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22 Oct, 2010 22:37

US military targeting impressionable teens

Twenty-four year old Jason Ehrhart was critically injured in Iraq and before his deployment, Jason and his family thought little about what might happen to him in the war torn nation.

RT previously highlighted the various tactics and often misleading methods used by US military recruiters to recruit young men and women to enlist in the armed forces.

But, just how far do some recruiters go to meet their numbers?

His father explained, “You kinda get this false sense that nothing’s really going on, but in the background, things are rampin’ up, the army has a purpose. They’re indoctrinating these guys and training them to do stuff, but I don’t know if we ever really thought, something is going to happen.”

Ehrhart also explained that although the decision to enlist was a choice he made, his recruiter followed him everywhere, from his home to his school, to persuade him to join the US Army. He referred to the recruiter’s behavior as “obnoxious.”

That behavior is precisely what spurred counter-recruitment activist Pat Elder to action.

The military is participating in a very sophisticated psychological program and people need to be aware that this is going on. You know today we have a recruited force. The army likes to say it’s a volunteer force, but in fact, it’s a recruited force,” believes Elder.

Elder explained that there is test that is given in many high schools across the nation, of which parents are often clueless.

The ASVAP is the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery and it is given in about 12,000 high schools across the country. This is a major deal to us because often parents don’t realize that their children are being sent to schools and the schools are acquiescing and allowing the Pentagon to actively recruit children sometimes as young as 15. In Maryland, we were very fortunate to get a law passed that basically prohibits the automatic release of these test results to the Pentagon,” he said.

Students are being targeted now more than ever as US forces are stretched thin. Just last year, for example, a Pentagon-funded study found that 75 percent of American youth were unfit to serve for health reasons alone, which makes it all the more difficult for the Pentagon to meet its quotas.

Iraq War veteran and Winter Soldier Jesse Hamilton wondered why more people are not aware of and appalled by these facts: “It actually amazes me that there isn’t more of an uproar than there actually is. Because we’re talking about 13 year old kids right now. It borders if it isn’t already indoctrination of our youth into this very violent culture.”