CSunset SoldierOMD believes we must resist the spread of militaristic values and the power of the military in our society.

Militarism is a value system that stresses the superiority of some people over others. Under militarism, the people deemed inferior are dehumanized as enemies who must be overpowered by any means necessary. Those who deem themselves superior are permitted to take whatever they want from others — land, freedom, natural resources, cultures, lives — by force.

Militarism derides cooperation, equality and nonviolence, and instead enforces strict hierarchical relationships. Hierarchical systems create a winner at the top and render all others losers, so in a desperate attempt not to be a loser, each individual or group struggles to keep others down. As long as it is possible to see someone else as inferior, even those victimized by the hierarchy believe it is beneficial and continue to endorse it.




1. The glorification of the ideals of a professional military class.
2. Predominance of the military in the administration of policy of the state.
3. A policy in which military preparedness is of primary importance to the state.
American Heritage Dictionary, 2nd College edition.


This same value system creates racism, sexism, homophobia and other types of discrimination. It is not surprising that these types of discriminatory behavior are inherent in military systems. The artificial creation and dehumanization of an "enemy" is used to manufacture hatred of certain groups of people and fuel wars. The system is so powerful that it does not stop with the enemy: within the military itself, women, ethnic minorities, gays, lesbians and others are treated as inferior due to their religion, language, nationality or other identities.

Militarism is the root cause of many of the global and domestic problems we face today. Solutions to these problems will only come about when enough people actively challenge this destructive way of thinking. This must include challenging and resisting the influence of the most powerful purveyor of militarism, the military establishment itself.


Some of the ways that militarism is evident in the U.S.:


  • Over half of the federal government’s discretionary funds are devoted to war instead of essential civilian needs like housing, healthcare and education.

  • Unquestioning deference is given to the military by civilian government, the media and other institutions that we have traditionally counted on to help safeguard us from military encroachment on democratic civilian rule.

  • The public school system, our primary mechanism for teaching democratic values, is being militarized with a growing presence of the armed forces, including the expansion of programs like high school Jr. ROTC that teach military values and hierarchy.

  • Militarism can be seen in the weakening of laws prohibiting armed forces involvement in civilian law enforcement and immigration control, and in the growing militarization of civilian police agencies.

  • The military is granted significant exemptions from laws concerning pollution, discrimination, civil rights and claims of injury, including death, that result from neglect and harmful acts by the military.
  • The traditional independence of secondary and post-secondary schools has been eroded by laws forcing them to grant the military access to campuses and student records, even when it violates personal privacy and campus policies banning organizations that discriminate.



Please consider becoming a $10 per month supporter of The Committee Opposed to Militarism & the Draft
Our investigations and advocacy are an important contribution to the national peace community in the USA.
Donate through the Project on Youth & Non-military Opportunities



Resources for educating and organizing


The government, Pentagon and military organizations like high school JROTC are working hard to teach young people blind obedience, conformity and the acceptance of violence when it's done by the state. The survival of a civilian democracy depends on our ability to present alternative views, think critically and resist the influence of militarism on our society


Are you concerned about?

  • A possible draft?
  • Military programs and recruiters in our schools?

  • War?

WHAT YOU CAN DO.pdf (21Kb, rev. 8/26/02)


Sample high school leaflet from:

  • San Diego County Coalition for Peace and Justice (Nov. '06)

H.S. LEAFLET PDF file (75Kb)


Teach Peace:

Let students know what military recruiters are not telling them!

  • For lots of information on the realities of military enlistment and war, visit the:

Project on Youth and Non-Military Opportunities (Project YANO)


High school Students' Rights:

What Every Student Should Know!

A brochure that briefly summarizes some of the First Amendment and other important rights of high school students. It covers:

  • Your right to freedom of expression
  • Possible free speech restrictions
  • Clubs and Activities
  • Submitting free speech materials ahead of time
  • Prior restraint by school officials
  • What to do if your free speech rights are being violated
  • Some other rights you should know about

    Download a copy here. Revised 9/02

High School Rights.pdf (24Kb)



Information specifically about leafleting and petitioning inside and outside schools, by students and nonstudents.e Acrobat PDF Reader must be installed in your browser to view these files. If you dot have it, click on the running man below.

Guide for H.S. Leafleting and Petitioning.pdf (42Kb)

Suggestions for high school students who object tothe "Pledge of Allegiance."

Resisting the Pledge (42Kb)

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Please consider becoming a $10 per month supporter of The Committee Opposed to Militarism & the Draft
Our investigations and advocacy are an important contribution to the national peace community in the USA.
Donate through the Project on Youth & Non-military Opportunities


 Draft NOtices Graphic

Draft NOtices is a quarterly newsletter that has been published continuously by COMD since 1980. Articles include news and analysis on topics like:

  • Racism, sexism and homophobia in the military
  • Key legislation
  • Military recruiting and Jr. ROTC
  • Grassroots organizing against militarism in schools
  • Conscription and draft registration
  • Military spending
  • War and the environment
  • U.S. military intervention

Sample articles are posted each issue on our web site. Complete issues of the newsletter are available in hardcopy only by mail*.

Articles in the April-June 2024 issue of Draft NOtices:

Back Issues of Draft NOtices can be found in the digital collections of the University of Massachusetts Amherst Library. Visit: https://credo.library.umass.edu/search?q=draft+notices

*To receive Draft NOtices in the mail: Draft NOtices is a hardcopy newsletter delivered only to postal addresses. To request a subscription, simply send an email, along with your postal address (required), to contact[at]comdsd.org. If you wish to make a contribution to help cover the cost of DN, please send a check and use the coupon on the About Us page (unfortunately, we do not currently have a way to make a credit card donation).


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Click HERE



When the military comes to your local high school, you have a legal right to give students an opposing view. This has been the position taken by federal district courts in Florida, Pennsylvania and Illinois and two federal appellate courts. The most broadly-worded decision came from a case that COMD took to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in the 1980s. Here is the background:

Find Out More | Download PDF