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Being a Military Recruiter Must Suck

Recruiters prey on society’s most disadvantaged groups, making wild promises of travel, money for school, job training, and adventure. This is bogus. Only 15% of enlistees get the full amount of funding promised by the GI bill and 57% get no money at all.
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Being a Military Recruiter Must Suck

By Mara Ortenburger, Project Collective

The United States Military has seen better days. Operation Iraqi Freedom is a train wreck. Over 1,600 American soldiers and over 20,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed. Public support for the war is spiraling downward. In April, the Army missed its recruiting goal for the third month in a row, and the Marine Corps recruiters have been doing even worse. Recruitment offices have been plagued with scandal. And if that isn’t bad enough, military reps cannot even come enjoy UCSC’s beautiful campus without having to deal with some seriously pissed students. This became clear on April 5th, when recruiters from the Army, Navy, and Marines were driven out of the campus Career Fair by over 200 banner-waving, chant-shouting, drum-beating protesters. Yes indeed, it has sucked to be a military recruiter lately.

The main rationale driving the April 5th action involved the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy which openly discriminates against queers. Because of this, the presence of military recruiters on campus directly violates the University of California’s nondiscrimination policy. This policy was adopted by the Regents in 1983 to prohibit “legally impermissible, arbitrary, and unreasonable? discriminatory practices within all university sponsored groups, programs, and events. Nevertheless, the school continues to invite recruiters to campus career fairs. Regents have been trying to justify this hypocrisy for years by claiming that “military recruiters are officials of the United States Government engaged in lawful pursuits as part of their official duty, and it would be inappropriate for the University to interfere with their recruitment activities.? In other words, because the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy has been unsuccessfully challenged in the Supreme Court, it does not fall under the “legally impermissible? category mentioned in the University’s nondiscrimination policy. Apparently the UC Regents are totally down with legal discrimination.

The thing is, even if UCSC wanted to ban recruiters from campus there would be some heavy legal shit to wade through. The Solomon Amendment, passed by Congress in 1995, threatens to withhold federal funds from schools that deny access to military recruiters. That’s right, federal law punishes schools that refuse to be the bitch of the United States Military. Fortunately, this law was deemed unconstitutional in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, and will be reviewed by the Supreme Court sometime in the fall. Hopefully this fucked up law will be overturned once and for all, but until then we have a responsibility to do what the university will not: enforce our campus nondiscrimination policy by ensuring the removal of all military recruiters from our campus.

Protesters on April 5th had many other reasons to rally against recruiters. The military is a supremely threatening place for women, people of color, and anybody who dares to question the logic of war. In surveys conducted by the Veterans Administration, 90% of women in the military reported harassment and 30% reported being raped. 75% of African Americans and 67% of Latinos reported racially offensive behavior. Conscientious objectors face abuse and prison time.

Furthermore, recruiters prey on society’s most disadvantaged groups, making wild promises of travel, money for school, job training, and adventure. This is bogus. Only 15% of enlistees get the full amount of funding promised by the GI bill and 57% get no money at all.

As far as job training, only 12% of male veterans and 6% of female veterans are able to apply skills they learned in the military to their civilian jobs. In addition, the unemployment rate is 35% higher among young veterans than for their non-veteran peers.

As the truth behind these promises is uncovered, recruiters have had to scramble even harder to lure young people into the military. And apparently, some recruiters have been willing to commit illegal acts in order to do so. Earlier this month, the military called for a one-day suspension of recruiting activities in order to retrain recruiters on the ethics involved in their job. This action came as a response to several reports of misconduct by recruiters including encouraging teenagers to lie to their parents, forge documents, and fake drug-tests. One recruiter was even caught on tape telling a potential recruit that he would be arrested for missing an appointment they had arranged. And these were only the reported cases of abuse. It is a pretty safe bet that the one-day retraining has done shit to fix things…these problems are inherent in the culture and structure of the military itself.

Yes, it is easy to get demoralized about the insane war being waged in our names, but the counter-recruitment movement is a way to tangibly disrupt the push for war. This issue is a central part of the agenda of Students Against War, the campus group that organized the April 5th Career Fair action. Also, the Brown Berets of Watsonville have done some amazing and inspiring work to protect central coast youth from the powerful grip of recruiters. These efforts fit into a larger counter-recruitment movement that is sweeping the nation and hindering the war effort in a powerful way. So throw a wrench in that fucking war machine, support counter-recruitment in any way you can.
 
