Recently, I came across an article titled “These Grannies Are Helping to Plug the School-to-Military Pipeline at Its Source,” which highlights a recent protest in NYC. The group protesting is called the Granny Peace Brigade, which, despite the comical name, is a real group that opposes all things related to war. During this protest they took a stance against the hiring of veterans to teach JROTC and the very existence of the JROTC altogether.
The author of the article takes the subject a bit further, basically shaming the existence of JROTC, and paints the picture of it as an outdated and predatory organization that preys upon poverty-stricken youth. She even seems to be against teaching the military core values to the students. When did instilling core values like courage, honor, and sacrifice become a bad thing? The article suggests that the military recruiters stalk the hallways:
Touting the benefits and “educating” students on the importance of service have become the primary strategies that recruiters use to persuade young men and women to enlist. They emphasize themes like glory, honor, courage, purpose, and sacrifice, but it is often the promise of free college, stable employment, career development, healthcare, life insurance, and upward mobility that persuade people to sign on the dotted line.
Although JROTC claims to be separate from recruitment and exists “to motivate young people to be better citizens” (according to the Army’s official JROTC website), the textbooks used in classes specifically promote the military as a career option and mold young participants to adopt the ideals, perspectives, and attitudes needed to serve in the military. The program’s methods have proven quite effective: An estimated 40 percent of students enrolled in JROTC programs decide to enlist in the military after graduation.