November 2, 2012
To Recruit or Not to Recruit?
You see them everywhere dressed up head to toe in camouflage and shiny boots, with the image of a super hero. With the recent conflicts in the Middle East, parents across America have protested the military being inside of our children’s schools auctioning off a better life. Let’s face it, who can give a better life to you than your mother? In 2002 the government made a flagship program designed to help underprivileged kids called the “No Child Left Behind Act”. “Since 2002 the “No Child Left Behind Act” has meant that US schools which receive government money must allow the military in to talk to students” (Act of Congress). So this poses a huge problem for the parents that are trying to fight to get the military out of the schools and to put a ban on recruiting from within the confines. The military shouldn’t be able to recruit in high schools for many reasons. The most important reasons why the military shouldn’t recruit inside of high schools is because the mind of a high school student isn’t developed enough to make the right decisions to join; the military gives false hope to kids of financial freedom, and the possibility of death isn’t realistically depicted by the recruiters to the high school students. Why are we recruiting in high schools instead of on college campuses? There could be a lot of reasons behind it, but first and foremost is that seventeen year olds aren’t ready to join. The mind of a seventeen year old isn’t fully developed until their in their twenties. So the judgment of a right and a wrong decision isn’t mindfully thought through. Yes, a seventeen year old only needs a high school diploma and parental consent but, how can they think they are ready for war when they can’t even drink alcohol or vote for their commander and chief? In high schools there are cliques and like any kid they want to be in these so called cliques. Robert Ayers discusses in his book how kids are looking for a clique or group to belong to, “High school kids are at an age when being a member of an identifiable group with a grand mission and a shared spirit — and never underestimate a distinctive uniform — is of exaggerated importance, something gang recruiters in big cities also note with interest and exploit with skill” (William Ayers). Ayers is depicting to us how easy it is to manipulate, and convince a young mind, seventeen years old, just wants to be part of a group with an image no matter what group it is. All someone has to do is depict an image of greatness and the young people are sold. The fact and bottom line is that our kids look up to a glorified image that the military and their commercials depict from a young age and they shouldn’t be capitalized on nor taken advantage of due to this overwhelming lopsided image. The military is currently under quota of manpower that they need to run a successful defense, so turning to seventeen year olds without the knowledge of military recruiting tactics is the logical and more efficient way to get people to join our depleted military. But this is not a reason to prey on sixteen and seventeen year olds who aren’t even old enough to vote nor drive, but they can make life and death decisions to join the military. But having the undeveloped brain, like we all went through, as they do they are not old enough to cypher through the presentations that the recruiter gives in order to make a valid and rational decision.
Why do you see more recruiters in poverty stricken areas contrast to those in areas of good or well financial being? This is because the military is unethically targeting the vulnerable kids in our school system. Recruiters unethically target low income kids while promising them financial aid for school after these students serve in the military. Some of the students are promised is school fully paid for via the “Post 9/11 bill” and the “GI Bill”. But if you go www.va.gov website you will see the underlying criteria...
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