous for the military to claim, after the fact, that a soldier has a preexisting psychological disorder and to deny him benefits. Steve Robinson, director of veteran’s affairs at Veterans for America, attributes the rise in personality disorder diagnoses to the overflow of wounded soldiers coming from Iraq. He believes that doctors are quick to make this diagnosis in order to “free up space for the three or four [soldiers] who are waiting.” [238] A third observer, a lawyer with Trial Defense Services in the Army, believes that doctors are ordered to make these diagnoses by commanders who want to get rid of un-deployable soldiers. [239]

Whatever the reasons for the high rates of personality disorder diagnoses, challenging these diagnoses is quite difficult. Claims can only be reviewed once through the Board for Correction of Military Records. Even approved reversals of personality disorder diagnoses can take up to 18 months to take effect. [240] Lawyers advising soldiers in challenging these diagnoses often advise them to petition their Congressional representatives. This remedy is hardly the quickest or least cumbersome alternative for veterans seeking medical benefits. [241]

For information on how veterans can increase chances of receiving appropriate healthcare, see Appendix D.
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Re: Targeting Youth: What Everyone Should Know About Militar

Postby admin » Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:47 am

VI. STUDENTS INTERESTED IN ENLISTING TO RECEIVE EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS HAVE OTHER OPTIONS

Almost all teenagers have a hard time deciding what to do after graduating from high school. College-bound teens face the additional challenge of planning how to finance their education; a challenge that will only become more difficult with the ongoing economic problems in the United States. For many students, enlisting in the armed services immediately following graduation appears to be the simplest and best way to obtain a free college education. There are however, other options available to students who may not be able to afford college. In addition to traditional tuition assistance, such as federal educational loan programs, private loan programs, university grants, university scholarships, and independent scholarship programs, the State of New Jersey and even the Armed Forces offer educational assistance programs that do not require a student to go to war before attending college.

For students whose primary motivation for joining the military is educational benefits, the alternative sources of financial assistance (listed below) may provide an immediate, viable, non-military route to attaining a college education. For students who are motivated by patriotism, but who still want to earn a degree, enlisting immediately upon graduating from high school still may not be the best option. These students should consider enlisting after or during college via the military’s Reserve Officer’s Training Program (“ROTC”). Enlisting via the ROTC program provides a student with two advantages. First, the student does not have to wait to get an education. The ROTC program provides the student with significant immediate financial assistance. Second, a college degree helps soldiers move up the ranks in the military, and often provides enlistees with a higher base salary.

Students who are unsure what to do after graduation should keep all options on the table by applying broadly to colleges, and for scholarships, grants and/or other opportunities. By taking these steps, a student and his or her parent(s) will be able to accurately weigh the risks and benefits of military enlistment and make a truly informed decision regarding whether to enlist.

It took law students nearly 25 hours to find and read the various websites necessary to compile the information below. Gathering scholarship information can be a daunting task for any parent or student, and is especially challenging to those who may not have access to the internet or other information sources. It is therefore critical for guidance counselors and other school officials to provide this information to students, especially if the student makes clear that he or she is interested in the military because of the educational benefits of service.

The following is a comprehensive listing of both State and military programs providing tuition assistance and other educational benefits to qualifying students. Also provided in this report are the eligibility requirements and conditions of the programs. This listing should assists parents, students and educators in determining whether military enlistment immediately following high school is the best option. [242] The State programs, listed below, are in addition to other sources of funding such as federal educational assistance and private loans and scholarships, which also should be explored by students wishing to develop a full picture of post-high school options.

A. NEW JERSEY STATE SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAMS

1. NJ STARS Program [243]


The NJ STARS program helps recent high school graduates attend community college by providing full-tuition scholarships to those that meet the eligibility requirements.

a. Eligibility

To apply for the NJ Stars Program, a student must graduate in the top 20 percent of his or her high school class and apply for all other federal and state financial aid available to them.

b. Benefits

NJ STARS covers up to 5 semesters of the tuition and approved fees at New Jersey’s community colleges.

c. Requirements for Recipients

Once accepted in the NJ STARS program, a student must follow the following requirements:

1. Enroll at a community college within 2 years of graduating from high school;

2. Take a minimum of 12 college-level credits each semester, but no more than 15 credits;

3. Enroll in an associate degree program;

4. Maintain full-time enrollment;

5. Achieve a minimum of a 3.0 GPA after the first year of enrollment in order to have NJ STARS funding renewed for a second year.

