US Indymedia Global Indymedia Publish About us
Printed from Boston IMC : http://boston.indymedia.org/
Boston.Indymedia
IVAW Winter Soldier

Winter Soldier
Testimonies
Brad Presente

Other Local News

Spare Change News
Open Media Boston
Somerville Voices
Cradle of Liberty
The Sword and Shield

Local Radio Shows

WMBR 88.1 FM
What's Left
WEDS at 8:00 pm
Local Edition
FRI (alt) at 5:30 pm

WMFO 91.5 FM
Socialist Alternative
SUN 11:00 am

WZBC 90.3 FM
Sounds of Dissent
SAT at 11:00 am
Truth and Justice Radio
SUN at 6:00 am

Create account Log in
Comment on this feature | View comments | Email this feature | Printer-friendly version
News :: Education : Human Rights : Politics
Out of School and Into the Military
28 Nov 2005
“All my life I’ve liked the military,” said Adrian Paez, a Colombian immigrant and a senior at East Boston High School. At 17 years old, Adrian has not doubts about joining the US armed forces. “When I think of the army, I don’t think about dying,” he said, “I think of everything I can do, everything I can learn, everything I can be.”

Adrian fled Colombia with his family to escape rural violence and economic adversity in an increasingly militarized society. A year after arriving to the United States, he became a member of the Junior Reserve Officer Training Core (JROTC) at East Boston High where he has been learning the basics of military training for the past three years. His real name is not being used in this story to protect him from getting deported.
image001.jpg
Advertised as a leadership and character development program, in reality JROTC entices minority, low-income students to join the armed forces. As detailed in the Army’s Operation and Maintenance Budget Estimate for FY 2005, “JROTC does not impose an obligation to serve in the military; however, a by-product of this program may be an interest in the military service.”

Conceptualized in 1916 as a collaborative effort between the Department of Education and the Department of Defense, JROTC currently serves 400,000 students in 2,600 schools nationwide at a cost of about $165 million annually.

“I wouldn’t want to go [to Iraq], but it’s not like I’m afraid to go,” Adrian said about recruiting efforts at his high school. His story reflects the vulnerability that young students face to military recruitment, particularly among Latinos, and how policies under the Bush administration have made it easier for recruiters to exploit this vulnerability.

RECRUITERS IN HIGH SCHOOLS

In its 2005 fiscal report, the Department of the Army stated that about 42% of the JROTC graduates choose either to enter a ROTC program in college, one of the service academies, or serve in the active or reserve force. “With numbers like that it’s obvious to us that JROTC is doing a great job collaborating with recruiting efforts,” said Oskar Castro, Program Associate at the American Friends Service Committee’s (AFSC) National Youth & Militarism Program.

It’s illegal to recruit minors into the military, yet students as young as 14 are regularly approached and advised into pursuing a military career through their high school’s JROTC.

As the Department of Defense introduced two new recruiting initiatives in 2000, College First and GED Plus, Colin Powell expressed the importance of attracting students to the military at a young age. “We know why we want high school graduates. They have a tendency to be more adaptable to military life,” said Powell.

The relationship developed with school administrators is critical for recruiters to have access to students. According to the 2004 School Recruiting Program Handout (SRPH) published by the US Army Recruiting Command, “Establishing rapport with school officials is a key step in maintaining access to schools. To effectively work the school market, recruiters must maintain rapport through SY and develop a good working relationship with influencers.”

“Influencers” are not limited to guidance counselors. The SRPH encourages recruiters to cultivate relationships with coaches, librarians, administrative staff and teachers; anyone who might be helpful in providing information on how to effectively communicate with specific students.

Ms. Rodriguez, bilingual counselor at East Boston High, explains that recruiters are required to schedule appointments to talk to students. “But I know that once [recruiters] already have a kid that they’ve talked to who says is interested, they’ll come back and check in to see how they’re doing,” she said, “They come to their graduation.”

On February 2000, the Senate Armed Services Committee's subcommittee, chaired by then Senator Tim Hutchinson (R-AR), held hearings on armed forces recruiting and retention of personnel. At the hearings, Master Sergeant Jamie Cranada, a Califonia Air Force recruiter with five years of experience, mentioned how it was easier to approach schools with JROTC programs. “We concentrate on those schools with JROTC. The others do not let us in and we do not focus there,” he said.

“I do my best in high schools with JROTC,” said Staff Sergeant Reginald Hamilton, also Air Force recruiter, in response to Senator Jack Reed’s (D-RI) question on the value of JROTC units to recruiting.

“There are four in my area. They look at us to train. It helps reverse the trend. A definite plus,” said Staff Sergeant Sean McElroy, from the US Marine Corps and recruiter in Georgia.

Military recruiters’ expressed a general frustration with having access to high school and college students’ contact information where such programs do not exist.

“The schools in Gwinnet County, Georgia, will not give out their list of students,” said Staff Sergeant Sean McElroy, “Cannot get a school roster.”

But when asked about imposing sanctions on high schools that were not supportive of recruiters’ efforts, most recruiter chiefs agreed that such change in policy would be detrimental to the image of the armed forces.

“DOD believes it would be a lose-lose to leverage high schools. We feel it would be better to reconnect on a public relations front,” said Mr. Alphonso Maldon, Assistant Secretary of Defense, Force Management Policy, “We do not want a situation where we are let into the schools and become a target of criticism.”

