Army Recruitment Now Based On Student Debt

| Educate!

Above Photo: Sgt. 1st Class Brian Hamilton / Army

JROTC fitness performance at Lemon Bay High School

The U.S. Army wants a 500,000 active-duty force by the end of this next decade, about 25,000 more than today. And preying on low income high schoolers is apparently how they intend to do it.

This past month the Army announced that they have already surpassed their recruitment goals for 2019–with three months still to go. That a big change from recent years’ where unsuccessful recruiting outcomes have been the norm. So what changed?

Recruiters are no longer using patriotism as their main marketing strategy. And wars in the Middle East are not on the talking points either.

Maj. Gen. Frank Muth, head of Army Recruiting Command, stated this past month that discussion of the endless wars and their potential outcomes “was not really part of the discussion” recruiters are having with high schoolers. Today, recruiters have found a new niche to meet their 2019 goals: the national student debt crisis.

“One of the national crises right now is student loans, so $31,000 is [about] the average,” Muth told reporters at the Pentagon. “You can get out [of the Army] after four years, 100 percent paid for state college anywhere in the United States.” The Army has refocused their marketing efforts to take advantage of our national education and financial crisis.

It is noteworthy that it’s also being reported this past month that the Trump Administration has been blocking an independent watchdog agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, from investigating student loan servicers’ shady business practices with the other federal possibility for college access.

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, which began in 2007, is intended to offer public sector workers (teachers, firefighters, nonprofit workers, . . . ) forgiveness of their student loans after ten years of service and timely payments. Instead it is being reported that 99% of those applying for this new program are being denied.

This loan forgiveness program was intended to offer another way for those committed to civic duty to be able to afford college – without joining the Army. Instead the program is being blocked while the Army manipulates the national student debt crisis. Extreme economic inequality continues to expand in the U.S. and low-income youth increasingly are forced to consider joining the Army in order to reach their dreams of college, a living wage and joining the middle class.

Youth should not have to become soldiers in order to attain higher education.

  • LRNCU1

    So, the military had a program where if one enlisted they could obtain free education.SO,didn’t we maime or kill most of those in the national guard in the Middle east.They are still doing multiply duties in the M.E.(reoccuring tours of duty costing THEM!!

  • voza0db

    Nothing new! Making modern dumb slaves go torture and kill other modern dumb slaves in return of cash… The good old Umanity at work.

  • mwildfire

    And it seems to me I’ve read that most of the people who sign on to the army in hopes of getting a college education, don’t, tho I don’t remember what stopped them.

  • ANTONIO

    What a scam! They put you in an impossible situation (tuition) and then offer you another impossible situation (war) to get out of it. If we had tuition free universities this would never come up as an issue, but capitalists simply cant get it through their heads that anything can be free of charge to the population, even when it raises the cultural political and economic level of the country.

  • chetdude

    This is a win-win for capitalists.

    They make money on the student loans (and universities) and they force poor folks to become cannon-fodder and act as a global occupation and wholesale murder force to guarantee their theft of 25% of the world’s resources for the benefit of the top point 1 of 1% of 4% of the world’s population.

  • chetdude

    As I remember the actual total COST of an education and being unable to concentrate or focus is a symptom of PTSD, right?

  • John Cook

    I think this should be considered as a crime against our humanity, morality and supposedly what we would fight, kill or be killed to make sure other nations wouldn’t be doing it. As a nation we are now admittingly going to war over the resources from other countries and using our military to generate profits for the corporate greed of multi billion dollar corporations, like Raytheon and Boeing while also becoming the worse threat on the planet to World Peace.. And this coming Monday on Veteran’s Day we should be shouting about this instead of celebrating and glorifying our warriors fighting our continuous war of corporate terror..

  • jwreitter

    Recruiters should not be allowed anywhere near grammar schools or high schools without the parent’s permission. Young minds are not yet developed enough to be able to deal with false promises and propaganda, and it is unlikely that they can really imagine the violence and tragedy of warfare. And if recruiters are ever invited into any school, even in higher education, there should always be a counter-speaker talking about diplomacy, the dangers of war, PTSD, suicide rates, agent orange, and explaining the history of peace movements and peacemakers, and the effectiveness of non-violent protest and civil disobedience. Students should also be told about how to avoid student debt through work programs, free education opportunities, and online courses and alternate skill development programs. There are some excellent anti-recruitment websites to explore, that can help students look before they leap. And I would recommend books by Chris Hedges on war, and many others.