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Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (Through 2005) Donate to DU
monicab Donating Member (131 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-22-05 01:58 PM
Response to Original message
It is important for parents to know that the No Child Left Behind Act allows for recruiters to visit schools and approach students about joining the military.

It is MORE IMPORTANT for parents to know that the No Child Left Behind Act also allows parents to place a letter in their child's student file specifying that they DO NOT WANT THEIR CHILD APPROACHED BY A RECRUITER. As long as this file is on record in the school, the recruiters will have to abide by it.

Our daughter was recruited for the delayed entry program, in the spring before the Iraq invasion. We did not know that she and her friends were being approached. The recruiters were at the school every day, all day. They brought donuts, drove kids to school who didn't have rides, or whose car was not working. They walked to class with the kids, and actually asked some of the girls to work on some of the "athletes" about joining the military because they thought the girls could influence the guys in some way. They held parties at the recruiting station, and invited kids to come after school. They bought them lunch, and gave them rides to wherever they needed to go. I thought it strange when we received calls from a recruiting office EVERY DAY.. and in a matter of days, my daughter approached me with a contract that I needed to sign before she could proceed to the next process, as she was under aged.

When she approached me, I refused to sign the contract. Instead, we drove to the recruiting office. She had told me that the recruiter had told her that she was guaranteed a $20,000 signing bonus, the right to choose any MOS she wanted as long as she scored high enough, and (THE GREATEST GIFT OF ALL) she would have the opportunity to travel to Turkey and shop in the largest shopping mall in the world.

At the recruiting office, we sat and asked the recruiter, Dan, to tell us the truth. I suggested that he explain all of his answers to my daughter, honestly. We also asked the commander of the recruiting office to participate in the discussion. Dan was reluctant, but he actually thought that if he told the truth, I would sign the contract for my daughter... so he answered. The signing bonus was not something she would get immediately. As a matter of fact, she wouldn't see the first portion of it until she re-enlisted - for at least another 3 years. Over time, if she re-enlisted for the next 20 years, the bonus she COULD receive would accumulate to the amount of a potential $20,000. Basically, she could end up with none of it. As far as MOS, he still insisted that she had her pick. But then, her GT scores being just about as high as they could record, she could have the top choices... except that every communication specialty was not available, and every electronic specialty was not available, every medical specialty was not available.... and so on.

As for the world's largest shopping mall... that was the truth. My comment... "tell her what she would be doing to get to the world's largest shopping mall." His answer... because she was being recruited for the Navy - she would be part of a supply ship transporting equipment and ammunition for military operations in the Persian Gulf.

Thank goodness.. our daughter saw through the deception. After thinking through the meeting, she went back to the recruiter and tore up her contract before she was required to take the second oath. It took a while before the recruiters stopped calling the house, but they finally got the message.

We cannot tell people not to join the military. But we can ensure that those who are considering it as an option have all the honest answers to their questions. There are many options for education and job training besides what the military sells. It's just that the other options are not sold as ferociously, and with such rainbow colored promises. Getting an education, getting the right job training will not be easy. Recruiters will try to tell kids that their way is easy. It is NOT. Their way is like nothing most of these kids have ever known, and once in.. it's a harder road out.

Any way to success will take effort, there is NO EASY WAY. There is only the right way for each person. We hope we can help others see the choices that are available to them besides the military. That way, if they do choose the military, it will be with eyes wide open.
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