It is illegal under both U.S. and international law to launch a military attack against another nation unless it is clearly in self-defense, and is approved by the United Nations. As such, we call on all service members to follow the long American tradition of listening to their conscience and remember that they have no obligation to follow illegal orders.
Veterans For Peace wants service-members to be fully informed as they make profound choices with possibly serious consequences.
There are a number of options for G.I.s who do not wish to follow illegal orders:
- G.I. Rights Hotline: The G.I. Rights Hotline provides accurate, helpful counseling and information on military discharges, AWOL and UA, and G.I. Rights. Help is free and confidential. Visit their website (girightshotline.org) for more information on the process to become a conscientious objector and what to expect. Or call their Hotline number (877-447-4487) to talk over your options with a counselor.
- The Center on Conscience & War: The Center on Conscience & War (CCW) is a non-profit organization that advocates for the rights of conscience, opposes military conscription, and serves all conscientious objectors to war. Visit the CCW website (http://centeronconscience.org) or contact CCW toll free: 1-800-379-2679 if you want to seek discharge or reassignment as a Conscientious Objector. CCW’s services are free of charge.
- Military Law Task Force of the National Lawyers Guild (MLTF): Visit the MLTF website (http://nlgmltf.org) or contact them at (619) 463-2369 and/or firstname.lastname@example.org for referral to a civilian attorney to discuss your options. Many of their member lawyers are willing to do an initial pro-bono (free) consultation.
- Conscientious Objection: Is This For You? Discerning a Claim and Documenting it with Selective Service: A QuakerHouse resource for Teachers explaining Selective Service, its registrations and it's methods; defines conscientious objection as currently prescribed by law; provides a range of exercises and activities to prompt individual discerning, and lists procedures on how to document a CO claim.
- Conscientious Objection Fact Sheet: Detailed information on military terms and the process to become a conscientious objector and what to expect.
- 6 Myths About Conscientious Objection: Six myths about conscientious objection and detailed rebuttals to them are explained here.
- Alternatives to the Military (National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth (NNOMY))
- The NNOMY website has a huge list of alternatives and resources for a range of opportunities that include: Schools/Scholarships, Internships/Training, Jobs, Civilian Corps, Cultural, Public Service, Sports, Travel, Volunteer, and more: http://bit.ly/NNOMYalternatives
- Peaceful Career Alternatives
- An extensive list of non-military career alternatives: www.peacefulcareers.org
- Alternatives to Enlistment by State
- From the Center on Conscience & War: http://bit.ly/COCalternatives
- Alternatives to Meeting Your Goals Without the Military (NY Civil Liberties Union)
- Vast list of scholarships for various fields, preparation for college websites, lists of job training and trade schools sites, links to job sites, and more: http://bit.ly/NYCLUalternatives
- Project on Youth and Non-Military Opportunities (YANO)
- Project YANO primarily serves young people who are looking for job training, wish to go to college or want to make a difference in other people's lives -- but they might not see enough opportunities to pursue these goals: www.projectyano.org