Wednesday, November 26, 2008



(You can find the full report here:

A Report Prepared by The
Constitutional Litigation Clinic
Rutgers School of Law-Newark
November 2008

Under the supervision of Clinical Professor Penny Venetis, the following students and interns contributed to writing
this report: Heidi Alexander, Avi Appel, Erica Askin, Amy Brown, Eric Bueide, Matthew Coleman, Randle
DeFalco, Jason Fertakos, Lisa Hansen, Safia Hussain, Michael Isaac, Syrion Jack, Daniel Louis, Devi Shah, Nadia
Rollins, and Robert Ulon.


The decision to join the military is a very serious one that should not be made lightly. Enlisting in the Armed Forces is an irreversible commitment to at least two years of wartime service.

Teenagers considering enlisting should do so based on an honest and straightforward appraisal of the facts, rather than glossy advertising campaigns that glamorize military service without acknowledging its dangers.

This report presents facts about military recruitment and military service to help parents and students determine whether joining the military is appropriate or necessary. This Executive Summary of the report summarizes the detailed information contained in the rest of the report.


The Military Uses Aggressive Recruiting Tactics And Spends Billions Of Dollars On
Advertising Firms To Convince Teenagers To Enlist.

• Funding for military recruitment is on the rise. The 2009 military advertising budget totals $20.5 Billion. This money is used for slick ads and video games designed by the same marketing firms that create commercials for major corporations, such as Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Nintendo. These ads and video games do not accurately portray the lives of soldiers and do not mention the dangers of war.

• Under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), schools are required to give recruiters
access to students and student information. The NCLB and the Family Educational
Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) require that parents be told that they have the right to keep recruiters away from their children. High schools throughout the State do not notify parents of this right adequately, or at all.

• Under the NCLB, schools receiving federal funds must give military recruiters the same access to students as they give employers and college recruiters. But, schools throughout the State give recruiters much greater access to students than is required by law.

There are no uniform rules in New Jersey for schools to control military recruiter behavior on campus. School officials do not supervise military recruiters. Lack of oversight allows recruiters to present students with unrealistic and false portrayals of military service.

Recruiters Do Not Present Families with Important Facts. With virtually unfettered access to high school students and limited oversight, military recruiters play up themes of adventure and patriotism while failing to present the realities of military service.

• Casualties. Military recruiters fail to adequately present the cost of military action. As of October, 2008 4,734 American troops have been killed and 33,012 have been wounded in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

• Realities of War.

o Students are not told that they will likely be sent to Iraq or Afghanistan, and that soldiers may be recalled for up to four separate tours of duty.

o Students are not told that between 12-20% of Iraq veterans suffer from serious
psychological problems related to their military service.

o Recruiters give female students the impression that they will be out of harm’s
way. While women do not serve in front line combat positions, they work some of the most dangerous jobs at the front lines.

o Female students are not informed about the dangers of sexual assault and
harassment. Of women receiving care from the Veterans Administration, 23%
reported sexual assault and 55% reported harassment during their service.
Furthermore, women report higher rates of psychological disorders than men.

• Wounded Veterans do not Receive Adequate Healthcare. Given the prevalence of
injuries in the line of duty, recruiters should inform students about the lack of health care for wounded veterans.

o The U.S. Congress has found that numerous Veterans Administration centers and
hospitals offer sub-standard health services.

o Many injured soldiers are turned away from Veterans Administration centers on
the basis that their illness was caused by a “pre-existing” condition not related to
combat duty.

o If you are injured in combat, the only other way to get full benefits is to suffer a “service-related” disability. The VA has been routinely classifying serious
injuries as “non-service-related.” As a result, veterans do not receive health care
coverage for injuries sustained during the war.

o On average, veterans wait 6 months for the Veterans Administration to process
medical claims. The appeals process for rejected claims averages 3.5 years.
Soldiers are not permitted to seek legal representation to expedite their claims.

• Military Reserve Soldiers Are Real Soldiers.

o Military Reserve soldiers are real soldiers are real soldiers and can be called to
active duty at any time.

o There is less support to Reservists who return from active duty.

o Reserve soldiers suffer from higher rates of suicide.

• Education:

If a students’ sole goal in joining the military is to pursue a college education, students should explore the many scholarship opportunities available in New Jersey, as well as participating college ROTC programs.

o The new GI Bill, which will start delivering education benefits in August 2009,
makes it easier for soldiers to gain access to education funding. But, the Bill still
requires 36 months of active duty service and an honorable discharge (or its
equivalent) before a veteran can receive benefits that would pay for a typical
undergraduate degree.

o There are numerous scholarships that are available in New Jersey that do not
require military service.

o If a student has good grades, a student should consider applying to the ROTC
program as an entering freshman or during college. In a college ROTC program,
the military offers many scholarships that pay for the students’ college education
in full. Additionally, ROTC graduates receive higher pay, more responsibility,
and better benefits than enlistees who do not have a degree.

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