Nevertheless, Senator Hutchinson introduced a bill called the Military Recruiter Access Enhancement Act of 2000, which denies Federal educational assistance funds to local educational agencies that do not allow the DOD access to secondary school students. Sen. Hutchinson was instrumental in including this provision in the No Child Left Behind Act.

In effect since 2001, all secondary schools must provide directory information about their students for military recruiting purposes. BeNow, a database marketing company based in Wakefield, MA, was hired to process the 12 million names collected so far.

Written into law is the requirement that schools must notify parents and students of their right to "opt-out" and keep their contact information private. In effect, the law coerces schools to release private student contact information to the military while relegating the responsibility of informing parents of the law to already under-staffed schools.

LATINOS AS A MILITARY RECRUITMENT TARGET

At East Boston High guidance counselors like to introduce recently arrived immigrants to JROTC as an easy way to make friends, a way to acoplarse or get integrated in the school, particularly for those students who speak little or no English and need extra support from their peers.

“It’s a good way for me to say, you know, you’re going into a class that is taught by a person who only speaks English but [you’ll find] the support provided by the students in the team,” said Claudia Rodriguez, Bilingual Counselor.

As the fastest growing youth-group in the nation, the Latino population has become a top priority in recruiting efforts. The Hispanic population among 18-year-olds is expected to grow about 14 to 22 percent over the next 15 years, according to the 2000 US Census.

“This increase, paired with the fact that the high school graduation rate for Hispanics is lower than for other groups, is an important issue given the Services’ interest in enlisting a high proportion of high school graduates,” details a report titled Attitudes, Aptitudes, and Aspirations of American Youth: Implications for Military Recruitment issued by the Committee on Youth Population and Military Recruitment under the Secretary of Defense in 2003.

The Committee was established in 1999 at the request of the DOD Office of Accession Policy in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense to examine a broad range of questions concerning the characteristics of the 21st century youth population and subpopulations that are likely to influence recruitment efforts. The Committee examined options available to youth and recommended various recruiting and advertising strategies and incentive programs.

Following these recommendations, the armed forces have been very keen in the last years in targeting minority youth, particularly those of Hispanic descent. In June 2001, of the $150 million that the Army spent on its campaign, $11.3 million went to Spanish-language advertising compared to $3.5 million in ads aimed at African-Americans.

Latinos meet several of the variables that, according to the National Defense Research Institute (NDRI), recruiters look for in applicants to prevent personnel attrition. That is, mother’s education, family income, and number of siblings. These are all variables that, according to NDRI, makes these students less likely to attend college and therefore more likely to enlist into the military.

Undocumented immigrants cannot join the armed forces but US residents can. If Adrian were granted legal status in this country, he would be one among the 37,000 noncitizens, referred to as “green card” troops or immigrants with permanent alien cards, serving in the US military.

Once in the military, however, greencard troops face other challenges. Noncitizens cannot become officers, which excludes them from technical and specialty programs, such as intelligence, electronics, aircrews and the Navy SEALs. The Pew Research Foundation has estimated that although under-represented in the armed forces as a whole, about 18% of Latino immigrants end up in combat-related positions.

In Iraq, the first US casualty was a citizen of Guatemala and permanent US resident, named Jose Paez. He died during the first days of the war and did not get a chance to apply for his citizenship through the “Expedited Citizenship Program” set up by the Bush administration for military personnel and their families.

THE CASE IN MASSACHUSSETTS

At the local level, actual recruiting numbers per high school are hard to come by. Local recruiters will direct individuals interested in statistics to JROTC programs and JROTC instructors claim that they do not keep track.

“We don’t know. Usually the kids don’t go [to the military] right out of high school. We find many more times than not that they’ll come in and go after the fact, which is very, very strange to me. You would think that they go in immediately, but they don’t,” said Colonel Gerald Wellman, a senior instructor at East Boston High’s JROTC.

The best assessment on the number of high school students who join military is available through the Department of Education based on exit surveys taken by graduating students.

According to the DOE in Massachusetts, the percentage of students who said they are planning to enter the military decreased from 4 percent in 1978 to 2.1 percent in 2003.

Among racial/ethnic groups in the state of Massachusetts in 2003, Hispanics had the highest number of students planning to join the military at 3.7 percent followed by whites and Native Americans, at 2.2 percent each, and African Americans, at 1.2 percent.

The presence of JROTC programs in combination with low-income levels, play an important role in influencing students’ decision to join the military.

At Lawrence High in northern Massachusetts, as many as 10.3 percent of its students expressed interest in joining the military on their exit survey in 2003. Lawrence High has a JROTC program, 75 percent of its students were reported as low income, and it has a dropout rate of 10.4 percent. Eighty-five percent of the students are of Hispanic descent.

West Roxbury High and Hyde Park High School both have JROTC programs and recruitment figures of as much as 4 percent each, 2 percent higher than the state’s average. Low-income levels at each high school were reported at 68.3 and 67.1 percent, respectively. In both schools over 50 percent of the student population is Hispanic.

An interesting exception is English High, a school with a similar profile and a much lower recruitment propensity rate. The school also has a JROTC program, 77.1 percent of the students were reported as low income, and 90 percent of the students belong to a Hispanic or African American ethnic group. The number of students expressing interest in joining the military, however, did not rise above 3.0 percent in 2001 and has been at 0 percent since.

“I think we have a great college readiness program,” said Elena Gelinas, guidance counselor at English High when asked about reasons for low military recruitment numbers in her school, “Maybe [students] feel that they have more opportunities after graduation.”

