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ERIC Number: EJ774490
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Apr
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0031-7217
Hearts and Minds: Military Recruitment and the High School Battlefield
Ayers, William
Phi Delta Kappan, v87 n8 p594-599 Apr 2006
In recent years, military recruitment has failed, with rare exceptions, to meet its quotas. The nations's high schools have thus become battlefields for the hearts and minds of young people as recruiters dangle gifts and promises of future benefits before teenagers in an effort to fill the ranks of an all-volunteer military. In this article, the author discusses the recruitment efforts among high school students. One of the most effective recruitment tools is Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC), the high school version of ROTC that was established by an act of Congress in 1916 "to develop citizenship and responsibility in young people." However, two years into the invasion of Iraq, recruiters are consistently failing to meet monthly enlistment quotas, despite deep penetration into high schools, sponsorship of NASCAR and other sporting events, and a $3-billion Pentagon recruitment budget. Increasingly, recruiters are offering higher bonuses and shortened tours of duty, and violations of ethical guidelines and the military's own putative standards are becoming commonplace--in one highly publicized case, a recruiter was heard on tape coaching a high school kid about how to fake a mandatory drug test. "One of the most common lies told by recruiters," writes Kathy Dobie, "is that it's easy to get out of the military if you change your mind. But once they arrive at training, the recruits are told there's no exit, period." Although recruiters are known to lie, the number of young people signing up is still plummeting. (Contains 20 endnotes.)
Phi Delta Kappa International. 408 North Union Street, P.O. Box 789, Bloomington, IN 47402-1789. Tel: 800-766-1156; Fax: 812-339-0018; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Iraq