As high school ends, many are thinking about their future. Some look toward colleges and trade schools wondering how they will afford it and what exactly they will do with their future. While looking towards the future, there is always the option of joining the army. This is encouraged and highly admired by many people. However, the issue comes when people are joining the army due to the elitist tactics of army recruiters.
The military has always had an elitist mindset when it comes to recruiting. During the Vietnam war, those who were in universities and higher education were able to dodge the draft for that very reason. While those who could not afford to go to higher education, or found themselves in a trade (which was deemed as less valuable by those setting the draft requirements), had to be forced into a war to kill innocent people, watch their friends die, and even die themselves.
While the draft has not returned since Vietnam, every exiting high schooler gets contacted by army recruiters. People in places of higher wealth, unless passionate about serving their country and joining the armed forces, normally shrug off the advances as they have schools and family supporting them through the college process. Those of higher wealth may not need to even worry about paying for college. However, this is not the case for those of lower classes. There is a struggle of figuring out how to pay for college, and that’s when the army steps in.
The appeal of going into the army has diminished as studies conducted by the United States Department of Defense show that ages 16-24 show a 14% interest in joining the armed forces. So how do they get so many kids to join?
Under the disguise of friendly citizens, the army recruiters take their action. They offer educational opportunities, the opportunity to see the world, the ability to help pay for college.
The army recruiters generally go to schools of lower-income. This disproportionately enforces a classist ideal of the military. In which, there is a genuine lack of the upper class in our military, which harms the country. We reinforce the idea that the poor must, inherently, “pay” for the fact that they are poor with their life. They are given the idea that because they are poor, there are no other options. Meanwhile, the rich have been able to get out of serving in our military, which may lead to an elitist idea since they can use their money to simply dodge any sort of civil service.