English High’s college readiness program includes college education at assemblies, individualized meetings, and classrooms workshops. English High also manages a National College Fair every October at which fifty to sixty colleges attend. Seventy-eight percent of English High students are reported to attend a two-year or four-year college after graduation.

UNDOCUMENTED AND TRAINED TO BE AN AMERICAN SOLDIER

At East Boston High School 4.0 percent expressed interest in joining the military on their exit survey upon graduation in 2004, one of the highest percentages in the Boston Public Schools system (the other one being John D. School O’Bryant at 5.0 percent). That number reached 6.0 percent in 2000 and was at its lowest in 2002, but has been growing steadily since.

The JROTC at East Boston High used to be an elective class but officers convinced the administration to allow JROTC count for credit as the physical education requirement. Only fifty percent of the students at East Boston High are Latinos but JROTC is mostly comprised of Spanish-speaking students.


For Adrian, JROTC was the pinnacle of his experience with the military. In Colombia, he remembers seeing soldiers in his town since he was four or five years old. “They were all over town and would stand in the corners making rounds. I used to love looking at them, their uniform and everything else. I would talk to them and still have a bullet one of them gave me,” said Adrian.

Adrian’s mother, Marta, witnessed soldiers in her native town near Medellin who used extortion to collect money from the locals. “For example, if a family has enough to live off from, a small farm or local business, they have to calculate the soldiers’ payment from their profits,” said Marta.

Colombia is the site of a 50-year old war in between the army, right-wing paramilitaries, leftist guerrillas, and drug traffickers that according to Amnesty International left 30,000 dead in the past decade alone. Civilians are targets of violence from all sides and people like Adrian’s family are commonly displaced internally before finally deciding to leave the country.

As the main supplier of military aid, at $700 million in 2004, the United States plays a critical role in Colombian politics and the perpetuation of the civil conflict in that country.

The John W. McCormack School of Policy Studies at the University of Massachusetts, reports that among the overall Latino population, recently arrived immigrant children account for about 10% of all children under 18. The percentage of immigrants among Guatemalan, Salvadoran, and Honduran children is three times that, and among Colombian children it climbs to 48%.

As he got older, Adrian and some school friends began visiting the soldiers’ base camp on the town skirts where they were allowed to help disarm and clean guns. And when he was nine years old he was recruited in a training program for children in his school sponsored by the Colombian national police. The kids were trained to march and keep the order at public events. They wore blue uniforms, white caps, and combat boots. “They even gave us anti-riot batons,” said Adrian.

According to Human Rights Watch, at least one of every four irregular combatants in Colombia is under eighteen years of age. Of these, several thousand are under the age of fifteen.

When he arrived in the United States, Adrian’s environment changed drastically, far from the day-to-day militarized society in Colombia, that is, until he entered high school. “In seventh and eight grades here everything was normal, but when I got to ninth in high school, I found them again. It was there that I found the army again.”

Summers for Adrian have been also part of his military experience. Every summer for three years he has been to Camp Freedom, a summer camp for students aged 14 to 18 at the Massachusetts Military Reservation (MMR), a 22,000-acre base used for military training at Cape Cod. Over 550 JROTC students from the Northeast attend Camp Freedom each summer. Students pay a $30 dollar fee to register; the Army covers transportation, meals, and accommodations expenses.

Run by the JROTC from East Boston High, the Camp Freedom experience includes drills and ceremony, marching in formation, and competition among groups in several physical training activities such as rappelling, aquatics, and rock climbing. Everyone gets graded on motivation.

As a senior cadet, Alex instructed the younger students how to march with pellet rifles weighing as much as 10.5 pounds. Although himself not yet a citizen, he helped teach a citizenship class as the Company Commander for his JROTC unit.

Ironically, Adrian’s legal status is what protected him from joining the military and sent to war. He is currently looking into taking courses at a local community college. Many of Adrian’s JROTC friends ended up in the Middle East, however, and will have to live with memories of violence and death.

“Three [JROTC members] from about two years ago went to Afghanistan and Pakistan,” said Sgt. Burnett, JROTC instructor at East Boston High, “And I have one currently in Kuwait, waiting to go into Iraq within the next couple of months. And I have one who was in the JROTC, quit the JROTC, and joined the service and he’s currently in Baghdad.”

Copyright by the author. All rights reserved.
Add a quick comment
Title
Your name Your email

Comment

Text Format
Anti-spam Enter the following number into the box:
To add more detailed comments, or to upload files, see the full comment form.

Comments

Re: Out of School and Into the Military
29 Nov 2005
So what is the problem? High schools that have JROTC programs turn out great and responsible young adults. Is that bad? We have plenty of fools running around, why not have a few great people with great leadership skills. On top of that, these young students (NOT SOLDIERS) DO NOT have to join the military at all. I hope that is clear to everyone. They have NO obligation to join any branch of the service. They learned new skills, met new people and graduated high school. As for recruiters targeting high schools that have JROTC programs - doesn't that make sense? They already have the basic military knowledge, they already have the discipline, they already have a sense of service to their community/country.
I recently had some interaction with a couple of Lawrence High JROTC cadets. HAve any of you been to Lawrence lately? Lets just say the town is a mess. While most teenagers in Lawrence are rude and up to no good, these young cadets were polite, responsible and respectful. Imagine that!
College ROTC is a little different where you are required to join the service after graduating. ROTC has turned out some fine Platoon Leaders, I can account for that.
The last part of the story is extremely misleading. it sounds as if there are JROTC cadets in IRaq and Afghanistan. JROTC cadets are kids and civilians. Young students are not allowed into the military. It would break their curfew.
Great program and I hope that my town instills it by the time my little ones become teenagers.

