Articles Mast

From Draft NOtices, May-June 2005

Military Lies

Editor's note: The following information was originally posted at the Tampa Indymedia Web site. When we contacted the writer for permission to reprint it, she asked us to use only her first name to protect her daughter. One reason we chose to publish this is that it illustrates the point that the military can -- and sometimes does -- go back on the promise of a specific job, even when it is written in the enlistment agreement.

— Rayanne

I give everyone the benefit of doubt. I'm probably one of those "pushovers" that used-car salesmen like. As a matter of fact, I've been taken in by my fair share of them. I usually chalk it up to "live and learn" and vow not to let it happen again. We expect certain types of behavior from used-car salesmen. We know in advance that they will say anything to make a sale. My apologies to the sincere and honest used-car salespeople out there in the world. I know you are the exception, not the rule.

As I said, we expect certain types of behavior from certain people in the world. However, we like to think our government will act honorably in the things it does. When the recruiters contact our children, we want to believe everything they tell our kids is true. The kids listen and believe. It's the United States Government! Why would they lie or make things up? Maybe not EVERYTHING is true, but the important parts are, right?

Wrong! Let me tell you a story.

My daughter, Liz, has talked about joining the military since she was in middle school. She loved the idea of the physical challenge. She wanted to be strong and important. She entered high school and the recruiters began circling. They monopolized career day. They came to the house. They called. Finally, she was in her senior year, and the contracts began flowing. She took her ASVAB test and scored a 71, which offered her a career in just about any field she wanted. She had her choice of jobs. She chose Aviation Electronics. It's a high-security job, pay is terrific, but the school is a year long. Rather than the standard 4 active, 4 inactive years, they insisted she sign on for 5 active, 3 inactive to compensate for the year she will be in training. She signed.

Enter Basic Training. Off she goes to Parris Island, where she spent 12 weeks in training. She loved it! She came home for 10 days before MCT (Marine Combat Training), and couldn't say enough about the amount of fun she had and the wonderful new friends she made.

I was so happy for her. She looked so grown up. I had a year before I needed to worry about where she would be stationed -- or so I thought.

She graduates MCT this coming Tuesday. She was handed her orders this afternoon. They have arbitrarily CHANGED her MOS [military occupational specialty]. She went from Avionics to Ammunition Technician. Her schooling will now only be 38 days. Let me repeat that — 38 DAYS. What exactly will you learn in 38 days that will prepare you for life-threatening situations? She could potentially be deployed before the end of the year. This child just graduated high school in May.

It is my contention that the military — starting with her recruiter and heading straight up to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue — knows that they are lying to these kids. They talk them into signing for that extra active year, then give them what they give them. They are told they are guaranteed a job, and then they play "administrative mistake" and there's no one to complain to or change it.

She is signed on for five years. This is not a high-interest car loan. This is what our government has decided to do to our kids. Tell them whatever they want to hear, get them to sign, and they'll just conform to our every whim.

In further conversations with my daughter over the past few days, I found that at least ten other women in her platoon suffered the same fate. These girls are not happy about the change in career that was assigned to them. However, in the face of reality, they know that trying to fight this may cause significant problems during their careers. Let's not discuss those problems in detail. They could range from retaliation from fellow Marines to passover of promotions to being sent to the proverbial Russian Front.

I sit here today with my hands tied and completely frustrated. I must respect my daughter's wishes to not stir the pot. I don't have to like it. I don't even have to agree with it. The choice is hers to make, not mine. I remain a mother who is concerned for her daughter's life and safety, and that of countless future military personnel everywhere.

Originally posted at:

This article is from Draft NOtices, the newsletter of the Committee Opposed to Militarism and the Draft (


About Us - Articles - Draft NOtices - Youth - Militarism - Publications - Products - Links - Contact - Home