This week, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on the increasing rejection of the military by African American youth. It suggests that young women and Blacks are more likely to be influenced by the feelings of the adults in their lives and that those adults are more and more likely to oppose the war in Iraq. The article also puts some numbers to the common-sense idea that an unpopular war makes joining the military less popular. What is not clear is if the Iraq War will result in long-term decreases in enrollment.
The article leaves unchallenged the recruiter’s financial figures: "The recruiters made joining sound oh so terribly good – a $20,000 bonus
for enlisting, $9,000 more if enlistees shipped out in the next 30 days
and even better, $70,000 for college." In fact, according to the Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors, nearly two-thirds of all recruits get absolutely no college funding from the military and only 15 percent wind up receiving a college degree.
One interesting question for CounterRecruiter readers: The article says St. Louis "annually ranks near the bottom of the more than 200 recruitment centers." Which ones rank at the top?