Article had some wrong data and was misleading a little bit but overall it is alright.
Re: Out of School and Into the Military
29 Nov 2005
sofia,

great article. you do a wonderful job pointing out the disproportionate effect of militarism on young people of color. i remember being a high school senior in the late '90s and getting bombarded by military recruiters. in south texas, where i grew up, the military and jrotc have a heavy presence in public schools. needless to say, most of the kids i knew who attended the elite private college in new england with me - largely wealthy and white - weren't contacted even once by recruiters.

thanks for shedding some light on the military's pillaging of our communities.
Re: Out of School and Into the Military
29 Nov 2005
Great article Sofia!

Link - alternatives to the military for Boston area youth:
http://bostondirectactionproject.blogspot.com/
Re: Out of School and Into the Military
29 Nov 2005
I'm not sure where you people went to school, but I went to school in a middle class suburb of Boston where I was contacted by Marine Corps, Army, Navy, Coast Guard and Air Force recruiters. I chose the Army. Best choice that I ever made.
Re: Out of School and Into the Military
29 Nov 2005
Same here. Grew up outside of Boston and was hit by all the recuriters! Joined the Army and loved every minute of it. Funny, even after I had been in on active duty I was approached by another branch recruiter. Imagine that?

JROTC is a great program. When I was speaking with a class (+) of high school students yesterday there was questions about enlisted/officer, ROTC and so forth. Majority of these students from good homes, in a good town were quite interested and even asked why they did not have a JROTC program at their school. Good question! A few were going to look into it as I said I would as well. Just because you do JROTC does not mean you are going into the military. Keep up the commentary on this one - I'm very curious to see where it goes!
Re: Out of School and Into the Military
29 Nov 2005
Great article Sofia. Really well researched.

Keep it up. Peace.
Re: Out of School and Into the Military
29 Nov 2005
DSC02911.jpg
Notice anything about these boston area JROTC youth?
See also:
http://www.capedmaskedandarmed.com/jonathan
Re: Out of School and Into the Military
29 Nov 2005
I don't see anything particularly strange about them.
Re: Out of School and Into the Military
29 Nov 2005
look a little closer
Re: Out of School and Into the Military
29 Nov 2005
One of them is out of step!

Great to see the youth of America standing up and taking responsibility. Most kids don't even attend parades any more. Article wasn't bad! Some misleading statements but not bad. JROTC is a great way for the kids of America to gain an understanding of service and responsibility. Kids in the Commonwealth are having huge tardiness issues but not the kids in JROTC!
Re: Out of School and Into the Military
29 Nov 2005
buzzzz wrong try again....
Re: Out of School and Into the Military
29 Nov 2005
Yo yo yo everyone. Why does Veteran seem to think anyone has anything against the youth who for whatever reason end up in the military?

We have a problem with blind obedience to the cowardly criminlas who order them to destroy a country so that they can pillage it.

The current war is an old-fashioned heist, many times larger than any great train or bank robbery of old. This time the daring bandits targeted a country sitting on a sea of oil. Far from the scene of anything noble, Iraq today is recognized by the vast majority of the world as the scene of a crime in progress. As the world watches, Americans watch the looting and do nothing.

We left shame and dishonor behind long ago.... we are now plunged headlong into an abyss of moral bankruptcy. Torture, rape, chemical warfare--and the perpetrators live large--have we left NO sense of decency, America? Who will rescue poor Uncle Sam from the gutter life of the far gone, violent Petro-addict before he loses everything? And how exactly did he end up there in the first place?
Re: Out of School and Into the Military
29 Nov 2005
jonathan- the correct answer is that they are all people of color.

thank you for this article. we know we're doing well when the military has to come onto our websites and repeatedly post comebacks. they are getting desparate, so lets keep pushing them.
Re: Out of School and Into the Military
29 Nov 2005
exactly
Re: Out of School and Into the Military
30 Nov 2005
I was contacted by the Marines, and I joined. It was good for me. About the photo... People of color. Everyone in the picture is" a person of color" ( just wondering, is "white" a color, if so, wouldn't everyone be "a person of color".), that's probably because the VAST ( over 85%) majority of the student body in the Boston Public Schools is made up of "people of color"( "people of color" refering to non-whites). The high school that I graduated from, Wicconah Regional HS in Dalton, Ma. had an all white JR ROTC. Why you may ask ???/ Because the school was 98% white. This last statement will probably get comment "hidden" but, if Adrian is here illegally, he probably shouldn't be here. If he stays, he's should be giving something back for his free education, not b*tching about the military.... OK, I'm off to bed. Chasing Bambi tomorrow.
Clearly it's OK if we do it...
30 Nov 2005
So JROTC is perfectly legitimate be cause it doesn't force minors into the military it only subtlely conditions them for, what, 4 years? Then at 18 they're "adults" and can make a perfectly informed and rational decision about signing up.

Um, way back when we cad Communists instead of Terrorists the Right (and the middle and probably most ofd the center left) was indignat about the "young pioneers" in the Soviet Union because of the insideous brain washing of the youth.

The young pioneers disn't drill with guns, they were basicly the boy scouts gone coed.

