Truth in Recruiting - VFP Chapters and Members

Members and Chapters

Very often, the public's perception of the military lifestyle is limited to what they’ve seen on the news, TV, or video games.

Recruiters are salespeople, plain and simple. They undergo extensive sales training and are judged by their superiors primarily upon the number of recruits they sign up. Sign up large numbers, and they’re judged to be a good recruiter. Fail to sign up the minimum number assigned (known as "making mission"), and a recruiter is looking at a dead-end career. This policy pressures some recruiters to adopt unethical practices in order to "make mission."

As veterans we know the truth of what happens in war and VFP members across the U.S. work with young people before they enlist, to help them understand what it’s really like to be part of the U.S. military.

Truth in Recruitment work (also called Counter-Recruitment can take many forms: Veterans For Peace chapters and members take action by sharing their experiences in classrooms and other educational settings, Opt-Out campaigns, recruiting station protests, hosting tables and handing out flyers and resources at schools, and providing information about alternatives to the military.

Afraid of running into issues with school administrators?

According to 1986 Ninth Circuit Court ruling, counter military recruiters are legally allowed the same access to students as military recruiters. The ruling stated that the question of military service (whether voluntary or compulsory) is a controversial political issue, and if a school establishes a forum for one side to present its views on the issue, it must give opponents equal access to the forum.

Counselors and teachers have worked with counter military recruiters to provide equal access by:

In order to be sure that military recruiters, college and job recruiters, and peace activists
have equal access to each other, as required by law, schools document and regulate recruiter visits. Some counselors will only allow recruiters at career/job fairs. Some counselors require students to make appointments with all recruiters, others have military recruiters and military counter recruiters sitting at tables outside lunchrooms once a month or once a semester. From Veterans For Peace Chapter 35 in Spokane, WA

As veterans, our stories are a powerful tool that can be used to counteract the narrative and promises made by recruiters and can help prevent others from entering the military without a full understanding of the horrors and reality of war.

Tools for Taking Action

Show 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.

Check out our resource pages for Students and Active G.I.s

Printable Resources
Active G.I. Handout

Information for Active G.I.s Half-Page Handout

Student Information Handout

Do you have ideas for resources to add to our Truth in Recruiting pages?
Do you want to help create a VFP Truth in Recruiting Toolkit?
Does your chapter do Truth in Recruiting work?

Let us know! Email