 


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Re: Being a Military Recruiter Must Suck

"
The thing is, even if UCSC wanted to ban recruiters from campus there would be some heavy legal shit to wade through. The Solomon Amendment, passed by Congress in 1995, threatens to withhold federal funds from schools that deny access to military recruiters. That’s right, federal law punishes schools that refuse to be the bitch of the United States Military."

Believe it or not, there are student that may want to join the military... Why should others be allowed to deny them the opportunity to look into this venue?

Apparently, freedom of speech is a one way road in many areas. I would have no problem with students setting up a booth like the military branches that advertises their anti-military views - but to actively deny the recruiters is not at all acceptable.
 

We Reserve the Right to Refuse Service to the Service

The University has basic, straightforward policies in place which (among other things) deny employers access to job fairs if those employers discriminate on the basis of race, sex, religion, dis/ability, and/or sexual preference.

It seems completely reasonable to me that businesses who overtly discriminate on any of these bases should be shown the door.

The US military has express policies in place that deny employment to individuals who have disabilities (e.g., wheelchair) or who are non-heterosexual. The US military fails the simple test on two separate points and thus should be denied access to the university.

However, anybody stupid enough to even entertain the idea of joining the military will have NO problem joining. Give the local recruiting office a call, those vultures will probably be knocking at your door in about 20 minutes. They're desparate, you know? They'll sign you right up... sign your life away for a buck... unless, of course, you happen to be in a wheelchair, or if you like to have sex with the "wrong" type of people.
 

SAW does not support discrimination?

You know, it's funny to hear people blather on about discrimination. I was at UCSC during the April 5th "protest". Great to see so many students yelling about how they don't support the military's "discriminatory" practices as they sport their Abercrombie and Fitch ensembles. I guess it's still cool to support a company that settled a multi-million dollar discrimination lawsuit earlier this year- as long as the clothes are still "in". Be consistent, at least, if you're going to "demonize" the military in general. I would expect protesters to mobilize for the summer fire season. Or did you forget that the Army deploys soldiers every year to fight wild fires in the western US. Where are the signs- "Fuck the Army- don't save our homes from burning down!" Nothing in this world is black and white. Did you protest the soldiers, sailors, and airmen that provided tsunami relief?
These protest groups like to maintain the mantras of the Vietnam era. "Minorities all go to the front lines." Has anyone noticed that over 70% of the casualties from Iraq have been white males?
We don't live in a perfect country. Our right to free speech is something we hold near and dear to our hearts. Everyone has the right to express their opinion, and I wouldn't want to change that. Couldn't the "counter-recruiters" get their information out by setting up a table at events the military attends? Was it necessary to disrupt other students' job opportunities and slash car tires to express an opinion? That's what happened April 5th. How productive was it really? People from Santa Cruz are still joining the military. Free speech is always a two way street. How about everyone provides ACCURATE, TRUTHFUL information and let informed individuals make a decision.
 

Re: Being a Military Recruiter Must Suck

"The US military has express policies in place that deny employment to individuals who have disabilities (e.g., wheelchair) or who are non-heterosexual. The US military fails the simple test on two separate points and thus should be denied access to the university."

Do you also think it's wrong that the fire and police departments discriminate in regards to disabilities as well?

Let's put on our thinking cap for a minute. You may not be aware, but for many things, the military employs civilians who are protected under the ADA - on the other hand - anyone who is actually enlisted in the military has to be prepared to fight, and may be called upon to do so... Now, as comical as it would be to see someone with an m60 welded onto their wheelchair, I admit the practicality fails to woo me.

As for gays, I don't have a problem with'm being in the military, but do remember the military is not a business, it inhabits a nether region of sorts, and what applies to other fields may not apply here.
 

Re: Being a Military Recruiter Must Suck

the military still uses the active duty to test new drugs. also the military does not warn the recruits that " depleated uranium " is not exausted uranium, every DU shell creates a radioactive dust that increases a soldiers chance of cancer. and cancer may not be dected for 30 to 40 years, be passed as genetic disorders to our kids, grandkids, etc. we risk our future generations for a politicians glory.
 

Myth Buster

It is so comical to see so many of these protesters still clinging to erroneous claims that the military is some sort of an evil monstor that eats kids and shits them out as caskets. Or the fact that they accuse the military of testing drugs on servicemembers. And the unequal rights being observed in the military. The fact that these people who protest have the nerve to assault recruiters in the way they do is criminal. But first let me state a few facts. Yes I said facts, something that the protesters cannot obtain to support their arguments....ok....

1. The military does administer drugs to its service members. The same ones you can recieve at your local pharmacy. They provide cost free vacines anuualy. And since most service members are expected to endure harsh conditions most of the people protesting could not handle for five minutes, they are given the most up-to-date medical attention and preventive care.