It's interesting how the same people can see nearly identical situations as completely antithetical to each other.
Re: Out of School and Into the Military
30 Nov 2005
"We have a problem with blind obedience to the cowardly criminlas who order them to destroy a country so that they can pillage it."

Who is blind and obedient to what? Seems that most on here are blind to everything as well as untrusting of anything their immediate circle of friends feeds them. That line above is so untrue that it is almost scary that an idividual can actually think that.
JROTC conditions young adults to be responsible adults. You are foolish in thinking that all that volunteer to be members of JROTC actually join the military.
Also, Boston schools are schools of "color", as you ignorantly put it, and what does that have to do with anything. There is NO color in JROTC, ROTC or the military. Everyone is equal. Something most on here need to understand and keep repeating that to themselves while attempting to look at themselves in the mirror.
Re: Out of School and Into the Military
30 Nov 2005
I think the issue here is that the military targets poor youth of color at a much greater rate.

That's why the war becomes a class war. It's not the rich that are dying for an unjust war, it's the poor. Why? Not because it's patriotic, but because they see the military as the only way to move up in society.

When a society builds such an inmense system of "support" to youth that revolves around the military such as JROTC, it's in fact militarizing society. Colombia is an excellent example of a militarized society, and I can assure you is no good example of a healthy democracy. It's the law of the gun.

So, in an "ideal" society, the military is a last resort. It's small, efficient, and contained. Can you imagine our youth with programs to advance their education, their cultural identity? It's amazing what $165 million annually spent on JROTC would do for afterschool educational programs spent on our youth.

But it's no surprise that in a country where 40% of its budget is spent on the military, we need more bodies to feed the machine. Therefore, more recruitment. Therefore, recruitment at a younger age.

That's really the issue here. Our teens are being recruited into the military to feed the system--the military being the most lucrative US business. It's time to question that system.
Pointless racism
30 Nov 2005
I think Jonathan's obsession is a racist one. Why should the race of the people in the army matter? If I showed a picture of the CNN newsroom and said "What's wrong with this picture is that they are all Jewish," everyone would scream bloody murder. I don't this we should tolerate Jonathan's racism. I for one am outraged.
Re: Out of School and Into the Military
30 Nov 2005
donna, jonothan's point is that the "race" issue does exist in the military because there is a draft on the poor and minorities. pointing out that there is a racial problem is different from being racist. jon is talking about race as a construct used by those in power to undermine and take advantage of the disadvantaged: in this case, he is trying to demonstrate that "race" is a social-economic construct that is being used by the US military to force people (of color) to see the military as an option or sometimes the only option to a life of poverty...

The difference between your example of racism and jon's example is that jon is pointing out an act of or example of racism, while your example is phrased as straight racist. If your example were to point to a group of jewish people who were being mistreated in nazi Germany it would be more similar to Jon's example... it would be pointing out a specific example of racism.

Comprende?
Re: Out of School and Into the Military
30 Nov 2005
I beg to differ. Singling people out because of their race -- merely because one BELIEVES they are victims -- is every bit racist. It is a patronizing form of racism engaged in by the intellectual community. Every day white intellectuals come along and say:

"look here you whiteys... here is an example of you being racist... look at all these poor latinos being forced into the military."

I find that racist.
Re: Out of School and Into the Military
30 Nov 2005
Also, that photo is from Union Square, Allston and Jonathan does not seem to have any opinion on the Allston High School where these ROTC are from. (I am from Allston.) I don't think Jonathan knows very much about Allston issues, and this is just a chance for him to make a soapbox on something he knows nothing about.
Re: Out of School and Into the Military
30 Nov 2005
Many people, similar to Donna here, seem to think that they are "color-blind". But this is impossible in an America that socializes and institutionalizes racism at every turn.

"Color-blindness", is also NOT desirable, because to be blind to color, is to also be blind to the real consequences of color in our racist society.
Re: Out of School and Into the Military
30 Nov 2005
Donna, it's not whether you point out the fact that everyone in the CNN newsroom is Jewish (if indeed they are) it's what you mean by it.

If you mean to point out the fact that those poor Jewish folk are unfortunate enough to be trapped in a job at a faux news network dispensing government propaganda when they could be studying to be scientists, engineers, or doctors, then it would be OK. Or, if you were saying it to suggest that the CNN newsroom would benefit from more diversity, you could make a case for that as well. Why is it you think people will yell bloody murder?

You should feel free to say what you really mean, instead of accusing people of doing something because you're not allowed to do some version of it yourself, that is, to point out that a group is disproportionately comprised of people of a certain race or ethnicity.
Re: Out of School and Into the Military
30 Nov 2005
My girlfriend attended a high school in NY that had JROTC. All her fellow cadets were white. How would you explain that?
Re: Out of School and Into the Military
30 Nov 2005
My JROTC in upstate NY was all white. Where we wrong for not being "of color". Everyone had one color and that was a color that was not visible. All of us were equal. IS equality also not allowed on here. It is my opinion that the hosts of this site do very little research on any topic and quick to delete any post that contradicts them. Has anyone on here asked a JROTC cadet why they volunteered to be a member of an organization that was a positive aspect in their lives?

This whole article is a joke!

Half of my cadet friends NEVER entered the military. The half that did loved it and some made a career out of it.

