Protect your kids.
A New York Times report has found that enrollment in the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC), a Pentagon-funded program designed to groom children for military service, is increasingly becoming mandatory in US high schools.
“J.R.O.T.C. programs, taught by military veterans at some 3,500 high schools across the country, are supposed to be elective, and the Pentagon has said that requiring students to take them goes against its guidelines,” the report says. “But The New York Times found that thousands of public school students were being funneled into the classes without ever having chosen them, either as an explicit requirement or by being automatically enrolled.”
“While Pentagon officials have long insisted that J.R.O.T.C. is not a recruiting tool, they have openly discussed expanding the $400 million-a-year program, whose size has already tripled since the 1970s, as a way of drawing more young people into military service. The Army says 44 percent of all soldiers who entered its ranks in recent years came from a school that offered J.R.O.T.C.,” the Times reports.
And before you ask, no, the Pentagon’s grooming program is not being forced on kids in Malibu and the Hamptons.
“A vast majority of the schools with those high enrollment numbers were attended by a large proportion of nonwhite students and those from low-income households,” the Times reports, naming Detroit, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Oklahoma City, and Mobile, Alabama as cities where high schools are funneling kids into the program en masse.
Defenders of mandatory JROTC enrollment reportedly cite the need to “divert students away from drugs or violence” and “the allure of drugs and gangs” in urban areas, as though corralling them into the single most violent gang on Earth is a deterrence from violence and gangs. Grooming students to go kill foreigners for crude oil is not my idea of a healthy diversion from youthful error, but maybe that’s just me.
This would probably be a good time to remind readers that poverty in the United States is one of the Pentagon’s most effective recruiting tools, with Army officials explicitly acknowledging that young people’s inability to afford a college education on their own is responsible for their success in meeting recruitment goals, and US lawmakers warning that helping people pay off crushing student debt will hurt recruitment. US military recruiters have an established record of targeting poorer schools, because impoverished communities often see military service as their only chance at upward mobility.