News Release

Confronting Military Recruitment of Students

military-recruiting-in-the-united-states-cover-1PAT ELDER, pelder [at] studentprivacy.org
Author of the recently released book Military Recruiting in the United States, Elder is director of the National Coalition to Protect Student Privacy, an organization that confronts militarism in the schools. His recent pieces for Truthout include: “High School Students’ Test Results Are Being Sent To Military Recruiters Without Consent,” “Military Exploits School Testing Opt Out Campaign” and “Water Isn’t The Only Source Of Lead Contamination In Flint.

He said today: “America is witnessing the ‘grave implications’ of the ‘economic, political and even spiritual’ influence of the military-industrial complex President Eisenhower warned us about. A single F-35 fighter jet costs more than the budget of a medium-sized city’s school system and the U.S. is building 2,500 of them while the schools crumble. …

“It’s a coerced, recruited Army as much as it is a volunteer Army. American military recruiting is a despicable, psychological pursuit that pits carefully selected and highly trained soldiers against vulnerable children. The American Public Health Association, (APHA) calls for the cessation of military recruiting in the nation’s schools, claiming recruiters engage in aggressive behaviors to gain a child’s confidence and trust. They say recruiters are exceptionally charming while failing to honor clear boundaries. It is despicable public policy, and it’s time to end it. …

“From electronic trolling of social websites, recruiters know intimate details about our children and they use them to prepare a psychological dossier before first contact.”

Elder also addresses the role of Hollywood, media and video games. He adds: “Producers who desire access to military bases, soldiers and weapons in the production of motion pictures and television shows are directed to contact the Office of the Chief of Public Affairs (OCPA) to submit their scripts and plans for editorial approval. Censors regularly edit the scripts of thousands of productions, [such as] ‘American Idol,’  ‘Cupcake Wars,’ and hundreds of movies. The Pentagon rejects productions they don’t like and rewrites scripts to enhance the military image to ‘safeguard recruiting and retention numbers.'”