This article is a biased waste of time!
Re: Out of School and Into the Military
30 Nov 2005
just go to any military recruiting website and see what other groups besides blacks and latinos have their special sections directed to them--a dubious privilege indeed.
How we treat young minds...
01 Dec 2005
What gets me the most is this quote:
>>“When I think of the army, I don’t think about dying,” he said, “I think of everything I can do, everything I can learn, everything I can be.”<<

In this quote we have denial of reality and a parroting of state propaganda, nearly word for word, and this is the problem. We worry about the effects of other forms of deception and the distortion of truth with regard to students of this age. For example, we discourage pornography in our schools because of the effects its distorted take on the relationship between people can have on young minds who cannot yet understand fully the implications of such acts in the real world.

The presentation of the soldier's life to young students is much like pornography. It is a simplifed presentation that avoids the truth, embellishes what little good there is, and seduces (primarily young males) into a way of life that is self destructive.

Not obliging students to join the military is an insignificant issue when they are being programmed to join anyway.
Re: Out of School and Into the Military
01 Dec 2005
SO the fact that I served as a combat soldier for a few enlistments and did not dwell on being killed every second of the day makes me wrong? Do you think about death on a regular basis?
To comapre a soldiers life to pornography inregards to talking about the military with students is a weak attempt at putting a spin on something you know very little about. I spoke with several high school students this week. I openly and honestly about wy I decided to serve, where I went, what I did and so forth. The kids were great! They seem to have a better grasp as to what is going on in the service than most on here.
Re: Out of School and Into the Military
01 Dec 2005
Why is it acceptable to mean "this race is being opressed" but it is not acceptable to mean "this race is engaging in nepotism" or to mean "this race is going to be serving in the military for a few decades?"

Nobody flies off the handle over the fact that the Army was almost all white people for the first 300 years of American history. I would like to know -- of those who believe latin americans should be exempt from military service -- what is their opinion on making spanish half our official language? Quite often people who complain about race in the military are quick to advocate racial and linguistic balkanization of everything else, just not the place where bullets fly.
Re: Out of School and Into the Military
01 Dec 2005
Actually, everyone flies off the handle that the military was segregated, including me. It was wrong. Color of skin means nothing. Red, white, black, blue - we are all one in the same.
Re: Out of School and Into the Military
01 Dec 2005
I didn't mean segregation. That was a legitimate point. I meant nobody flies off the handle that white people took the first 300 years' slings and arrows.
Re: Out of School and Into the Military
01 Dec 2005
Can't argue the first three hundred years. I know that things were wrong but I wasn't there and could not ahve made a difference.
Re: Out of School and Into the Military
01 Dec 2005
"The current war is an old-fashioned heist, many times larger than any great train or bank robbery of old. This time the daring bandits targeted a country sitting on a sea of oil. Far from the scene of anything noble, Iraq today is recognized by the vast majority of the world as the scene of a crime in progress. As the world watches, Americans watch the looting and do nothing."

That's great rhetoric. But when does the actual looting start?

Seriously, Iraq is a major fiscal sinkhole that's costing us billions of dollars. If we're only there for the oil...where the hell is the oil?
Why Should The Average Person Give A Shit?
01 Dec 2005
Cindy Sheehan is right. WHAT NOBLE CAUSE, MR. PRESIDENT?
Screw this article. Bring our brothers and sisters home. NOW!
Re: Out of School and Into the Military
02 Dec 2005
Your brothers and sisters feel differently about coming home.

Nice use of profanity as well!
Re: Out of School and Into the Military
02 Dec 2005
Just recieved an e-mail from a friend. Wants me to sepak with one of his students who is going to visit a recrutier tomorrow morning. Should I tell her the truth or what you guys believe? I understand that this is her second visit to the recruiter and that he has other students who are thinking of joining as well. Imagine that?
Veteran? Are You NSA or Police?
02 Dec 2005
I notice Veteran is pro-bush, pro-war and has brainless comments. Apparently, Veteran is a right-wing, neo-lover? Or working for the man.
Re: Out of School and Into the Military
02 Dec 2005
Pro-what is right.
I voted for President Bush if that is what you are attemtping to say. Also never endorsed or said that he was a great president.
Damn sure NOT pro-war. Never had the displeasure of meeting anyone who is for a war. Only a jackass would be for any kind of war! I'm guessing that you wouldn't really know or understand that. There's over one million men and women who serve in todays military who are also NOT pro-war.
It woud depend on how you define the "man". :)
Re: Out of School and Into the Military
02 Dec 2005
I think Veteran is getting paid to comment on the web site so that he can then report back to his recruiter friends what he should say/not say to the kids they're "hiring" to get killed in a war that will profit no one but oil fiends...
getting paid?
02 Dec 2005
It would be nice to get paid for giving a real and accurate side of a story alot seem to know little about.
Sadly, that is not the case.
Hiring is exactly what happens when you join the military. No different than any other job. see the help wanted sign, apply, get interviewed, take tests to make sure you are qualified, receive training and you are off to work.
I tell the truth to those that ask. Nothing more nothing less.
Oil friends? That's a new one!
Re: Out of School and Into the Military
02 Dec 2005
veteran, you claim to tell the truth yet you lied when saying that this article "had some wrong data and was misleading a little bit." you criticize all anti-war articles but don't provide facts. you are obviously pro-war and yet you daily comment on this site. what else are we to think but that you are getting paid to be disruptive?
Re: Out of School and Into the Military
02 Dec 2005
The article in itself alone is meant to be misleading by the way it is written. Very obvious!

