07 January 2008

Youth Recruiting And The Military

A new report is out today, by David Gee (formerly of the Quakers' peace and disarmament programme), and funded by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust.

It's about the glamourisation of the armed forces to youth by the UK military. £2 billion is spent each year on recruitment and training, mainly targeted at adolescents and youth.

Military roles are promoted as exciting. Warfare is portrayed as game-like and enjoyable. There is ample free time and freedom in the Army. Their literature hardly mentions risk, the risk of being killed, seriously injured or chronically traumatised.

A brochure, called "One Army," which promises to “tell it like it is”, asks a soldier: “What’s the toughest test you’ve faced?” The answer is: “Being taught to ride a horse.”

Colonel David Allfrey, head of the army's recruitment strategy, told the New Statesman: "It starts with a seven-year-old boy seeing a parachutist at an air show and thinking, 'That looks great ... From then the army is trying to build interest by drip, drip, drip."

Marketing to children below the recruitment age commonly "glamorises warfare", today's report says. It refers to an army website, Camouflage, aimed at 12- to 17-year-olds, which encourages youngsters to participate in games.
Not part of Gee's report, but something I noticed a few days ago, the BETT 2008 conference is happening from the 9th to 12th January at Olympia in London. It's on educational technology, and what do you know, the MOD has created various modules for English, Geography, Maths and Science classes. Students get to learn about how the Navy protects fishies, or health and nutrition.

I'd be interested if people know if these modules are in use in schools in Coventry.

4 comments:

john said...

Thanks for the information!!!!

Anonymous said...

There's "Army Strong" and then there's ARMY WRONG

www.armywrong.net

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