2. As far as women are concerned. Well yes it is a shame that laws do not permit women from serving in some of the front line Jobs. However things evolve and policies change. Fact - The military has in its service female, fighter pilots (in combat) Helicopter Pilots (in combat), Military Police (in combat), Medics (in combat) etc....-end fact. In short, the military has women in combat fighting. So for those who say that women are not given equal rights in the military then I say, go to a military unit and stay for a week or so and watch and you will see women everywhere running things, taking charge, trainning for combat, conducting said trainning....but that would be quite the spell breaker wouldnt it? Dear god what if some of you were misled too???

3. Gay rights, well, another evolution. Let me humor some of you on a story i have. This is a personal experience. My friend throughout highshcool Josh (i will with hold his last name for privacy) was an openly gay student and friend during highschool. A couple of years after I joined so did he. He recently completed his term of service. He ful-filled his obligation and exited the military with a bronze star for valor during combat in Afganistan. He served as a combat medic on board a helicopter. He is now using his Gi-Bill to finish up culinary arts school. He has purchased a home at a market low through the VA, and continues to recieve free medical care should he need it. The point is he is gay, he jonined the Army and like most places kept his business his business and is doing fine.

There are so many more myths I could bust, but my final statement is that the military isnt for some people. Some could use it, and some could not. But to stage a demonstration not allowing people to explore those avenues openly is just plain wrong.
 

Re: Being a Military Recruiter Must Suck

i am doing a radio spot on KPFK and the topic is "Counter Military Recruitment Movements on
College Campuses". The problem is that i have only worked with high schools. I would appreciate it if you or anyone could help get me information, if so send it to deathfromabove (at) thetruth.com thank you
 

Re: Being a Military Recruiter Must Suck

what kind of info?????
 

Re: Being a Military Recruiter Must Suck

info about the povert draft, the ASVAB, opting out, anything would help so i could then figure out what i want ot use.
 

Re: Being a Military Recruiter Must Suck

> they [vets] are given the most up-to-date medical attention and preventive care.

"DU Syndrome Stricken Vets Denied Care:
Pentagon Hides DU Dangers to Deny Medical Care to Vets"
www.wagingpeace.org/articles/2004/08/20_bollyn_du-syndrome-stricken-vets.htm

DU-related Cancer Clusters
www.americanfreepress.net/html/cancer_epidemic_.html


>As far as women are concerned. Well yes it is a shame...

Hey, big boy, this is known as "apologetics." You're trying to downplay the fact that the "noble institution" that you (are paid to) represent continues to discriminate of the basis of gender.

Rape of US servicewomen common:
"Despite feeling like she didn't have the energy to move she pulled herself out of the room and down the hall, she said. Later when she tried to complain to her superiors about the rape, no one wanted to hear it."
www.alternet.org/rights/19134/



>Gay rights, well, another evolution...

Evolution, huh? You mean the policy of "Don't let us know that you're one of those disgusting perverts that we hate. If we don't find out, you might make it through this shithole." Wow. Yeah, that's pretty enlightened.

Why should anyone support and respect an institution that does not support and repect them?

The military is BULLSHIT!

It's about TORTURE and RAPE and MASS MURDER. And don't think that you'll be safe just because you're on the "inside" of that game... the military eats its own.
 

Myth buster

I will stary by saying I am not a paid rep of the military. I am an educated soldier who still believes that people can express them selves openly and debate subjects without insult. However I suppose I was wrong! To say the least I am used to it by now after dealing with people of the like.

As far the DU claims go....in the whole scheme of things what is the percentage of DU patients versus all others? Do you know this? See things get blown out and people read only what they want. The -fact- is that people have been seen for excatly that. And while DU is still under review you speak of it as if you are an expert.

As far as rape goes....well the military is a microcasm of soceity....as a whole in numbers the military has less rapes a year than the very city you live in! And yet in the civilian city you live in a rapist will go free after a short term in prison (if convicted). In the military a rapist will spend nearly half their life in prison. So yes rapes happen, it is horrible...and what happened to her is not what happens in the military everyday. It happens in america everyday. Dont forget that....


Isnt amazing how I am simply saying people should have the right to look at all choices of careers and you go off on these horrible tangents....wow...such a wonderful world....
 

Re: Being a Military Recruiter Must Suck

First I would like to commend Soldiering student for his/her comments. I was going to submit my own statement about the misuse of "facts' in the main story. Second I would try to clean up my language a little bit if you want people to take you seriously.
 

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