Military Recruiters Don’t Deserve the Controversy

Rachel Piazza, Staff Writer

It was B lunch on Thursday, when I made my way up to a folding table by the office, carrying my little cup of sipping soup in one hand and my phone in the other. A man in a white navy uniform greeted me from behind his little table of fliers and forms and free lanyards, sliding me a piece of paper with a ‘survey’. But I wasn’t there to discuss joining. I had an important question to answer: should military recruiters be allowed in schools? 

 The two of us agreed that it was important for recruiters to be in schools (not that he’d dare say otherwise) because they can provide opportunities that many students are unaware of.

A source of controversy is that military recruiters seem to frequent low-income areas. What people upset over this don’t realize is why. These people can not so easily afford college, but the military can help pay. The Go Army website says that the army can provide full tuition to state schools and up to $25,000 for foreign or private institutions. 

‘But what’s the cost?’ many students may wonder. And it is hard to blame them. Everything they hear about the military is a bit deterring: dramatic shoot-outs in movie scenes, body counts in history class and news stories about the latest mishap. However, according to the National Public Radio, only about 10% of all personnel ever find themselves face-to-face with the enemy… and these are the people who have been well-trained for these situations. Think of the infamous green berets or SEALs, not your average high school recruit. 

But 100% of people in the military have tuition aid available. This isn’t to say that everyone should join the military straight out of high school, however, but it is to show the importance of having military recruiters in schools. Thanks to them, your straight-B student who doesn’t have good enough grades for academic scholarships or enough financial support to pay for college can still get an education. 

These recruiters are not in our schools to force students into the military, they are just here to help us. As the recruiter I spoke to on Thursday said, “I’m here to educate students about things they’ve never considered before. Like, the Navy offers free education. Through tuition assistance, the GI Bill, you can travel around the world, get free dental and medical benefits.” 

So why would we be calling for recruiters to not be allowed in schools? If we could properly educate ourselves on the opportunities the military provides, maybe, just maybe, we can learn to truly appreciate the recruiters’ presence.