Again, not pro-war at all. The taking of life is never a good thing. No one prays or wishes for an armed conflict. Do you think a firefighter prays to rush into a burning building? A cop prays to get into a fist fight wiht some dirtbag high on crack? Do you think ER nurses stand around praying for a train wreck? Nope! Doesn't happen! Your facts are developed from others that are anti-everything nad their spin. My facts are what I lived through but that is not enough evidence.
Why are my opinions no less valid than yours? Why am I disruptive when I write the truth that I personally lived through? Why anything that does not conform to anti-everything get deleted? Is there a cover up on here? Food for thought!
Re: Out of School and Into the Military
02 Dec 2005
the article is not "misleading" then, it's an alternative truth based on interviews and facts. But I agree, all articles are subjective no matter what... Here and in corporate media.

I think my reaction was to your comment "Just received an e-mail from a friend. Wants me to sepak with one of his students who is going to visit a recrutier tomorrow morning. Should I tell her the truth or what you guys believe? " You talk about us as if we "believed" in something instead of actually "knowing". I agree that I don't understand many things about the military because I haven't lived it. But I also know for a fact that recruiting students at such a young age is a mistake. I don't mind recruiting people over 18, but at 14? That's illegal. And JROTCs do that... They recruit impressionable teens into the military. So, can you respect our knowledge of the facts while at the same time help us respect yours?
Re: Out of School and Into the Military
02 Dec 2005
The article is meant to be misleading.
An alternative to what? JROTC is designed to give kids another avenue at school not to make them brain washed killers. Is the Cub Scouts to young to be instilling a sense of pride, honor and respect in kids? They wear uniforms. They are trained to salute, march and so forth. Is that a bad organization?
Now you say that recruiting at 14 is wrong. I agree!!!!!!!!!! Recruiters cannot recruit fourteen year olds because it is agaisnt the law. New recruits MUST have their age verifed several times over. You say eighteen is OK though. Eighteen years old means you are a junior or senior in high school. That would mean that it is OK for a recruiter to begin offerring the military as a possible future, just as college is offered.
Have you personally spoken to a member of JROTC? A HUGE majority of them DO NOT ever plan on joining any branch of the military. Many do JROTC because colleges look favorably on students that were in JROTC. They know that they are getting well adjusted and well rounded people who are going to go far in school and life. I see your side of the issue but until you have talked with the JROTC leaders, the recruiters and the great kids that make up the program - you cannot put facts down that you do not have.

On a personal note -I did a brief stint working with JROTC cadets during a few weekends. We taught them to tie knots, rapel and basic first aid. Those were the same things I learned as a Cub Scout and that my son learned as a Cub Scout and my daughter is now learning as a Girl Scout. Late sunday afternoons as things were winding down we would talk with the kids (boys and girls of all ages) about whatever they wanted. They asked us about our travels, our families, our fears, our accomplishments. We asked them why the JROTC program. Out of nineteen kids, TWO wanted to go into the Navy! Not to kill but to learn computers and nursing!
Re: Out of School and Into the Military
02 Dec 2005
"In its 2005 fiscal report, the Department of the Army stated that about 42% of the JROTC graduates choose either to enter a ROTC program in college, one of the service academies, or serve in the active or reserve force. “With numbers like that it’s obvious to us that JROTC is doing a great job collaborating with recruiting efforts,” said Oskar Castro, Program Associate at the American Friends Service Committee’s (AFSC) National Youth & Militarism Program."

enough said! numbers from DOA lie?
Re: Out of School and Into the Military
02 Dec 2005
Numbers from credible sources do not lie. BUT, lets looka t those numbers in detail

Lets just look at an average high school that has a student body population of 1100 students. Of those 1,100 students seventeen (17) students volunteer for JROTC. You do the numbers. That 42% starts to look real small doesn't it? Lawrence High School has a student population of over 4,200 students. thirty of them are in the JROTC. Numbers getting smaller and smaller there. 42 % of a small number is still a small number. Kids are flocking to JROTC or the military like you believe.

People in the military or with knowledge of JROTC, service academies and ROTC know the true score and how it is obtained.
Re: Out of School and Into the Military
02 Dec 2005
FYI
I was just looking at some "JROTC Is Bad" web site and even some of you would laugh at it. I won't post the site because I don't believe in passing on trash but some of the stuff out there is so fictional it is funny. Honest questions will be met with honest answers - don't go fishing for stuff that is lies!
Re: Out of School and Into the Military
02 Dec 2005
That's great rhetoric. But when does the actual looting start?

Seriously, Iraq is a major fiscal sinkhole that's costing us billions of dollars. If we're only there for the oil...where the hell is the oil?

It's certainly not costing Exxon anything, or did you not realize how much they and other oilcos have profited? it's also not costing anything anything to the weapons makers, who are also raking it in. add in the missing billions in cash from Iraq (the war isn't costing anything to whoever ended up with that money) or the $1 trillion missing from the Pentagon over the last 10 years. Sorry ".", but you don't seem to understand the laws of economics very well. When something like this war costs a lot of money, that money is going somewhere. That is why it's so easy to start wars and so hard to stop them. People get rich off of them. And then they evade their taxes, and threaten to shut down factories unless they get more tax breaks (look up Halliburton's history--they've gotten tax CREDITS of millions before. meaning CORPORATE WELFARE. So you see, people like "Veteran" are soft on welfare cheats and corporate criminals, because you can't have a militaristic empire without a little affirmative action on behalf of cowards. Life is beautiful, kids--war is not. Recruiters ought to be ashamed of themselves because they know exactly what they're getting you into, but won't tell you. If you see something (like a recruiter), say something (like 'go to hell'). Period.
Re: Out of School and Into the Military
02 Dec 2005
dear veteran,

no one is openly pro war. It's not like anyone is says to them selves in the morning, "Let's go out and murder torture and exploit the shit out of people today." (don't get offended, shit is just a word my friend, it won't harm you). But straight up, don't remove the word from the context. you are for the fighting of the Iraq war. You do support it. There for you are "pro- war."