2. NJ STARS II244

The NJ STARS II program provides successful NJ STARS participants with additional tuition coverage at any public four-year college or university in New Jersey. Thus, if the requirements of NJ STARS and NJ STARS II are complied with, a student can earn an undergraduate degree with their tuition completely paid by the State.

a. Eligibility

NJ STARS II is a program limited to NJ STARS graduates who have earned an associates degree, graduating from community college with a GPA of 3.0 or better. Students also have to reapply for all available state and federal financial aid to be eligible for NJ STARS II.

b. Benefits

NJ STARS II provides a full tuition and approved fees scholarship at any public, 4-year college or university in New Jersey. The NJ STARS II program also ensures that all credits achieved at community college under NJ STARS are fully transferrable.

c. Limitations

NJ STARS II does not cover room, books and board and is limited to public colleges and universities.

For more information on the NJ STARS and NJ STARS II programs, please visit http://www.njstars.net/.

3. Educational Opportunity Fund [245]

New Jersey’s Educational Opportunity Fund (“EOF”) provides participating colleges and universities with the means to assist students from difficult or underprivileged backgrounds achieve college educations through mentoring, tutoring and financial assistance.

a. Benefits

The EOF provides grants for both undergraduate and graduate studies, [246] and provides individual grants that range from $200 to $2,500 (up to $4,350 for graduate coursework). The EOF also provides support services for enrolled students, such as counseling, tutoring and developmental coursework.

b. Eligibility

To be eligible for EOF assistance, a student must meet the following requirements:

1. Attend an institution of higher education in New Jersey;

2. Be a New Jersey resident;

3. File a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (“FAFSA”);

4. Grants are typically available only to students who grew up in poverty or faced other difficulties as a child and/or adolescent.

c. Limitations and Conditions

EOF assistance is limited to participating colleges and universities participating in the program (currently this represents 42 institutions in New Jersey). Furthermore, each institution is responsible for implementing the program and set is own criteria for the EOF admissions process and has limited spaces available each year.

For more information, visit: http://www.nj.gov/highereducation/EOF/E ... bility.htm. For a list of participating institutions visit: http://www.nj.gov/highereducation/EOF/EOF_programs.htm.

4. New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority [247]

The following scholarships are smaller-scale individual awards, often administered by specific branches of the State government. Although these programs are not as comprehensive as the NJ STARS or Educational Opportunity Fund, they are still important sources of assistance that high school graduates should apply for if eligible.

a. Edward J. Bloustein Distinguished Scholars Provides $1,000 to exceptional NJ students who rank in the top 10% of their classes and have a combined SAT score of 1260 (regardless of their financial need).

b. Urban Scholars Provides $1,000 to exceptional NJ students attending NJ colleges in urban and economically distressed areas. Students must rank in the top 10% of their classes and have a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (regardless of financial need).

c. Outstanding Scholar Recruitment Program Up to $7,500 per year to outstanding NJ students at participating New Jersey educational institutions. Grants are dispersed based on class rank and SAT score. The minimum class rank is the top 15%, and the minimum SAT is 1250.248

d. Survivor Tuition Benefits Program Provides free tuition at New Jersey educational institutions for the spouses and dependents of law enforcement officers, fire fighters, or other emergency services personnel who were killed in the line of duty.

e. Dana Christmas Scholarship for Heroism Provides up to $10,000 to recognize young New Jerseyans for exceptional acts of heroism in honor of Dana Christmas, the late Seton Hall student who is credited with saving the many lives of her fellow students during a fire on January 19, 2001.

f. New Jersey World Trade Center Scholarship Fund Provides up to $6,500 per year for college studies to the surviving spouses and children of New Jersey residents who died as a result of the terrorist attacks against the U.S. on September 11, 2001.

g. Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Scholarship Programs Provides scholarships to the dependent children of New Jersey law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty, for full-time undergraduate studies at accredited NJ educational institutions.

