Discover more from Caitlin’s Newsletter
Military Groomers Are Increasingly Infiltrating US High Schools
Protect your kids.
A New York Times report has found that enrollment in the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC), a Pentagon-funded program designed to groom children for military service, is increasingly becoming mandatory in US high schools.
"J.R.O.T.C. programs, taught by military veterans at some 3,500 high schools across the country, are supposed to be elective, and the Pentagon has said that requiring students to take them goes against its guidelines," the report says. "But The New York Times found that thousands of public school students were being funneled into the classes without ever having chosen them, either as an explicit requirement or by being automatically enrolled."
"While Pentagon officials have long insisted that J.R.O.T.C. is not a recruiting tool, they have openly discussed expanding the $400 million-a-year program, whose size has already tripled since the 1970s, as a way of drawing more young people into military service. The Army says 44 percent of all soldiers who entered its ranks in recent years came from a school that offered J.R.O.T.C.," the Times reports.
And before you ask, no, the Pentagon's grooming program is not being forced on kids in Malibu and the Hamptons.
"A vast majority of the schools with those high enrollment numbers were attended by a large proportion of nonwhite students and those from low-income households," the Times reports, naming Detroit, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Oklahoma City, and Mobile, Alabama as cities where high schools are funneling kids into the program en masse.
Defenders of mandatory JROTC enrollment reportedly cite the need to "divert students away from drugs or violence" and "the allure of drugs and gangs" in urban areas, as though corralling them into the single most violent gang on Earth is a deterrence from violence and gangs. Grooming students to go kill foreigners for crude oil is not my idea of a healthy diversion from youthful error, but maybe that's just me.
This would probably be a good time to remind readers that poverty in the United States is one of the Pentagon's most effective recruiting tools, with Army officials explicitly acknowledging that young people's inability to afford a college education on their own is responsible for their success in meeting recruitment goals, and US lawmakers warning that helping people pay off crushing student debt will hurt recruitment. US military recruiters have an established record of targeting poorer schools, because impoverished communities often see military service as their only chance at upward mobility.
The New York Times describes a cult-like environment in these JROTC programs where "parents in some cities say their children are being forced to put on military uniforms, obey a chain of command and recite patriotic declarations in classes they never wanted to take," with special textbooks which "at times falsify or downplay the failings of the U.S. government." And if even The New York Times believes you're falsifying and downplaying the failings of the US government, it's got to be pretty bad.
Victims of the military grooming program told the Times that they were put in frequent contact with military recruiters who pushed the idea of enlisting to pay for college, with one student saying a male recruiter "still texts me to this day" even well after graduation.
I'm not sure how American parents could possibly read of such things without being intensely creeped out.
Every day I see US conservatives mindlessly bleating about "groomers" in the LGBT community trying to turn children into sexual deviants, claiming kids are being "indoctrinated" in school by learning about gay marriage and respect for trans people, but none of them seem to have any problem with the real-life indoctrination and grooming kids are subjected to by the most murderous and depraved institution in the world.
One of the dumbest things happening in mainstream western political discourse right now is the way conservatives are increasingly framing themselves as society's last bulwark against the normalization of child molestation, something which has been growing reliably less normalized and more aggressively rejected across the entire political spectrum for generations. But sure, pretend the ideology which wants to drag civilization back to the days of the Boy Scouts, the Catholic Church, and fathers reigning supreme over their household (and everyone in it) are the ones protecting us from the rape of children.
The most consequential groomers of our day are not LGBT people and their allies, but the adults who are grooming children to violently enact the will of the most tyrannical regime on earth with the full support of their government. And yet so far it's been mostly conservatives who I've seen defending the news of mandatory JROTC enrollment in impoverished neighborhoods. They're not just fine with this kind of indoctrination, they actively support it.
And to them I can only say, okay groomer.
My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following me on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud or YouTube, throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fi, Patreon or Paypal, or buying an issue of my monthly zine. If you want to read more you can buy my books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. All works co-authored with my American husband Tim Foley.
Feature image via Picryl (public domain).