High School Students Essay

Submitted By Adam-Bright
Words: 891
Pages: 4

Adam T. Bright
Professor Valerie Tober
English 102 Effectiveness in Writing

A Question of Opportunity: Should Military Recruiters be Allowed in High Schools? One of the key responsibilities of society is to ensure the safety and long-term success of its children. With those obligations in mind many parents-led organizations have begun to campaign for blocking military recruiters from access to students on high school grounds. These groups argue that through the use of predatory tactics and by glossing over negative aspects of military service recruiters are coercing students to commit themselves to a situation that will potentially place them in harm’s way. While these arguments do have their merit, they overlook the main benefit of military service. Despite the inherent risk involved, military service ultimately provides a means to success for many young adults, a reality facilitated by their access to recruiters within their high schools. Since the implementation of President George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act in 2001 military recruiters have had their access to high school students guaranteed by law, provided that college recruiters are also granted access to the students. Since that time opposition for this practice within parent groups has grown considerably. These groups argue that interaction with military recruiters preys on impressionable minds giving them the impression their service will lead to glory, commendations, and adventure. Parents argue that this is an unrealistic view and glosses over more negative aspects of military service such as the harshness of military life and the increased likelihood of entering dangerous situations. In counter to these claims, the military argues that its presence on high school campuses differs little from that of colleges and that they are merely offering an alternative for students who feel like college may not be for them. The bulk of parent’s claims center on various statistics that show the ramifications of military service. Chief amongst these are studies that demonstrate the increased instances of negative health outcomes present amongst the youngest members of the military (age 17 to 19) as opposed to their peers in civilian life. Opponents also point to the fact that the military has also exceeded its recruitment goals the past two years leading to their conclusion that limiting their access may not have a negative effect on service member numbers. Perhaps the largest issue parents have is with the vigor in which recruiters pursue students, often blitzing students with a seemingly unending stream of phone calls, emails, and even home visits. Parents argue that these hard sell tactics pressure high school students, whose age group is not exactly known for making sound decisions, into making a binding commitment without fully understanding the ramifications of their decision. While it is true that military service is perhaps the most dangerous form of public service, the potential benefits far outweigh the potential risks. For many young individuals, the military offers a clear and defined avenue to success that may not be available to them through traditional means such as college. Tangible benefits such as education, specialized training, and extensive opportunities to acquire experience make military service nearly unparalleled in terms of providing a solid starting point for building a career after transitioning to civilian life. That these benefits are accompanied by competitive pay, not to mention free meals, housing, and healthcare, only add further credence to the military being a viable option as a next step for students. At