B. MILITARY EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS AVAILABLE TO HIGH SCHOOL ENLISTEES

On June 30th, 2008 President Bush signed House of Representatives Supplemental Appropriations Act 2462 into law. Title V of HR 2462, the “Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008,” (“Post-9/11 VEAA”) replaces the existing Montgomery GI bill, which did not offer clear or adequate educational benefits. [249]

1. The Basics of the Post-9/11 VEAA

The Post-9/11 VEAA provides educational benefits for veterans who have or will complete a minimum amount of active-duty service since September 11, 2001. [250] The act will begin delivering educational benefits to veterans on August 1, 2009. [251] The Post-9/11 VEAA amends the Montgomery GI Bill, [252] which was widely criticized as having sub-standard educational benefits.

2. Entitlement Eligibility

To be eligible for educational assistance under the Post-9/11 VEAA, a person must have completed:

a. a minimum of 90 days of aggregate service in the Armed Forces or 30 days of continuous service in the Armed Forces and be released due to a “service-connected disability” [253]

OR

b. minimum of 90 days of aggregate service and a qualifying discharge:

(1) an honorable discharge;

(2) a release “characterized as honorable” by the relevant Secretary, and placement on the retired list or transfer to a reserve Marine Corps or Fleet unit, or placement on the “temporary disabled list;”

(3) a release for further service in the Armed Forces in a reserve component after service characterized as honorable by the relevant Secretary;

OR

(4) a discharge or release due to: (a) a preexisting medical condition; (b) hardship; or (c) a physical or mental disability that was not the result of the individual’s own willful misconduct, but interfered with active duty. [254]

Once a soldier is eligible for educational assistance under the Post-9/11 VEAA, the amount of time s/he served in active duty dictates the amount of his or her educational benefits.

3. Amount of Educational Assistance

There are two main routes to becoming eligible for educational assistance under the Post- 9/11 VEAA. The first is based on length of service in active duty, and is predicated on the nature of one’s discharge from the military. [255] The second is based on suffering a “service-connected disability,” (injury in the line of duty). [256] Maximum benefits are available for up to 36 months (9 months per year for a typical 4 year undergraduate degree program). For those who do not qualify for the maximum entitlement (36 months active duty, or service-connected disability) the length of entitlement does not change, but the amount received is reduced to a percentage of the maximum, which is as follows:

a. Tuition Assistance: up to the cost of the most-expensive approved “institute of higher learning” (IHL) in the same State as the school attended by the eligible veteran. These payments are made directly to the school, which simplifies the process for veterans. [257]

b. Housing Assistance: matching the amount that an active-duty member of the armed forces in the E-5 pay grade with dependents would receive in the same ZIP code where the school is located. This amount can be found under section 403 of title 37 of the US Code. [258]

c. Books and Supplies Assistance: up to $1000 per year. This amount is divided by the number of semesters or quarters and paid to the veteran. [259]

d. Rural Relocation Assistance: of $500. Veterans moving from locations classified as highly rural may apply to receive a one-time payment of $500 if they are traveling far enough to attend school. [260]

e. Tutorial Assistance: available if a veteran’s professor or instructor deems it necessary in the course and such course is a necessary element to the veteran’s curriculum. If approved the maximum tuition assistance is $1200 per year, paid out as $100 per month. [261]

f. Licensure and Certification Test Assistance: full payment for approved tests up to $2000 regardless of a veteran’s entitlement percentage of the maximum, discussed below. This amount is considered separate and does not affect other entitlements. [262]

g. Yellow Ribbon Assistance at More Expensive Institutions: schools that charge higher tuition than that of the most expensive in-state public institution may participate in a cost-sharing program with the military. The school and the DOD will split the cost of attendance. The formula will be determined on a case-by-case basis. [263]