Now thats out of the way, I would like to mention how striking the linguistics are in this whole section. suddenly, pro-war suddenly has a new meaning. Euphanisms have become rampant, you refuse to say what you really mean. You have been branded.

Our country has been branded my friend, branded like Levi's Jeans or Ralph Lauren. they brand themselves to be sexy, original even American while they brutally exploit children overseas... Our country is much of the same. We are branded to be original and patriotic- branded to be free. But often, as we all know, it's pecuniary truth. Our country has branded itself with a "nobel past," or with this partiotic fervor and vintage posters of uncle sam... reawakening this fleeting memory of what it means to be patriotic, what it means to be free... only it has been distorted with time. This is no longer the America that you dream it to be, they are making corsets out of flags and cinching them tight to make a fat woman look thin to the naked eye. They are taking a hot poker and pressing it against her skin while smearing make up across her scarred face, then parading her in front of the audience like a marrionette... this isn't freedom, this a poor raped and mangled whore dressed up and labled.... The audience just watched awed, because from the backrow- you can't see the blood leaking down her leg from where the searing poker burnt her skin, you can see that she is a corpse...

Define yourself- are you a person or an advertisement? Are you an indvidual thinker or a paid promotion? Are you pulling the strings or are you in the audience?
it's up to you.
Re: Out of School and Into the Military
02 Dec 2005
Please post information that is useful and helpful. Theatrics and nonsense will be left for your friends to marvel over.
Re: Out of School and Into the Military
03 Dec 2005
exactly, I will only post information that is useful.... as i just did.

pray what you preach, you spew nothing but empty patriotic rhetoric riddled with nonsense. it would be one thing if you were asking questions, but it is something different when you make absurd assertions that have no basis in reality.
Re: Out of School and Into the Military
04 Dec 2005
What is the big deal about JROTC? Giving children an alternative? Being a member of JROTC does not make you a member of the military. It gives a different aspect at reaching the goals ot all motivated youth - a shot at a decent college education. That is a college education and not a military enlistment.
Re: Out of School and Into the Military
04 Dec 2005
Not that I think everyone should go to college (it's a waste of time and money in a lot of cases) BUT there are better ways to get into college than spending your time in JROTC. Like, um, reading books, practicing college entrance exams, etc. Marching around playing soldier has nothing to do with academic achievement.
Re: Out of School and Into the Military
04 Dec 2005
So now you guys feel college is a waste of time and money? Is there anything that you feel is worth while and productive in life? That is the dumbest thing I have heard in a great while.

Marching around and playing soldier? Is that what you call being a productive member of a group of volunteers that want to better themselves and their community. You really have very little idea of the JROTC and even less justification to be ranting about it.

Grow up and learn to listen and understand before you speak. You only make yourself look foolish otherwise.
Re: Out of School and Into the Military
05 Dec 2005
I served, your ignorance of the true nature of this illegal war is what keeps you shilling for these killers. That, or the check you get every week from the PR firm you work for. I bet you still think those WMD are going to turn up in Syria (that's what you all were saying a couple of years ago)--any sign? No? Hmmm--keep mining those talking points--SOMEthing there has to be true....
Re: Out of School and Into the Military
06 Dec 2005
My how quickly we can get off the subject.

Betteran, do you remember the first Gulf War? Were you even old enough to understand what was happening in the news? Please step back and do not those insult those that served with your lack of intelligence and vast amounts of ignorance. WMD was present then. Gone now but present then. Saddam only had to produce the info on the types, amount and location. He refused to play so now we have a free Iraq on its way to a better future.
Re: Out of School and Into the Military
08 Dec 2005
free? FREE? that is a abuse.You torture the word like American soldiers do detainees.the word is now forever broken... To hear someone like you use it.

"And some, although in retrospect it is easy to see all the warning signs, just did not want to consider that the Nazis would set in motion such brutal and inhumane measures"

I am not comparing the United States to Nazi Germany, I am simply making a sociological point. Open your eyes.
what is freedom to us- or what we would like to think freedom is- brand names, microwaves, a new car.. It isn't- it is buying our consent. What we are giving the Iraqi people is not freedom, (in the true sense of the word, not the bastardization that your produce)- it is the antitheisis of freedom. Murdering people to make them accept westernization is tyranny. Murdering in the name of money is tyranny.

The freedom you speak of rains down like white phosphorus- melting the skin to the bone... It is embodied by the screaming mother standing next to her beheaded 11 year old son....

It is the freedom of death, and the acceptance of the sheer fact that struggle- that rebellion- is futile.


You live a sad life. I hope, that someday, your conscience will let you rest.
Re: Out of School and Into the Military
10 Jan 2006
Will be speaking with another group of students this week. I'll keep you posted on how it goes.
Re: Out of School and Into the Military
15 Jan 2006
FYI - Discussion went well. Lots of great questions asked and the students already knew alot of information.