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February 1999
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Military Recruiting Drive Moves into High Gear

Page 1: Military Recruiting Costs Skyrocket . . . and so does fraud!
Page 2: JROTC Expansion: Round Two
Page 3: School-Based Military Marksmanship Programs Come Under Scrutiny
Page 4
: Uncle Sam Takes to the Web

JROTC Expansion: Round Two

In August of 1999, the Army announced the expansion of JROTC to include an additional 250 high schools over the next five years. These additional schools at least the initial group appear to be schools that were already on a national waiting list, i.e., schools that had already applied for a JROTC unit. In 1998, a total of 456 schools were on the Pentagon's waiting list, 181 of them waiting for an Army unit. The overall expansion will require an additional budget allocation from local and federal funds.

The nation's first all JROTC public high school opened in Chicago in the fall of 1999. Known as the Chicago Military Academy at Bronzeville, the school is run by the Illinois National Guard. A $10 million expansion of this school is planned for the 2000-2001 school year. Several Illinois members of Congress (Sen. Richard Durbin and Rep. Bobby Rush, both Democrats) have pushed to have at least half of the funding for this expansion come from a special federal appropriation. Two more Chicago public schools, Carver and Calumet High Schools, are slated to begin a four-year process of evolving into all-JROTC schools beginning in August of 2000. All entering ninth grade students will be JROTC cadets.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a pro-military think tank, has recently published a report praising the JROTC program and urging more funding for it. The report, JROTC: Contributions to America's Communities, is filled with tables and statistics (JROTC funding, enrollment, demographics) and text (history of the program) that contain no real analysis. Only 12 of the report's 54 pages present the results of field research. As for the research, it consists largely of data gathered from surveys of people involved with the program (JROTC instructors and students) in three cities (El Paso, TX; Washington, DC; and Chicago, IL).

The report contains one very interesting admission: time spent in JROTC may conflict with time needed by students to complete graduation requirements. Its recommendation is that more schools permit JROTC to be substituted for credit in courses such as physical education, health, social studies and government, which unfortunately is already happening in some school districts. The report also urges JROTC officials to have greater sensitivity to local concerns about rifles on school property. These two cautions are offered almost as throw away comments in an otherwise laudatory report filled with such section headers as "Why JROTC Matters."

The report touts itself as the first objective study of the JROTC program. To gain a broader perspective on this "objectivity," one should look at CSIS's overall work. For example, CSIS has just (October 1999) published a study, Averting the Defense Train Wreck in the New Millennium, which argues that the Pentagon is underfunded to the tune of $100 billion annually.


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