4. Amount of Educational Benefits

a. Maximum Entitlement: 36 Months of Service or a “Service-Connected Disability”

Veterans who are eligible for assistance due to a service-connected disability are entitled to the maximum benefits automatically under the Post-9/11 VEAA. [264] Otherwise, the amount of entitlement of any veteran under the Post-9/11 VEAA is tied to the length of his or her service. To be eligible for the maximum entitled mentioned above, a veteran must have completed 36 aggregate months of active service and receive a qualifying discharge. [265] Otherwise, a veteran is entitled to assistance that still continues for 36 months but is paid as a percentage of the maximum as follows:

(1) 30 Months of Service – 90% of maximum entitlement

(2) 24 Months of Service – 80% of maximum entitlement

(3) 18 Months of Service – 70% of maximum entitlement

(4) 12 Months of Service – 60% of maximum entitlement

(5) 6 Months of Service – 50% of maximum entitlement

(6) 90 Days of Service – 40% of maximum entitlement [266]

A typical active-duty service obligation for new enlistees is 2 - 6 years, with the majority of enlistment contracts specifying a 2 or 3 year commitment. Thus, a solder who completes a minimum 2 year commitment of active duty and who receives a qualifying discharge would be eligible for 80% of the maximum benefits according to his state and ZIP code of residence.

5. Transferability of Benefits

Section 3319 of the Post-9/11 VEAA generally authorizes the transfer of educational benefits from veterans to their spouses and/or children. [267] The act itself allows the Secretary of Defense to authorize the Secretary of each branch of the military to promulgate specific regulations outlining the specifics of transferability under the Post-9/11 VEAA. [268] According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, regulations regarding transferability will be forthcoming before August 1, 2009 when the act begins to deliver benefits. [269]

6. Expiration of Benefits

The benefits a veteran is entitled to under the Post-9/11 VEAA must be used within 15 years. This period begins at the time of the soldier’s last discharge from active duty. [270]

7. Conclusion

The Post-9/11 VEAA provides veterans with meaningful educational assistance. Veterans however, cannot begin receiving benefits until August 1, 2009. Veterans must serve 3 years of active duty service, or be injured in the line of duty in a manner considered to be “service-connected” in order to receive full educational benefits. The act covers only 9 months per academic year for a typical 4 year undergraduate degree. This means that the veteran must cover non-academic year costs personally and must graduate on schedule, without summer or winter session schooling. Anyone considering joining the military should compare these benefits with scholarships, State and federal financial aid, and ROTC programs. The educational benefits provided under the Post-9/11 VEAA should also be considered in the context of the risks of military service during wartime. Anyone considering enlisting should be mindful that the term “service-connected” disabilities may be interpreted very narrowly. [271] Disabilities that the average person would consider “service-connected” are often excluded by the Veterans Administration, as discussed earlier in this report.

C. MILITARY-BASED EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS AND GRADUATES

The Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps all maintain ROTC programs which offer generous scholarship opportunities to graduating high school seniors and college students who have not completed their degrees. The ROTC is used by the military branches to recruit and train highly skilled officers. As such, scholarships are awarded based on a student's merit and grades, not financial need. [272] The ROTC allows graduates to start active-duty military service as officers.

Each branch of the military administers its own ROTC program. But, the eligibility requirements are roughly the same for all ROTC programs. As such, for the sake of brevity, the Army ROTC program will be used as an example where necessary.

1. ROTC College Students Can Be Called Into Active Duty after One Year of College

While ROTC programs offer students an opportunity to go to college before military service, the military reserves the right to call students to active duty after one year of college classes. For more information, visit: http://www.army.com/enlist/rotc-faqs.html.

2. Benefits273

The Army offers two, three, and four-year ROTC scholarships, depending on when a student applies to the program. Once accepted, a student receives a tuition scholarship as well as additional allowances to pay for books and fees. Most graduates of the program begin their active-duty commitment as officers, with more specialized training and higher pay than soldiers who enlist immediately after high school.

