December 13th, 2004

WATCH: High School Soldiers

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In 2003, the U.S. government spent almost 4 billion dollars recruiting soldiers for our nation’s all volunteer military forces. A portion of this budget was allocated to recruit thousands of high school students across the country - a practice which has been facilitated by the No Child Left Behind act. The federal law requires that schools receiving federal funds grant military recruiters the same access to high schools as college and career counselors have. Critics say that the military should not have a presence on high school campuses in the first place.

In this report, the Army granted us complete access as it traveled to a large San Diego high school. You will see recruiters and soldiers talk to students about life in the Army as well as visit the Army’s 1.1 million dollar Aviation Van. This high tech truck is equipped with flight simulators, a cockpit of an Apache helicopter and interactive video war games.

The recruiters we spoke to say they see themselves as counselors – merely presenting students with opportunities after high school. But critics argue that recruiters do not paint an accurate picture of the military and act more like salesmen. We take an inside look at the relationship between the military and the recruitment of high school students.

For a related podcast, click the audio play icon above.

Download transcript (PDF)

This program is made possible by the following funders:
Grade Level Reading Fund of the Tides Foundation, The Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki Foundation, The Wallace Foundation, and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

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