Truth in Recruiting - Student Information

Before You Join We encourage possible recruits to consider the following questions:

Why do you want to enlist?
Every young person is attracted to the military for their own reasons. It is important to understand that a great deal of research and resources are devoted to painting a certain image of the military life. Take some time to really think about your expectations and the commitment that you will be making.

Have you been fully informed?
This is extremely important. You must ask all of the right questions before enlisting. Make sure you do the appropriate research and talk with as many people as possible, especially be sure to talk to a veteran. This way, you won’t feel misled or cheated when the actuality of your situation becomes evident. Don’t listen selectively; actively listen to your recruiter. Make a list of things you need to know about and get informed.

Are you willing to give up your rights?
It is important to understand that you will give up many civilian rights. Your rights to free speech, assembly, petition and exercise of individual expression (such as clothing or hairstyle) are restricted. G.I. stands for “Government Issue,” and you are a resource in the strictest sense of the word. If you are the kind of person who values basic liberties, or who doesn’t conform well, this will be a significant matter to deal with. You must follow all orders given to you, whether or not you agree with them and consider them right or fair.

Are you willing to kill (or be killed)?
Seriously consider your moral feelings about going to war. The mission of the military is to prepare for and wage war. If you cannot in good conscience engage in war or in killing another person, you should not consider enlisting. Would you risk your life in a fight for someone else's cause? Even soldiers who believe in fighting to defend their country have found themselves ordered to carry out a mission that they felt was wrong.

Do you have other options?
If you want to earn money for college, find adventure, or travel, don't assume you must enlist. Below you will find a list of resources that can walk you through many options for thinking about jobs and careers, serving your country, seeing the world, and paying for training or college.

Alternatives To Enlistment


 Watch the Video: "Before You Enlist"

"Before You Enlist" is a 16 min. educational video, professionally produced with the input of researchers and organizers who have spent decades speaking in schools and to youth groups. It covers important points chosen strategically to counter the deceptive tactics used by highly-trained military recruiters. It does so with the voices of a diverse set of veterans, including an ex-recruiter whose testimonial highlights reasons why young people should think critically about what they hear from the military.

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