Living Expenses are also covered under ROTC scholarships. Students can earn certain amounts depending on their progress in the Army ROTC curriculum. The monthly living expenses stipend for a ROTC student is as follows:

Image

3. Eligibility Requirements [278]

• U.S. citizenship
• Between 17 and 26 years old
• Able to meet physical standards
• Agree to accept a commission and service on Active Duty or in a Reserve Component (U.S. Army Reserve or Army National Guard). This requires a total of an 8-year military commitment (4 years in college and 4 years active duty after graduation).

4. Academic Requirements

Army:

High school GPA of at least 2.50, high school diploma or equivalent and a minimum of 920 on SAT or 19 on ACT (excluding required writing test scores). [279]

Navy:

High school diploma or equivalent, score a minimum of 530 in Critical Reading and 520 in math on the SAT or score 22 on English and 21 on Math on the ACT. The test score requirements are reduced for students graduating in the top 10% of their high school class. [280]

Air Force:

College enrollment, good academic standing, pass the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test, be selected by a board of Air Force officers. [281]

Marines:

High school diploma or equivalent, minimum of 1000 composite SAT score or 22 composite ACT. The test score requirements are reduced for students graduating in the top 10% of their high school class. [282]

For more information and to apply to ROTC college programs, visit:

• Navy and Marine Corps: https://www.nrotc.navy.mil/aboutnrotc.cfm
• Army: http://www.goarmy.com/rotc/
• Air Force: http://www.afrotc.com/

D. ENLISTMENT BENEFITS FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS AND GRADUATES NOT ENROLLED IN ROTC PROGRAMS

There are many other advantages to enlisting in the military during and after college. A selection of these benefits is listed below and should be explored by college-bound students interested in serving in the military.

1. Advantages to Enlisting During College

Higher Sign-On Bonuses [283]

Those with Associates Degrees and college credits also qualify for higher sign-on bonuses.

Better Pay [284]

Those with Associates Degrees and college credits qualify for higher pay than enlistees who are only high school graduates.

More Elite Jobs

Those with Associates Degrees and college credits are also much more likely to qualify for elite jobs and training programs.

Navy Baccalaureate Degree Completion Program [285]

Available to students enrolled in college degree programs who wish to attend the Navy’s officer candidate school upon graduation. Provides financial assistance to students to facilitate completion of an undergraduate degree. Unlike ROTC, this program does not offer officer training during college.

Air Force In-College Scholarship Program [286]

Offers scholarships to college freshmen and sophomores in any degree program. Like the Navy Baccalaureate Degree Completion Program, this program does not offer officer training during college.

Health Services Program

The Army offers full-tuition plus stipend scholarships to students pursuing any accredited medical, dental, veterinary, psychology or optometry program in the U.S. or Puerto Rico. The student must serve one year in the Army for every year that he or she receives a scholarship.

2. Benefits of Enlisting as a College Graduate

In addition to receiving the benefits listed directly above, college graduates who enlist may reap additional benefits. The military has student loan repayment programs which can help enlistees repay existing student loans. Additionally, college graduates may be eligible to enlist directly into the officer candidate schools of the various military branches. This puts them on a fast-track to interesting careers with better pay and benefits.
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Re: Targeting Youth: What Everyone Should Know About Militar

Postby admin » Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:49 am

VII. CONCLUSION

There are many alternative routes to receiving a college education that do not involve military service. Enlisting in the armed forces is a serious and irrevocable commitment. It should be considered once a student has a complete understanding of the various post-high school opportunities available to him or her. For some students, enlisting upon graduation from high school will be the right choice. Some students may reconsider the decision to enlist once they are made aware of other educational opportunities to which they may be entitled. This Report highlights numerous options available to high school students. It is an effort to provide meaningful information so that families can make informed decisions concerning military enlistment.

This report also discusses how many high schools are failing their students by giving military recruiters unlimited access to students. Recruiters are ordered to “sell” the military to all high school students, even the ones who are too young to enlist. The military’s 2009 recruitment budget is $20.5 Billion. The military uses our tax dollars to pay the same advertising firms that help sell sugary soft drinks and junk food to come up with slick video games and advertisements to convince teenagers to enlist. These advertisements do not give students an accurate picture of military life and strategically exploit adolescent insecurities for recruitment purposes.

High schools fail families by neglecting their obligations under federal law to notify parents that they have the right that we hope keep recruiters from their children. This report contains recommendations that we hope the State legislature, school boards, high school administrators, parents and students will adopt to ensure that parents and high school students are informed of their rights to keep recruiters away from children.
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Re: Targeting Youth: What Everyone Should Know About Militar

Postby admin » Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:50 am

VIII. RECOMMENDATIONS

To protect the rights of students and parents, and to ensure that schools throughout the state comply with both NCLB and FERPA, we urge that the following recommendations be implemented immediately.

LEGISLATURE

• Pass a State-wide opt-out policy that includes the following provisions:
o Require schools to include an opt-out check box on a mandatory emergency form (see mandatory emergency information form) OR print as a stand alone form and require its return along with other mandatory forms
o Require schools to distribute opt-out forms within the first few weeks of each school year
o Honor opt-outs for the entire time a student spends in a particular high school, and eliminate the need for annual opt-out forms
o Translate the opt-out form into different languages in multilingual districts
o Require guidance offices to keep visible copies of opt-out forms
o Require school boards to certify compliance with the above policy to the New Jersey State Board of Education by the first week of classes of each academic year.

SCHOOL BOARDS

• Pass a resolution that includes the following provisions:
o Limit military recruitment to number of visits by colleges and other postsecondary options (i.e. college fairs)
o Limit military recruitment to the same single location where college and employer recruiters meet students (usually the guidance office)
o End recruiter abilities to roam halls and approach students
o End recruiter classroom presentations
o End recruiter access to teachers lounges
o Ensure that information given by recruiters is accurate
o Require military recruiters to sign in/sign out
o Require schools to collect and make publicly available recruiter data such as:
 Recruiter frequency on campus
 Dates of requests for student contact information
 Submissions of student information by military branch, class level and age of students, and number of students opting out
o Require a formal grievance procedure for incidences of military misconduct/misrepresentation
 Make grievances known to recruiters’ superiors
 Deny access to recruiters engaging in misrepresentation/misconduct
o Provide equal access to students to groups that provide information about nonmilitary public service and anti-war groups

HIGH SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS & GUIDANCE COUNSELORS

• Incorporate recommendations for School Boards and Legislature listed above
• Publicize parents’ “opt-out” rights regarding their children and military recruitment
o Make “opt-out” forms and information available in the guidance office
o Post “opt-out” forms and information on school’s website
o Discuss “opt-out” information at meetings with parents
• Understand that No Child Left Behind requires equal access to students for military recruiters, but it does not entitle the military to unlimited access
• Ensure that information given by recruiters is accurate
o Identify one staff person to talk with students interested in enlisting about pros and cons of service, and the reality of benefits
o Notify parents and students of the identity of this person
o Develop a benefits fact sheet to disseminate to students containing accurate information about military benefits
• Limit student’s information released to name, phone number, and address only
o Do not include additional information about ethnicity, participation in student organizations, etc.
• Provide equal access to students to groups that provide information about non-military public service and anti-war groups
• Notify students that they do not have to take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test

PARENTS

• Know that you have a right to opt your child out of military recruitment lists
• If no opt-out policy exists at your child’s school
o Demand it
o Write an affirmative letter opting out (see sample letter)
• Get involved
o Understand your rights
o Voice your concerns
o Run for local school board
o Attend school board meeting and submit a request for a resolution
o Raise awareness of opt-out policies and rights to other parents and with school officials
o Inform your child that he or she does not have to take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test

STUDENTS

• You do not have to speak to recruiters
• You can opt-out yourself (see NCLB § 9528)
• You do not have to take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test
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